RTD still living in the 1980s

The other day my daughter went for the resit of her driving test at one of those driving institute in Bangi. She passed her road test earlier but failed the slope test when her slide down the test was slope beyond the permissible limit. So she had to resit the slope test. She was told to come before 9am and we were there around quarter to nine. She took her test card and was told to queue up at the RTD counter to get her number. The counter was not yet opened despite I can see a few RTD officers having breakfast inside. Since it is almost nine and I was already late for work, I made a quick exit and told her to call me when she had finished with her test. Around mid day she rang me up and I asked her how was the test and she said her turn has not arrived yet and she needed something for lunch. In my hurry for work I forgot to leave her with some money for lunch. Poorgirl.

She only called me back again at 6.15pm with the good news that she passed her test. When I arrived at the institute to pick her up, nearly 100 people or so were still waiting for their turns. All of them have been waiting since 9.00am or before that. I confirmed this with the lady at the institute’s counter. She told me that the RTD would not accept anybody who came later than 9.00am. That means these people have been waiting for their turn for more than eight hours. She added that there is nothing they can do as RTD is calling the shots. It is also quite common for the test to last till dark. Wow, what a test. Not only a test of driving and riding skills but also a test of patience. But somehow I did not see anywhere in the test card that patience is also a criterium to be tested!

If you have lived as long as I am, surely you would remember this kind of waiting that we have to go through at the general hospitals or immigration counters in 1980s and 1990s. In fact immgration often times had the cheek to tell people to come the next day as the counter is closing and on top of that you have to come as early as 6am to get the number. I also remember the time when an 8.00am appointment at the General Hospital means your turn would only come at 12.15 at the earliest. But hullo, Mr. RTD, we are in 2008 now. The passport can be ready within two or three hours, and the new Health Minister just announced that the hospital waiting time would be cut down to 30 minutes. And here we are still waiting for eight hours for driving test!

I can understand that on that day the RTD was running short of testers and the test could only commence way past 9.00am. I also can understand that they have to conduct all the road test first in the morning as it is the rainy season and it always rains in the evenings that may make the road tests a bit difficult for the learners. I can also understand that it was Friday, they have to stop from 12.15 till 2.45pm. But, the least the RTD could do is to give the learner an estimated time when their test is going to be, rather than letting them wait endlessly. It was a lost of productive time for the learners. They could have gone somewhere else and do some productive work and come back for the test at the estimated time. Letting them wait and wilted under the heat is sheer thoughtlessness. After all, each have to pay good money for their D licence. I really pity those undergoing the motorcucle riding tests. The test started around 5.30pm and they have been waiting since as early as 8.00am. Maybe that is why they unleash their anger on the roads as Mat Rempits


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