Netizens are upset with the alleged special treatment given to minister Khairy Jamaluddin after he was injured by a pothole while cycling in Banting, Selangor on Sunday, 27 December
The Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister took to Twitter to share his mishap and posted pictures of his bruised face, the pothole, and the ditch he fell into, along with the caption: "Pothole, ditch, KJ. 2020 keeps giving."
According to New Straits Times, the fall occurred on Jalan Kampung Sri Cheeding and Khairy sustained minor injuries.
Less than six hours later, the Kuala Langat Public Works Department (JKR) responded to the tweet and apologised to the minister for the incident
"Kuala Langat JKR apologises for the incident that befell Yang Berhormat (YB). We will take prompt action over the issue and pray for YB's speedy recovery," said the tweet on Sunday evening.
Within 24 hours, the department fulfilled the promise and pictures of the fixed pothole on Jalan Kampung Seri Cheeding were shared by Facebook page Info Roadblock JPJ/POLIS around 4pm on Monday, 28 December.
Witnessing the swift response, netizens were quick to anger and questioned the "double standards" shown by the authorities in patching up the potholes
"I'm sorry that happened to you, YB. But immediately when someone of your status gets into a common accident, JKR panics and start (sic) to act," said a Twitter user.
"My sister's colleague died running over a pothole and left a pregnant wife. No apology or redress by JKR. Do politicians' lives matter more?" they questioned.
Another Twitter user shared a screenshot of their Google search of the many previous accidents and deaths caused by potholes in the country.
They said, "All of these, JKR didn't even apologise. The lives of the people are not valuable yeah? I'm so fed up."
Meanwhile, a Facebook user commented, "Other places don't want to repair as well? There are other places with potholes that not only caused injuries, but also death. These double standards need to be thrown out."
Another joked, "I hope more VIPs fall due to potholes so that JKR can show this level of efficiency and patch all the potholes - for the VIPS, not for the people."
Khairy Jamaluddin has since spoken up about the matter again and clarified that his Twitter post was only to alert other road users, not to stir controversy
"My intention for uploading the incident on Twitter was to warn other road users, but it seems to have caught the attention of JKR," he said in a statement, according to Free Malaysia Today.
He thanked JKR for the quick response and also acknowledged the public's feedback on the issue, warning the department against practising double standards just because he was a minister that got into the accident.
"The main issue here is that the problem of potholes needs immediate attention," he said.