Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
PETALING JAYA: A video showing a group of children crossing a river on a sampan to go to school has been going viral since yesterday.
The video shows the group made up of those with life jackets and those without. Those with lifejackets can be seen waiting for their turn to cross the river while a boatman struggles against the river current to get the sampan across to the other side.
According to reports, a suspension bridge was washed away by floods last year, forcing about 30 children from Kampung Mangkabusu, Pitas, to use the small boat to cross the Sungai Bengkoka to go to school and return home.
This has been going on for more than half a year and has disrupted schooling at SK Mandurian, Pitas, because the children are often unable to attend school when the river becomes too dangerous to cross.
Maratin Manjungkat, 40, said he had to go back and forth 12 times a day on the sampan to drop and pick up the school children.
“I take all the students across the river. The sampan can only accommodate four children at a time.
“I have to go back and forth six times every morning and another six times in the afternoon. The children have to wait for their turn because I am worried that the sampan will be overloaded and endanger them,” Sinar Harian quoted him as saying.
Asked about the viral video, Manjungkat said it was recorded last Monday by one of the villagers.
“It’s currently examination week. So that day, I had to take them across anyway because I was worried they would miss the examination.
“They were already late for school, so I tried my best to take them across the river quickly.
“After that, other villagers took turns escorting them to school, which is more than half an hour away,” he said.
Manjungkat said that if it had not been the examination period, all the schoolchildren, including his son, who is in Year Five, would not be going to school every day.
“It is dangerous for them to cross, especially when the river water rises, and there have been drowning incidents in this river involving children.
“So, there are some days they will not be able to go to school.
“Fortunately, the teachers understand our situation. We also inform them immediately if the children are unable to go to be present,” he said.
Manjungkat hoped the situation will receive public attention.
“We have informed the assemblyman regarding the need for a floating suspension bridge. He said he will get it built but the weather conditions are not allowing it.
“Our main need right now, while waiting for the bridge to be rebuilt, are bigger boats and more life jackets,” he said.
He also said there were 34 houses and more than 100 villagers living in Kampung Mangkabusu who were “completely dependent” on the suspension bridge before it was swept away.
“After the bridge was swept away by floods, we had to rely on canoes to go back and forth, including going to the town to buy necessities.
“So, apart from boats and life jackets, we need the suspension bridge to be rebuilt to make it easier for the villagers,” he said.
JUSTCLICK & CONNECT