Motorcycle club offers legal aid for pothole victims seeking justice (VIDEO)

By Nabihah Hamid

SUNGAI BULOH, April 3 — As a biker, Lando Zawawi is familiar with tales of deaths from road accidents. Which was why his motorcycle club Ikatan Silaturahim Brotherhood started volunteering to fix potholes that pose danger to fellow bikers.

Having made a name for themselves, Lando and his club members are ready to take the next step: suing local councils for their alleged negligence that led to nuisances such as potholes and sunken roads. And they are offering a hand to others who find themselves victims.

“With so many fatal accidents, we have taken the approach to perk up our work. We take a more drastic approach, by appointing lawyers,” Lando told ProjekMMO, the sister publication of Malay Mail Online, in a recent interview.

“Our lawyer will initiate legal suits, not just against JKR, but against the local councils,” he added, using the Malay initials for the Public Works Department.

“With lawyers, we have discussed it last week and will start as soon as possible. Perhaps we will take some time with them, and we research the appropriate laws,” the 42-year-old man said.

He explained that they must familiarise themselves with the laws to have an airtight legal case that will succeed in court.

Lando, whose real name is Azlan Sani Zawawi, said regular Joes would find it harder if he tries to sue as an individual, but with the Brotherhood’s help, he can have access to reports and records of pothole cases nationwide.

“If they fell in a hole that has been reported by Brotherhood, that is one proof for our lawyers.

“Sometimes, people are afraid. Impossible for one man to fight against JKR and local councils. Now they have the Brotherhood,” he said.

The club also gives victims two options for the legal aid -- free or paid.

“We give two options. For free, we will channel information and support reports in court. We will also suggest for them to get free legal service from certain legal foundations.

“Second, for those who can afford to appoint a lawyer, they can choose from our lawyers to fight seeking for justice,” he said, referring to their legal panel lead by renowned lawyer Zulkifli Awang.

Lando said this drastic action will serve as pressure to local authorities to “open their eyes” and take their work seriously.

“With this kind of action, we are more forward-looking. Authorities must not delay repair works. Otherwise when we complain, it is really slow for them to fix road problems,” he said.