Van driver in the dock for causing child’s death

By Jerry Choong
Muhammad Syakir (centre) was charged at the Sessions Court for negligence and careless behaviour which resulted in the death of Muhammad Iqram Danish Abdullah. — Malay Mail pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — A school van driver, charged with causing the death of a child, spent hours in the court lock-up unsure if his bail could be posted by the end of the day.

The parents of Muhammad Syakir Khan Melok Khan turned up at about 4pm with the RM13,000 bail.

Yesterday morning, the 21-year-old was charged at the Sessions Court for negligence and careless behaviour which resulted in the death of Muhammad Iqram Danish Abdullah.

The six-year-old suffered heatstroke after being trapped for close to three hours in the school van Syakir drove on April 21.

The suspect was charged under Section 31 of the Child Act 2001 for the ill-treatment, neglect, abandonment or exposure of a child, and is liable to a RM50,000 fine, not more than 20 years imprisonment, or both.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge read before judge Zarifah Zainal Abidin.

Deputy public prosecutor M. S. Arunjothy proposed bail of RM15,000 with two guarantors.

However, defence lawyer Isherafe Ali argued the accused’s family was unable to pay the entire cost, and Muhammad Syakir’s father only had RM5,000.

After setting bail at RM13,000, the judge said the accused must surrender his passport to the court, and report twice monthly to the nearest police station. The case is set for mention on June 20.

Also in court were Syakir’s family members who declined to be identified.

In the incident, Iqram boarded Syakir’s van at 2pm to head to his kindergarten for religious classes. 

However, he was found unconscious at the back of the van at 5pm

Having initially brought Iqram to a nearby clinic, Syakir alerted his mother and rushed them both to the Sungai Buloh Hospital where Iqram was pronounced dead on arrival.Syakir (third from right) escorted by police officers at the Selayang Sessions Court yesterday.