A Malaysian bus company today refuted an allegation that its driver had not slept for three days, resulting in a recent accident where some Singaporeans were injured.
The Billion Stars Express bus departed Singapore for Kuala Lumpur on Nov. 22 and was traveling along a highway in Johor when it swerved to its left, crashed into a ditch and fell onto its side. The incident left passengers injured, including one who reportedly fractured her collarbone.
Photos posted to Facebook showed police, rescue personnel, and an ambulance at the scene. At least two Singaporeans have called out the bus firm for their lack of accountability, one of whom has also accused the driver of not having slept for 72 hours prior to the trip.
“Please be informed that there are false information and/or allegations spread virally via social media, namely Facebook, about the road incident involved motorbus bearing number AGW 6755,” a statement by Billion Stars Express said.
“We regret that the incident happened and we wish the casualty recover soon. Kindly be noted that the company had provided the necessary assistance to the passengers involved. We urge the public to stop viral false information and allegations.”
According to the Today news outlet, the driver in question claims he had 10 hours of sleep before the trip. The police have also fined him about RM300 (S$98) for careless driving.
Allegation made against the driver was posted online by a woman named Kahironbe Mirah-mohideen, who said that her daughter and friends were on that bus and that the company had neither contacted them nor responded to calls since the accident.
“Billionstars Express, boycott them! We got to know that the driver did not sleep for 72 hours!” her post read, without elaborating on how she learned of the driver’s alleged lack of sleep. The post has been shared more than 500 times as of the time of writing.
Separately, passenger Hanissah Abdullah also claimed that Billion Stars Express did nothing for the 20 passengers involved in the incident.
She said: “Billionstar bus company has taken no ownership towards the accident that me and other 20 lives have gone through this. Nothing, zero. (not even an apology).”
A representative of the bus company told Today the passengers were not contacted because the firm did not have their particulars. This contradicted the fact that passengers are required to provide their personal details when booking bus rides through the company, the report cited.
Hanissah, 21, who fractured her collarbone in the incident, also told the outlet that bags fell off the overhead compartments when the bus crashed. Her friend, who was flung off of her seat, ended up with cuts to her face and glass shards on her palm.
They managed to escape from the bus after rescue personnel opened the vehicle’s roof, she added.
Hanissah and friends did not go to the hospital and boarded another bus by Billion Stars Express, continuing their trip to Kuala Lumpur. They flew back to Singapore on Sunday.
Neither Hanissah, Kahironbe nor Billion Stars Express have responded to Coconuts Singapore’s online inquiries at press time.
Tour bus from hell?
This isn’t the first time Singapore passengers have called out the bus company for bad experiences.
A Raz Ana had complained last month that the Billion Stars Express bus she boarded en route to Kuala Lumpur had hit a truck, causing up to six hours of delay.
Even Singaporean comic artist Sonny Liew has warned people on Facebook against the company, which is known for its “zero communication.”
“All these one-star reviews of Billion Stars Express are true. Avoid like the plague unless you consider the hours of your life utterly expendable on endless waiting, as the driver attempts to find the most convoluted, slowest, route possible from Point A to B while offering zero communication,” he wrote in August.
People have been giving one-star reviews to the company on TripAdvisor. One of them even said: “WHY IS THIS COMPANY NOT BANKRUPT YET?!?!”
Find all episodes of The Coconuts Podcast