Malaysian transport minister expresses grief over fatal crash

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai has expressed grief over the tragic accident which claimed six lives on the North-South Expressway.

"I have instructed the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) to conduct a thorough investigation into the accident," he said in a statement.

Miros, he added, will not only identify the cause of the accident, but will also look into possibilities in engineering control, which could mitigate similar collisions and minimise the severity of injuries.

"Miros will also assess how the vehicle was maintained as well as the management and operation of the trailer," he said.

It was reported the accident happened when a family was on the way to Bidor, Perak for Qing Ming on Sunday.

The six - Lam Wai Loon, 46, who was driving, his wife Wong Check Lee, 53, and their two sons Jie Yang, 19, and Jie Hong, 13, together with Wai Loon's father Leong Choy, 76, and brother Wai Keat, 35 - died when their MPV was crushed by a trailer which lost control after it blew a tyre.

The trailer was driven by a man with a record for drug and eight road offences.

Liow expressed disappointment that despite numerous road safety campaigns by government agencies, accidents of such nature kept occurring.

"In 2016 alone, a total of 7,152 people died in road accidents in Malaysia - an alarming increase from 6,706 deaths recorded in 2015. From the studies and analysis conducted, 80.6 per cent of these accidents are caused by human error," Liow said.

MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon said a thorough investigation must be carried out into the accident to prevent it from happening again.

 

"It is time to take stern action," he said after visiting family members at Nirvana Memorial Centre on Monday.

He was seen consoling a distraught Ng Siew Yin as she broke down in tears. Ng, 71, had lost her entire immediate family in the accident.

He said one of the victims, Wai Loon, was the former Serdang MCA Youth division deputy chairman, and three of the other victims were also MCA members.

Wai Loon was also the Balakong MCA branch chairman.

"MCA, and in particular Serdang MCA, will help the family. We will lend our full support."