Bus driver given time to engage counsel

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 21 Oct 2004

KUALA KANGSAR: An express bus driver charged with reckless driving and causing the deaths of four passengers asked the magistrate’s court here to postpone his case for four months to enable him to engage a lawyer. 

Magistrate Harmi Tambri, however, gave Abdul Khalid Harun slightly over two months and fixed Dec 27 for trial. 

Abdul Khalid made the request after Harmi first fixed his trial for Nov 29. 

He said he needed the time to meet the owner of his bus company in Singapore over the appointment of a lawyer for him. 

Abdul Khalid, 45, of Tampoi, Johor, is charged with driving a Konsortium Bas Ekspres Semenanjung bus in a reckless manner and causing the deaths of Tiang Bik Hun, 25; Sulaiman Abdullah @ Yeoh Gim Hoe, 71; Sudanese Suhair Ali Hassan, 27; and Indonesian Ramayani Rachman, 29, at the 256.9 kilometre point of the North-South Expressway near the Menora tunnel at 3.30am on Aug 15. 

The charge under section 41(1) of the Road Transport (Amendment) Act 1987 carries a maximum 10 years in jail or RM20,000 fine, or both, on conviction. 

When the trial started yesterday, Abdul Khalid asked for a postponement, saying that he had asked his employer to look for a counsel for him and he had to meet the company to discuss the matter. 

Harmi asked him to get his own counsel because he was the one who would be facing the consequences and not his company. 

“You have asked for postponement twice to engage counsel, you are only wasting the court’s time. 

“I will give you a final date to deal with your company,” he said before fixing the earlier date. 

However, Abdul Khalid said that a month was too short and he needed more time. 

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