Malaysian firm in deadly tour bus crash investigated
KUALA LUMPUR - Describing yesterday's bus crash that claimed 27 lives as the nation's worst road accident, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said it would be thoroughly investigated by the aut
KUALA LUMPUR – Describing yesterday’s bus crash that claimed 27 lives as the nation’s worst road accident, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said it would be thoroughly investigated by the authorities.
These included the police, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) and the Road Transport Department.
“We will do all the necessary to get to the bottom of the matter soon,” said Kong, who earlier visited the scene of the crash.
He said the results of the investigation would be revealed upon its completion.
Kong said he was not pointing fingers at anyone, but added that the responsibility laid with various quarters.
“Bus operators’ associations, the licensing board and other agencies all play a big role in ensuring this.”
The Tourism Ministry said in a statement last night that it had initiated an investigation into SK Murni Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd, including issuing a show-cause letter to get clarification on the incident.
The ministry’s records showed that the bus with the registration number AFX 2266 was registered with the ministry as a tourism vehicle on Nov 30, 2009, and its licence was valid until Nov 30, 2012.
The ministry said a detailed investigation was necessary in line with the provisions under the Tourism Vehicles Licensing Act 1999, and any action such as revocation of licence would be determined after considering the findings by all government agencies.
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators’ Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali expressed his sympathy to the victims of the crash and said it was distressing to learn about the recent spate of high-casualty accidents.
He urged the agencies which conducted investigations into previous bus crashes to make their findings public so that everyone could learn from them.
“We should be able to learn from past mistakes.”
Ashfar said he had frequently called for the construction of stronger road dividers and for a revamp of the curriculum of driving schools to produce better drivers, among others.
Royal Thai Embassy first secretary Dr Suwit Mangkhala said the embassy would do all it could to help the families of the Thai nationals in the accident.
“We will send the bodies back home and contact their family members as soon as we confirm the identities of the dead.”
Suwit said the embassy already had the list of those in the bus and would check their database to locate the victims’ families.