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In the wake of recent fatal accidents on land, sea and air, the Ministry of Transport – together with the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) – is looking to establish the Malaysian Transport Safety Board (MTSB), a catchall authority that will bundle all modes of transport in the country under its purview.

The new organisation will conduct independent and transparent investigations, research, operations and monitoring for land (road and rail), maritime (including river transport) and aviation. It also aims to provide more efficient, systematic and holistic post-crash management in terms of victim and next-of-kin support, as well as advocate recommendations from investigations and research to relevant stakeholders.

A key policy of MTSB will be its “no blame” approach to investigations – its findings cannot be used to apportion blame or liability to certain parties, assist court proceedings, or allow for adverse interference caused by the involvement of any individual in a transport safety matter.

MIROS says this will encourage people to provide sensitive information without the fear of any action taken against them, which will help the board understand factors in an incident that may otherwise be obstructed. It adds that investigations conducted by MTSB will be conducted solely in the interest of transport safety.

The formation of MTSB was one of the proposed recommendations in a report on a fatal 2013 bus crash in Genting Highlands, and the MTSB Act was drafted by the ministry based on amendments to the MIROS Act 2012 (Act 748).

For now, the public are encouraged to submit their views and comments on the establishment of MTSB, as well as the draft of the MTSB Act 2015 (available on the MIROS website) via email, with submissions closing on June 30.