KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he has advised fellow Umno MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman to apologise for the gaffes during the latter’s press conference yesterday on Monday's LRT train crash.
The Pekan MP said he had contacted the Prasarana Malaysia Berhad chairman, who is also Pasir Salak MP, to offer his advice.
"I told him to apologise for the way he conducted himself during the press conference, as a tragedy where many have been injured is not the time to be frivolous," Najib said in a Facebook post.
The former prime minister said Tajuddin acknowledged he should not have behaved in such a manner during the press conference.
"He admitted the press conference ought to have been handled better, with greater empathy and information. He will also apologise to the journalists in attendance, especially to China's Phoenix TV reporter.
"Asides from bearing the full medical costs of the crash's victims, Tajuddin will also instruct Prasarana to increase the amount offered from RM1,000 to a more satisfactory figure. This is not compensation but emergency assistance for the victims," he said.
Najib added that Prasarana will also aid the victims in claiming compensation from the Social Security Organisation, and from any employers with private insurance for their staff.
"He has also promised that a full-scale investigation into the tragedy's cause will not hide any information nor protect anyone, as well as promising to ensure an improvement of the safety standard operating procedures will be implemented as soon as possible to avoid a repeat of this calamity.
"Tajuddin has also promised to resign as chairman as soon as Umno's leadership instructs all party members to do so, per the decision made at the party's annual general meeting several months ago," he said.
Tajuddin's conduct during the press conference has drawn flak from many quarters over his remarks and perceived lack of professional conduct.
Yesterday, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said the crash was due to human error, which resulted when an empty, manually-driven carriage went in the wrong direction and collided with the autonomous passenger-laden carriage.
Based on the Land Public Transport Agency's preliminary investigation findings, the empty carriage was supposed to travel south-bound towards the Dang Wangi station, but had instead gone in the opposite direction and towards the other coach that was static at the KLCC station.
The occupied train had 213 passengers, of whom 64 were rushed for medical treatment. Six passengers sustained serious injuries, and three required ventilator support.
Prasarana's existing offer also included coverage for victims’ medical expenses from admission until discharge, as well as coverage for lost income caused by the accident.