PETALING JAYA: Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming today took Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai to task over the recent spate of train derailments, the latest of which disrupted services on the line connecting the Segambut, Putra, Bank Negara and Kuala Lumpur stations.
In a statement, he said Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTM) had suffered three major derailments in the past three months.
He slammed Liow for “remaining conspicuously silent” throughout all three disruptions despite KTM being under the purview of the transport ministry.
He also questioned the status of the Malaysia Transportation Safety Board (MTSB), which was meant to carry out independent investigations of accidents for all modes of transport including rail accidents.
He said the act to establish the MTSB was supposed to have been in the final stages last December, but there had been no sign that it would be tabled in the current parliamentary session.
“If this statutory body had been established this year, it could have been tasked with investigating these recent derailment accidents.
“But because of the ineptitude of the minister, we are left pointing fingers and none of us any the wiser as to the cause of these accidents and how to prevent them in the future,” he said.
In the incident yesterday, 12 wagons of a south-bound goods train derailed between the Bank Negara and Kuala Lumpur railway stations.
KTM said train services were only expected to return to normal in three days.
On Sept 23, a snapped electrical cable between the Rawang and Kuang stations caused track closures for two days.
On Aug 21, meanwhile, a cargo train derailed at Jalan Kuching, causing delays for several days.
Ong said it was ironic that billions of ringgit had been spent on the MRT when the KTM Komuter service, which was used by more than 100,000 commuters a day, continued to be “sub-par” and “plagued by major disruptions”.
He commended the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) for its response to yesterday’s derailment, but urged it to do more.
“It must not leave the investigation of the most recent cargo train derailment solely to KTM.
“SPAD itself must lead the investigation and make public the findings in the interest of transparency,” he said.