Wednesday December 3, 2003
Kuala Lipis bus crash continues to grab headlines
THE crash at Jalan Kuala Lipis-Merapoh that claimed 14 lives on Sunday continued to grab the headlines in Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia.
Both papers allotted many pages to reports and pictures of the tragedy, including interviews with survivors and the next of kin and relatives of the victims as well as responses from various authorities.
Berita Harian front-paged the mournful scenes at several Muslim cemeteries in Kelantan where some victims were laid to rest.
A mother of one victim, Fatimah Ahmad, said that her son, Hasrul Amin Hassan, had repeatedly sought her forgiveness since the first day of Hari Raya.
“He persuaded us to take a family photo with him which we have never done before. I never thought it would be the first and the last time we would be photographed together,” she said.
The paper reported that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was sad that the tragedy had occurred and expressed his disappointment as well as anger that drivers had ignored his advice to drive safely.
He said the tragedy clearly showed that drivers never paid any attention to advice and warnings.
Utusan Malaysia front-paged a report that three drivers had been remanded until Thursday to help police investigations.
They are bus drivers Nik Zaini Nik Abdullah, 32, Mohd Yasin Mamat, 37, and school bus driver Mohd Lidan Ismail, 37.
They are being detained at the Lipis District Police headquarters.
The daily also reported the frustration of the Road Transport Department (JPJ) regarding the indifferent attitude of drivers to advice and suggestions on reducing accidents.
It quoted JPJ director-general Datuk Emran Kadir as saying that the department had run out of ideas to reduce the number of accidents during festive seasons.
He said the JPJ had taken all necessary effort to reduce road accidents but it was obvious that the attitude of drivers had not changed.
“We don’t know what else can be done. We have done everything. Even the Prime Minister had repeatedly advised drivers to be careful,” Emran was quoted as saying.