Monday, 28 June 2010

The root of the tragedy at the Std Cht Marathon

If you ran in the just concluded KL Standard Chartered Marathon or if you are a vivid facebook addict, you would have most probably read about a young man named Lim who passed away a couple of km before completing his 10km run.

What happened was Lim collapsed, he was then assisted by the writer of the facebook-note together with some other medically trained runners. While trying to preserve Lim’s life, they screamed for medical help but the Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) was no where to be found.

And of course, in typical Malaysian style… and I quote the writer…

“… 3 DBKL officers (with big motorcycles) just stood by the road side and just stare…”

The EMS arrived after 15-20 minutes, when Lim barely had any pulse left. And again, in typical Malaysian style, the EMS ambulance had practically nothing in it. Maybe if you need some nasi-lemak or char-kuey-teow, you may find some. But if you want life-saving equipment in a supposedly life-saving ambulance… takde… mei you… don’t have.

You may wish to read full real life account of the incident here.

Comments flowed in to concur with the writer saying the organiser must take responsibilities, there needs to be more awareness, next year people should make health declaration before running, etc.

To me, all these pleas will only remove the symptoms, but will never cure the disease. The KL Stand Chart Marathon was also marred with some aspects of fiasco, and this year, someone died. But how come, the same Stand Chart Marathon that takes place in Singapore every year do not have such problems? After all, same organiser and same sponsors…

DBKL officers not giving a shit… slow EMS arrival… ambulance that cannot function as an ambulance… these are manifestation of a failed system, the result of mediocrity which has since been conveniently accepted by most Malaysians. And if you have been reading news, this is not the first time someone died because of poor ambulance service.

You may say that I am trying to condemn Malaysia again and praising Singapore because I am now residing here. But when I was running the KL SC Marathon and Singapore SC Marathon, I was still residing in Malaysia… same sponsor, same organiser… a whole world of a difference. Why?

Deep down, if we are honest with ourselves, we know the problem is not just poor organising. It’s much deeper than that. If you fail to see that, then you are really intoxicated with nasi-lemak, char-kuey-teow and bak-kut-teh.

Lim – may you rest in peace.


2 years ago… The ‘jip san leong’ act

3 years ago… What’s your answer?When the ‘if’ turns real

23 comments:

Monyet King said...

Zewt, couldn't agree more with you. And we all can be assured that this won't be the last screw-up either. I am intoxicated with roti telor.

InjusticeSistem said...

AED(Automated External Defibrillator),a face mask with pump...
Every year Ministry of Health spend hundred of millions or billion to build hospital n purchase medical equipment.....only 2 reasons that ambulance did not have the above item:
1. The item was order and paid for, but did not arrive and somebody made some $$$ from it....yes i have fren in dis line, supply medical equipment to govt, very profitable
2. The item was order,paid and delivered.....but someone sold it back to the supplier...well, my supplier fren obviously deny dey do dis but dey claim sombody else in dis line do dis all da time
There you have it, Mr Lim died bcos somebody wanted to make a few quick buck.....

Want to add 1 more thing :
To those corrupted Construction Engineers ie Architect/Civil Engineers etc etc, next time house/hill/bridge/stadium collapse, i hope it will be ur family under it

goingkookies said...

#1- haha.. that's the thing.. when u move to spore or any other country and start making comparisons to msia.. ppl will say u ve forgotten ur roots.. but i totally get what u mean cos..

#2- it's so typical malaysian mentality whereby PREVENTION isn't BETTER than cure.. it's the cure they focus on.. and even then.. look at the things in the ambulance or the lack of it..

#3- and msian mentality woudl be.. malaysia is like that wan la.. cannot do anything about it wan..

but u know... i believe, one day, it will be a better country with system like Aussie n spore and with clean toilets and friendly ppl..etc.. it's all a matter of time

aiting said...

It is even more saddening to read the report that claimed everything OTHERWISE, contradicting with what my friends and I witnessed. We "compared notes" at the finishing line, and the sequence of events fit perfectly what Toh Yit Ming described in his note.

Those mentioned in the DBKL report might apply to the half and full marathon no doubt, but definitely not the 10km race.

I used to have a faint heart (not kidding) I cannot even run 100m back then, so 10km is a big deal to me. Though I've been very active for the past 10 years, my mom still doubts my ability although nothing serious actually happened to me before besides puking and constantly turning green, to be responsible for myself I make sure I watch out for medic aids whenever I take part in such events.

Unfortunately, honestly speaking, I spot no one that "looks like" first aiders along the whole route (besides water stations maybe) but ppl can't choose to collapse at water stations only ain't it.

Klaw said...

I was running the 21k, and the only first aiders I saw were stationed every 4km at the water stations. I didn't notice any ambulances on standby, although to be fair, I wasn't really paying attention.

My friend running the 10k actually saw the guy collapse, and she did mention there were runners shouting at the officials to help and giving the guy emergency first aid (didn't elaborate on whether they helped or not, but I won't doubt the facebook guy's account of the event).

Realistically, people do die in races like this throughout the world, even in developed countries like the US. But for an ambulance to only arrive 15 minutes later, that is unacceptable, and without life saving equipment, that is just highly negligent.

My heart goes out to the victim and his family, and honestly, do we need another death like last year's Adidas King of the Road for the organizers to actually improve their emergency services?

Elizebeth D.L. said...

This is so sad, I don't know what to say.. when is our country going to learn from mistake??? :-(

Mr Lim could have lived through the incident!!!

I am very upset!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i think just another thing to say also is, for watever reason he collapsed from, people out there should also listen to their bodies, be careful u dont push over the limits.

quite sad to have ended the race like that..

sinlady said...

what a nightmare scenario! why would anyone run in marathons where there is no emergency medical help on standby?

Terra Shield said...

This isn't the first time, right? I thought I read something similar on fb last year...

It's tragic.

Crankster said...

First class facilities, third class mentality.

secret agent woman said...

That's really sad - such a waste.

Pinknpurplelizard said...

I read about this in the papers and spoke to a contestant about it. The organisers didn't inform the other contestants of the tragedy but she saw the man taken away in a stretcher.

No one is willing to take any responsibility for anything. This is the problem with organisers and many Malaysians.

Whenever an event is organised, safety and risk management should be the first priority. This can cost quite a bit so they tend to avoid doing it if possible. Typical Msian mentality.

I hope this serves as a warning to other event organisers.

Unicorn Girl said...

Typical gomen of M'sia mentality ! Wait till someone dies then only take action - maybe got cow dungs in their heads than intelligence !!!

Anak Merdeka said...

There are certainly many things going wrong with this country which is the reason why so many of us are contemplating whether we should stay or go, stay or go .. all the time.

I'm waiting for the next General Election and see which direction we're heading.

Kimmy said...

There are many cases that can be avoided but seems that no one ever learn from it. To them, it's just another day of tragedy, too bad..no big deal...

serenemai said...

this is absolutely ridiculous. how is the organiser going to explain to the deceased family???? i feel so sorry for the family.

serenemai said...

sorry i meant the deceased'S family.

storm said...

my bro who also went for the run said something like this:

"If cannot run, then don't run lah! stop lah. why wan to sei-teng (tahan mati)? its just a run..."

harsh, but true...

....just saying (._.')

zewt said...

Monyet King - same thing happaned in the putrajaya night marathon, just that everyone forgotten about it.

InjusticeSistem - again i will ask... when are you going to start a blog... though the issues u want to raise are mentioned here, i am sure they can do with an additional voice.

goingkookies - that's very positive of your... the reason why so many malaysians have made their way offshore is that... they no longer see the hope...

aiting - while the responsibility is partly with the runner, i think we should look at the bigger picture...

Klaw - bro, i am sure you and i know that the root of the problem does much deeper than just ambulance not arriving on time...

Elizebeth DL - not just mr lim, throughout history, a lot of ppl could have been saved.

zewt said...

Constantly craving joe - that's true... but still, there is a bigger issue at hand.

sinlady - medical help is on standby... but standby has got a lot of definitions.

Terra Shield - in malaysia... plenty, and not marathon bound.

Crankster - and that is exactly what i am trying to say. thanks Ruth.

secret agent woman - indeed...

pinknpurplelizard - even if they prioritise it... the ppl involve in providing medical help... are they really properly trained? will the equipment be there.... if it is... will they function... it's a whole load of malaysian problems.

Unicorn Problem - you mean they will take action? really?

Anak Merdeka - i used to be positive about the next GE... not anymore... to many malaysians thinking like malaysian.

Kimmy - malaysia tidak apa attitude.

serenemai - in malaysia, many things require no explanation.

storm - you have a point bro... but still, things could have been done in a better manner.

Huei said...

agree with the slow ambulance part....i never trust msian ambulance after what happened to me..EVER!!!!

zewt said...

huei - well, a lot of ppl never trust anything in malaysia anymore.

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