Was the Genting crash really fated to happen?

The Genting bus crash is undoubtedly the worst bus tragedy so far with no less than 37 deaths. Was it really fated to happen? CAP believes that it was not something fated to happen, which is an act of God, but something waiting to happen due to human negligence in all sectors.

Despite the many contradictions in media reports it is clear that the bus was in bad shape even before the journey.  The tyres were worn out and the bus was old and dilapidated according to the survivors. Since it was already blacklisted by the authorities, how was it allowed on the road?

According to media reports, the bus company had sent the bus for routine checks and it had been certified roadworthy. If that were true, were some of the worn out parts replaced with good ones before inspection and then later changed back?

This is not an isolated case of fraudulent methods used to get PUSPAKOM certification. Workshops specializing in doing the fitting of the parts are enjoying good business. This is an open secret and the authorities are well aware of it, but there is no political will to overcome the problem. Therefore, we continue to have PUSPAKOM certified vehicles running on the road which are actually not roadworthy.

The Genting bus was a stage bus plying the route on a daily basis. It was a 44-seater but carrying 53 passengers. At least 7 passengers were standing. According to regular visitors to Genting by bus this was normal. Why are buses plying highland routes allowed standing passengers? Licence should not be granted.

The survivors also complained that the driver had an altercation with a Honda car driver. It was after that that the driver drove even faster and ended up with the plunge.

This is about driver, bus and enforcement problems. If the bus company had adopted the Occupational Safety and Health Industry Code of Practice for Road and Transport Activities (ICOP-SHE) program, it would have helped. The ICO-SHE is a full package that ensures proper management of the bus driver, trips, health, wages, bus condition, etc.

CAP calls on the authorities to urgently look into the following:
• Implementation of ICOP-SHE program by all transport companies without further delay;

• Buses for highland journeys should not be allowed to carry standing passengers;

• Stop the illegal activities associated with swapping spare parts on vehicles sent for PUSPAKOM testing

• Bus companies should be pushed to have buses that satisfy UNECE R66 for bus body construction and seat anchorage.

Letter to the Editor, 23 August 2013