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Genting Highlands bus crash: Driver pleads not guilty

The tour bus driver pleaded not guilty to charges of dangerous driving and operating without a license in a Genting Highlands accident that killed two Chinese tourists. The bus company could face severe penalties, including a RM500,000 fine and jail time.



Genting Highlands bus crash: Driver pleads not guilty
(Photo courtesy of Sinar Harian/IPD Bentong)

MALAYSIA: The tour bus driver involved in the Genting Highlands accident, which resulted in the deaths of two Chinese tourists, pleaded not guilty at a Magistrate’s Court in Bentong.

The accused, S. Anand Kumar, 32, from Klang, Selangor, appeared before Magistrate Siti Aisyah Ahmad on Wednesday (3 July) to face charges of driving dangerously and not possessing a valid driving licence.

The incident occurred on Saturday (29 June), around 10:20 am at KM16.5, Jalan Genting Highlands (downhill), in Bentong.

According to the charge sheet, Kumar was driving the tour bus dangerously, which led to the deaths of Zhang Ping, 58, and Wang Suhong, 49.

Kumar faces charges under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to RM50,000 (approximately US$10,595).

Additionally, he was charged under Section 26(1) of the same act for driving without a valid license, an offence that could result in a fine between RM300 (US$63) and RM2,000 (US$423), up to three months in jail, or both.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Zamharir Muhammad Zuhid requested bail be set at RM12,000 (US$2,542) for both charges with one surety and sought to prohibit Kumar from applying for a driving license until the court cases concluded.

In response, Kumar, who was unrepresented, stated that he supports his mother, a person with disabilities (OKU), on a monthly income of RM1,000 (US$211) to RM1,500 (US$317).

Magistrate Siti Aisyah set bail at RM8,000 (US$1,695) with one surety and scheduled 7 August for the next mention, allowing time for the appointment of a lawyer and submission of documents.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Anthony Loke addressed potential consequences for the tour bus company involved in the crash.

Minister Loke indicated that the company could face a fine of up to RM500,000 (US$105,945) and potential jail time under a rarely-used section of the Road Transport Act.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the bus was over 15 years old and its operating permit had expired four months ago.

“We view this very seriously,” he stated at a press conference.

Minister Loke noted that the company holds 15 permits for tour buses and 18 for factory buses, with the permit for the bus involved in the accident expiring on 16 February.

The Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) has been directed to investigate the tour bus company thoroughly.

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When caught, all sorts of excuse.

The roads there are not forgiving. Why take the risk? Just to save a little money? Is that how much human life is worth to this business?

Last edited 12 days ago by Blankslate