Singaporean dies in car wash mishap in JB

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Disember 8, 2009 oleh ruslyislam


Malaysia insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The Malaysian police are looking for a Bangladeshi worker believed to have been behind the wheel of a car which rammed into a Singaporean, killing him instantly.

The Bangladeshi is an employee of the SK Car Wash Centre in Jalan Tombak, a 15-minute drive into Johor Baru from the Causeway.

The man killed, Seow Wei Hua, 31, had driven his car in for a wash last Saturday evening.

The accountant was sitting on a sofa in the waiting area on the outdoor porch when a Singapore-registered Toyota Camry reversed into him, crushing him against the wall behind the sofa.

According to witnesses, the Bangladeshi worker, on seeing what he had done, fled the scene immediately on foot.

The car wash, which operates daily from 8am until midnight, has been closed since the incident.

The Straits Times understands that the worker was trying to reverse the Camry into a space near the sofa, but had stepped too hard on the accelerator.

The Camry belongs to a Singaporean who had left it at the car wash and gone for a meal nearby.

At the wake in Bukit Batok West for Seow yesterday, his mother — who wanted to be known only as Loh — said that the family was still trying to come to terms with the death.

The housewife had just returned from visiting relatives in Johor Baru that night when she got a call saying that her son had met with an accident.

“It was someone at the scene, using my son’s phone to call me. I could tell it was serious,” said Madam Loh, 57, in Mandarin. Unable to find a taxi-driver willing to drive to Malaysia at midnight, she, together with her daughter and son-in-law, hitched a ride with a delivery van driver to go across the Causeway.

They rushed to the hospital Seow had been taken to, only to be told that he had died.

In tears, she said that her only son often went to Johor Baru with friends to eat and shop. At times, he would also drive to the car wash.

She added that he was a car fanatic and had bought his red Kia Picanto about two years ago. He kept it in good condition, and often added accessories to it.

Loh said that car wash workers who are unfamiliar with the vehicles should not be allowed to drive them. There should also be a room for drivers to wait while their vehicles are being washed, she said.

Yesterday, regular patrons were turning up at SK Car Wash, which operates out of a terrace house that can fit about six cars in its compound, to find it closed.

It typically costs RM8 for a car wash in Malaysia while a similar service in Singapore costs S$7 (RM17.11).

Jalan Tombak is situated in the popular Sentosa area, which Singaporeans often frequent.

Singaporean N.T. Ho, 40, told The Straits Times that he has been leaving his car there to be washed once a week for the past two years while he gets a foot massage and does some shopping.

The Choa Chu Kang resident said: “They actually do a very good job. I leave my car keys with the workers so they can move my car once they’re done with the job.”

Commenting on the incident, he said: “It’s an isolated accident and was just unfortunate. But it will not put me off coming back here.”

It is not known if the SK Car Wash workers have valid driving licences.

But a check at a nearby car wash in Taman Sri Tebrau shows that workers there do not drive their customers’ cars.

A worker there said: “We let our customers move their cars. We just do the

washing.”

According to media reports, the Bangladeshi worker has been working there for two years and lived in the company hostel.

Said Loh: “He should be punished. Because he was careless, it took away a life and my son’s gone.” — The Straits Times

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