'He was one of the most careful drivers I've known'

It was supposed to be a routine trip for Mr Ahmad Zaki Kassim.

The bus driver, with more than a decade of experience, was on his way home to Singapore from Genting Highlands after dropping off a group of tourists when tragedy struck.

Around 4.45pm on Friday, his bus, which was empty, was involved in a six-vehicle pile-up on the North-South Highway near Senawang in Negri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Mr Ahmad, 33, was killed on the spot, Bernama news agency reported.

A police spokesman said that a tanker lorry heading south from Seremban spun out of control and stalled across the expressway.

This caused the pile-up, which also involved a passenger car, a taxi, a motorcycle and a lorry carrying construction material, the report added.

Malaysian Rasidah Abdul Latip, 30, and her 10-month-old baby boy, who were passengers in the car, were also killed in the accident.

The car was driven by her husband, Mr Khairul Nazri Yusof, 34, who was seriously injured.

He was taken to the Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital in Seremban for treatment along with the pillion rider on the motorcycle, who was also badly hurt.

Mr Ahmad's wife, Madam Latifah, told Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao that he had been a bus driver for more than 10 years.

"Before the accident, he called to promise that he would take our four children out for fast food," said Madam Latifah, who has three sons and a daughter, aged between four and 11.

He had joined his new company, WTS Travel, in April, she added.

Madam Latifah said her husband was a very filial, hardworking and thrifty man.

She also told Lianhe Wanbao that she had not told Mr Ahmad's family about the accident as she was not sure how they would take it.

She added that Mr Ahmad's father is paralysed.

When The New Paper on Sunday visited Mr Ahmad's family at their flat in Bukit Panjang last night, his wife was too distraught to talk.

A family member said that Mr Ahmad's body had just arrived in Singapore.

He added: "(Madam Latifah) has been very weak, but trying to remain strong for the children."

A colleague of Mr Ahmad's, who wanted to be known only as Mr Surya, told TNPS that he was shocked when he heard about the accident.

"This is very unexpected because he was one of the most careful drivers I've known. He was always cautious and would never speed."


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