SINGAPORE, Jan 13 — A passenger who took a Starmart Express bus said he and several others were bitten by bedbugs during their journey from Kuala Lumpur, two weeks after a similar complaint about bedbugs was made against the company.
Yuvaraj Sivanathan told TODAY that he was on bus with the registration number AJB6666, which was heading towards Larkin Terminal in Johor when the incident happened.
But, a manager at the Starmart Express office in Singapore, who wanted to be known only as Mr Nathan, told TODAY that he has not heard from Mr Yuvaraj about the latest bedbug incident, and urged passengers to contact the company if they have encountered bedbugs.
The Singapore-bound bus, which left KL around 1am on Jan 11, was carrying around 10 passengers, said Yuvaraj, 26.
Half an hour into the journey, he found at least two bedbugs on his seat. Three other passengers also discovered bedbugs around the areas they were sitting at, he added.
Showing TODAY photos of the bites he suffered, Yuvaraj said he was bitten near his stomach and on parts of his legs as well. To his knowledge, another four or five passengers, who were seated near the front of the bus, were bitten as well. Adding to his woes, the vehicle broke down at around 4am, said Yuvaraj, who added that he plans to lodge a complaint with the bus company.
This is the second time that a complaint about bedbugs on board a Starmart Express bus has been made.
TODAY had reported earlier that some passengers on Starmart Express bus AJB15, which left KL for Singapore on December 26, were badly bitten by bedbugs during their journey.
One of them, 29-year-old Natalie Yap, caught about 15 bedbugs and suffered 30 bites. The bites cost her S$64 (RM199.96) in medical fees and she had to take a day’s medical leave.
The company had said then that the bus in question would be sent for a chemical wash and that investigations were being carried out.
Nathan appealed for passengers who may have encountered bedbugs and other pests during their bus journey to contact Starmart Express directly, to enable the company to take the necessary remedial action.
He urged passengers to be responsible, such as by not eating during the bus journey. Nathan also reiterated a point made by the company earlier — that there was a possibility that bedbugs found in the bus could have been introduced by the passengers themselves.
However, he stressed that all Starmart buses undergo pest-control checks every six months. Starmart Express has over 200 buses in its fleet, which ply various routes in Malaysia.
Separately, the Consumers Association of Singapore said yesterday in response to TODAY’s queries that it “did not receive any complaint regarding bedbugs on buses from 2014 to 2016”. ― TODAY