Johor bus crash: Bus operator's licence suspended

Johor bus crash: Bus operator's licence suspended
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

The licence of the operator of the bus that crashed near the town of Muar in Johor, Malaysia, on Saturday morning has been suspended.

Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said it had suspended the licence of Goldstar Express with immediate effect to facilitate investigations into the Alisan Golden Coach express bus crash that killed 14 people and left 16 injured, reported the New Straits Times.

"SPAD will not tolerate any violations of safety practices and sternly reminds express bus operators, that those found to have contravened safety requirements will have to face the full force of the law and regulations," said the commission.


Mr Steven Chong, 52, a Goldstar Express representative, said his company would help the families with the costs of bringing the bodies of those killed in the crash back home, as well as help with insurance claims.

But he could not confirm whether the bus company would be providing any other compensation to the families of the crash victims.

When The New Paper visited the Alisan Golden Coach website yesterday evening, it showed no routes to or from Johor Baru.

It showed only ones heading north of Kuala Lumpur.

A team of 25 firemen from the Johor Fire and Rescue Department were deployed to the accident site after receiving a distress call at around 4am, The Star reported.

The department's deputy director Mohd Yusof Mohd Gunnos was quoted by The Star as saying that initial investigations showed the road surface was in good condition and it was not raining when the incident happened.

Muar police chief Azman Ayob said the bus had been travelling at a high speed during the incident.

He added the driver Zakeer Zubir had lost control of the vehicle before it plunged into the ravine.

The Star reported that Mr Zakeer did not buy tickets for his baby and his wife, who were seated at the place reserved for the co-driver.

Mr Zakeer and his baby daughter died in the incident.

Mr Zakeer's uncle, Mr Abdul Shukoor Abdul Rahim, 63, reportedly said his family wanted an explanation from the company as to on why Mr Zakeer did not have a co-driver.

The driver's mother, Madam Rasidah Abdul Rahim, 61, told reporters that he went to see her before driving off.

"He told me he was tired of the job and did not want to continue,"said Madam Rasidah.

"He couldn't take the strain and wanted to quit.

"Then he asked me to look after his two older daughters because he wanted his wife and baby to accompany him this time," she said.

Madam Rasidah said it was the first time he wanted his wife's company on a bus trip.

She said: "He said he was bored of the journey and needed his wife as a companion.

"They took the baby along because she was less than a year old."

Checks by the Road Transport Department revealed that the driver had no outstanding summonses with the department, reported the New Straits Times.

Road Transport Department director general Nadzri Siron said checks showed that the driver had no offences recorded under the department.

"Based on our records, the driver's licence and public service vehicle licence are still valid," he said.

The vehicle has also undergone inspection at Puspakom.

Muar police are investigating the crash.

Read also: Johor bus crash: 3 among the dead were to get married next year
Johor bus crash: Driver only had 3 hours rest
Muar bus crash victims buried side by side at Choa Chu Kang cemetery

This article was first published on Dec 26, 2016.
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