Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It was the first Monday in January. I had an appointment at 12 noon in Menara Tan & Tan, Jalan Tun Razak. As usual, I waited for the 11 o'clock train at the University Station. The train came but did not move after half a minute as the norm. The doors remained open for about 10 long minutes. This was repeated at Kerinchi, Abdullah Hukum, Bangsar, KL Sentral, Pasar Seni and Masjid Jame' where the stops were much longer than the usual 25 seconds. At Pasar Seni and Mesjid Jame', I saw many policemen on the platform. Although a bit alarmed, I remained in my seat. I had no idea whatsoever at what was going on.

I began to get alarmed when the train reversed at Mesjid Jame' and many people got off at Pasar Seni. I was too deep in thought that I could only get off at KL Sentral so that I could catch a train that is going to Ampang Park. On reaching Mesjid Jame' for the second time, there was a Rapid KL staff shouting that the train I was on will be going back to Kelana Jaya and those going towards Wangsa Maju had to get down and wait for another train on the the OTHER platform. I was already late for my appointment by then and had to reschedule it.

Apparently, there was some problems with the track between Damai and Wangsa Maju and the trains became shuttle trains. Rapid KL was caught with its pants down. It was a big SNAFU and obviously Rapid KL was not fully prepared for it. It was only later, on my back that there was a small notice that I saw at Ampang Park informing passengers of the problem. There was a megaphone used at Ampang Park Station telling passengers which platform to use. In spite of that passengers going to Kelana Jaya had to rush from one platform to another because coordination was poor.

Next day I scanned the papers for the news of the SNAFU. Rapid KL must have an excellent relations with the press because the incident was not reported. On Thursday, when I hesistantly took the LRT again, I saw Rapid KL staff with walkie-talkies on the train. At least somebody learned from mistakes.

LRT is now getting popular as a public transport. Apart from the occasional offensive body odour, incessant loud talking on the phone and younger people who cannot read signs to give the seat to pregnant women and old people, I have no complaint. But when you are not prepared for breakdowns, I cannot forgive you. Can you?