Tim's Blog

KL Monorail - Hahaha!
We have the most politicized public transport system in the world.

A few weeks ago, the KL City Monorail system was launched on the National Day, not by some popular celebrity, but by the Prime Minister, one of his last public duties as the out-going PM.

This beleagured system has been so compromised by political bad-mouthing and tit-for-tats that the management of the KL Sentral train station had no choice but to refuse its request for a platform at the station, despite KL Sentral touting itself as the centre of public access in KL. Whoever they are, they've made KL Monorail a laughing stock.

And people are talking.

Take for example this episode:

Conspicuously present on all the KL Monorail rides are five uniformed ushers. Ushers, I repeat, ushers. xThey hang around outside the pilot's door, glance over his shoulder and chat endlessly into their walkie-talkies about the latest football scores. Why do they need five ushers for a train that's only TWO cars long, I asked one of them.

"Passenger safety, sir."
"You mean this train is unsafe?"
"No, sir."
"In case
terrorist lagi bomb?"
"No, sir. Passenger safety, sir."

Whatever reason they have for being onboard, Larry, Moe, Tom, Dick and Harry were in no position to hurry the train along. It moves at the pace of a snail with two joints up its ass, it stops for a full five minutes at every stop and the time between trains is 12 minutes. With only a dozen stops on the line, that would mean that the KL Monorail has no more than eight active trains. Eight?! Ha!

Here's the kicker: the Monorail operates only BETWEEN peak periods. That's right. It starts AFTER 9.30am and ends its service BEFORE 5pm.

This isn't a train service. It's a geriatric bus route operated by a narcoleptic.

Why have a train system at all that works at such ridiculous hours and at such a ridiculous pace, despite having been in planning and construction for several years and was so high-profile that only the Prime Minister himself could open it?

We're left with the most Malaysian of all reasons: To save face by disguising that the project's funding had been cut so drastically and whatever was left had gone into so many dubious accounts that they had nothing left to operate it properly.

posted at 03:23:26 PM on 09/23/2003 by timyang - Category: General


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