Saturday, September 20, 2008


NSTonline reports that KTM Bhd Board of Directors including its Chairman, Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek have threatened to resign over the appointment of Abd. Razak Abd. Malek as the new Managing Director KTM Bhd, replacing Datuk Mohd Salleh Abdullah. No specific reason was given, but one could guess that it has to be something serious for the entire Board of Directors to be unanimous in their disagreement over the appointment of Abd. Razak. I hope the reason is not a political one. But whatever be the reason, the Finance Ministry should take a serious note to the disagreement shown by KTM Bhd, Board of Directors.

Being a regular user of the KTM Commuter train service, my concern and that of the thousands of its users,is the poor state of service of the commuter. I had on a number of occasions written about this in my earlier postings. But despite the many assurance of improved service by KTM, nothing seemed to change; on the contrary, it is actually getting worse.

For the sake of KTM Board of Directors, let me enumerate the concern and complaints that I have so often heard from regular users of the commuter service.

1. Train delays are a daily occurrence. The effect of a single delay will cause overcrowding.
2. Peak hours is usually between 5 pm till 7 pm during working days. Just try and catch the commuter train to either Seremban or Rawang from KL Central during these times, to understand the magnitude of the problem. Shouting, shoving, fondling and even crying by embarking commuters is quite routine. I had witnessed on two occasions where women commuters faint, because of overcrowding.
3. Trains are slow and it is quite often, it stops enroute for no obvious reason. On many occasions, the train will even stop in between Seputeh and Mid Valley, which is the shortest route between two stations. I simply do not understand why this should happen.
4. There isn't enough holding rails for standing commuters to hold on, in crowded coaches. This is where sometimes, fondling occurs, sometimes by accident, especially when the train makes an abrupt stop.

The above are some perennial issues that daunt commuters, that the Board of Directors should be concern, if they are honest in wanting to improve KTM's commuter and train service. The new Managing Director, whoever that the board has in mind, must be someone who can turn around the KTM. It is obvious that the previous Managing Director, has not been so successful in making improvements to KTM.

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