Saturday, August 24, 2013

After mix-up over bus blacklisted cover up in fatal crash, MCA wants full probe

Blacklisted one day and cleared the next.

Inconsistent information surrounding one of Malaysia’s deadliest bus crashes requires a comprehensive investigation to ensure the victims and families are afforded the “truth and justice” due to them, MCA publicity chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie said today.

“As Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has proposed to set up a special investigation committee to probe the cause of the accident, we urge the committee to leave no stone unturned as this issue has befallen several times already,” she said in a statement.

“The findings must be made public.”

On Thursday, a day after the ill-fated bus that plunged into a ravine on Wednesday and killed 37 people, English daily The Star reported that the vehicle was placed on a blacklist by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) prior to its journey to Genting Highlands.

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The newspaper said this was confirmed from checks on the bus’ records in the JPJ website. It is not known, however, the reason for the blacklist.

But later the same day, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said at a press conference that the bus had not been blacklisted nor overloaded, as alleged in a separate report.

Its chief, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, said the bus was classified as a feeder bus, and explained that it was within regulations for the vehicle to ferry the reported 53 passengers at the time of the incident.

According to its licence, the feeder bus was allowed to carry up to 65 passengers, with a maximum of 45 seated and 20 standing.

Today, Heng urged Genting Bhd to take remedial action on the route leading to and from the popular mountain resort and casino, saying that sections aside from where the accident occurred were “considered high risk and dangerous”.

According to a spokeswoman for Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) this morning, the remains of 28 victims have already been claimed by relatives, with nine bodies still unclaimed including two that had yet to be identified.

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