Dr Lee Boon Chye, Gopeng Member of Parliament (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) demands the setting up on Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Simpang Pulai Express Bus accident which claimed 27 lives. This is the 5th such accidents in the country over the past 2 years.
After arriving at the site of accident together with Perak Teja State Assemblymen Chang Lih Kang, which happened to be in Gopeng Parliamentary Constituency, Dr Lee expressed concern about the frequency of similar accident past two years and the large number of casualty.
He felt that this could not be attributed to human error alone as past accidents revealed startling facts such as deplorable road-worthiness of the express bus and incompetent and unqualified bus drivers.
To date 5 accidents past 2 years have claimed total of 61 lives and this must be viewed seriously because express bus is the most popular mode of public transportation. Furthermore most foreign tourists rely on express bus to reach various tourist destinations in the country. Such accidents certainly are detrimental to the tourism industry, besides adversely affect the reputation of our country.
The Royal Commission should examine all the 5 accidents involving express buses past 2 years and seek to determine:
1. The road worthiness of the express bus concern,
2. Any loophole in the process of examination of express bus and other commercial vehicles by PUSPAKOM to ensure road-worthiness,
3. Qualification of the express bus drivers concern,
4. Whether the bus driver complied to instruction to rest after 2 hours of driving,
5. Whether there is sufficient time and suitable place for bus drivers to rest,
6. Whether there is defects in road design which can be improved upon and
7. Whether there is a need to revise the speed limit for express buses and measures to ensure compliance with speed limit.
At the end of the day, the Royal Commission should recommend to the Transport Ministry measures to undertake to ensure consumer safety and comfort in using express bus services.
“I have held dialogues with express bus drivers last year and I am concern about their plight, especially low wage, poor medical and other benefits. I have brought their problems in the Parliament at 24th March 2010 and I have recommended better remuneration especially minimal monthly wage so that the bus drivers can have decent living standards without the need to drive extra trips. This will ensure the bus drivers are always in good condition to ferry the passengers to safe destination.”