Genting stage bus firm's licence suspended

Genting stage bus firm's licence suspended

KUALA LUMPUR - The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has suspended the licence of Genting Highlands Transport Sdn Bhd, the operator of the stage bus that crashed and claimed the lives of 37 people in August.

The notice of suspension, which would be enforced starting Nov 25, was sent to the bus operator's headquarters on Monday.

In statement issued by the commission yesterday, it said the suspension slapped against the bus operator was made based on a Industry Code of Practice (ICOP) on Safety audit report concluded over the mishap.

"The suspension was enforced after scrutinising the audit report prepared by a team from the commission on the accident.

"The bus operator has seven days from the date of the notice, which is Nov 18, to inform passengers about the suspension.

"As an alternative, Resort World Tour Sdn Bhd will provide express bus services for visitors to travel from Pudu Sentral in Kuala Lumpur Sentral and the Putra LRT station in Gombak, to Genting Highlands," the commission said.

The notice was issued nine days after the decision to suspend the bus operator was announced by the commission's chairman, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.

The decision followed a report by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), which discovered that the bus operator had failed to comply with safety regulations.

It was also found that the bus had been travelling beyond the permitted speed limit, compounded by faulty brakes, which had prevented the vehicle from stopping as it approached a sharp bend in Jalan Genting on Aug 21.

During the accident, described as the nation's worst bus crash, the bus, which was bound for Kuala Lumpur, plunged into the ravine at Km3.5 of Jalan Genting near Chin Swee Temple at 2.45pm.

Survivors of the accident said the bus driver was negotiating a bend before the ravine when he lost control of the vehicle.

Five foreigners were among the 37 who died in the accident while 16 were injured.

The commission is set to train 1,000 taxi drivers and equip them with soft skills ahead of Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal said, under the Teksi 1Malaysia programme, drivers would be taught about customer service, conversational language skills, route planning, budgeting, places of interest, with emphasis on instilling pride in drivers.

He said SPAD would step up spot checks on taxis during Visit Malaysia Year 2014 to ensure that taxis adhered to the regulations, including attire, cleanliness and safety.

Last year, under the Tourism Taxi Ambassador Programme, more than 20 taxi associations from the Klang Valley had sent 4,000 taxi drivers for the course.

The training is a collaboration between SPAD and the Tourism Ministry.

Tourism Ministry assistant director of Industrial Development Division Nadia Monira Mohamad Taib said pamphlets on popular locations in Malaysia would be provided to taxi drivers to promote tourist hot spots.

These, she said, would be placed at the rear seat pockets of taxis for easy access by tourists or passengers.

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