Singaporean woman killed in Malaysia bus crash was loving mother celebrating wedding anniversary

Ms Serina Mat Idris, 27, with her husband Ahmad Sumidja on an earlier trip to Genting in August 2018.
Ms Serina Mat Idris, 27, with her husband Ahmad Sumidja on an earlier trip to Genting in August 2018.PHOTO: MR YUSRY MAT IDRIS

SINGAPORE - She was on her way to Genting to celebrate her three-year wedding anniversary with her husband, baby boy and other family members.

But Ms Serina Mat Idris never made it to her destination.

The 27-year-old Singaporean childcare teacher died after she was flung out of a double-decker tour bus in a road accident in the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan on Friday morning (Dec 7).

Her brother, administrative officer Yusry Mat Idris, 41, told The Straits Times on Saturday that Ms Serina and 13 other family members had been seated at the top deck of the Transtar Travel tour bus when the accident happened.

Ms Serina and her nearly two-year-old son were in the front row. Her husband, Mr Ahmad Sumidja, was in the second row, and Mr Yusry was in the third.

Mr Yusry said his sister was wearing a seat belt but shortly before the accident her son wanted milk, so she unbuckled her seat belt and carried him over to her father, who was seated in the fifth row.

While Ms Serina was standing and preparing milk for her son, Mr Yusry noticed a stationary lorry in the distance and in the same lane that the bus was travelling on.

Other cars ahead of them began signalling and changing lanes to avoid the lorry but Mr Yusry said their bus continued travelling straight towards the lorry.

It was then that he realised something was wrong.

He yelled at Ms Serina to warn her but as she was preparing milk for her son, she did not react until it was too late.

Mr Yusry said that as his sister turned to look at him after his warning, the bus crashed into the lorry.

The impact threw her through the front window of the bus.


The impact from the collision threw Ms Serina Mat Idris through the front window of the bus. PHOTO: NEGERI SEMBILAN FIRE AND RESCUE DEPARTMENT

As Mr Yusry was able to brace himself beforehand, he was not injured. Ms Serina, however, was not so fortunate.

"I saw my sister lying (on the road)... She didn't move at all... I expected the worst," Mr Yusry said.

Mr Ahmad was flung out of the bus as well and broke his foot. Despite his injuries, he hurried over to Ms Serina's side to try and help her. Ms Serina's father also rushed over, but it was too late.

"When my father looked at me and shook his head, I knew the worst (had happened). I knew my sister was not there anymore," said Mr Yusry.

Fortunately, his nephew was not injured in the accident. Mr Yusry's warning earlier gave his father enough time to shield Ms Serina's son and protect him from harm.

Mr Yusry declined to say whether the family would be taking action against the coach company, Transtar Travel.

 

A spokesman for Ms Serina's employer, the PAP Community Foundation (PCF), said: "We are saddened by the demise of our PCF Sparkletots teacher, Ms Serina Mat Idris. PCF extends our heartfelt condolences to her family."

Ms Serina's body was brought back to Singapore on Saturday morning. She was buried at the Muslim Cemetery at Lim Chu Kang soon after.

Mr Yusry spoke fondly of his sister, the youngest of four siblings.

"She's a very jovial, bubbly kind of person who always liked to joke," he said.

He recalled how she would constantly call him and playfully tease him over the phone, joking about "anything and everything under the sun".

"She's a very lovable sister," he said.

He added that the family is traumatised, in shock and still cannot accept what happened.

"We're trying to cope with it, but it's quite hard... It's very sudden. Furthermore, she's the youngest. We love her very much," he said.

The situation is especially difficult for the family because of Ms Serina's son, who is too young to understand what happened.

"Every time I look at him, I break down," said Mr Yusry. He said that Ms Serina used to love taking her son to the arcade, where they would play claw machine games together.

"(Her son) would always jump with joy when he looked at her... He would always look for her. He was very close to her," Mr Yusry added.