Sunday, October 29, 2006

TRANSPORT MINISTER SHOCKING Disclosure: NO Local Understands LRT Breakdowns? Foreign Consultant Appointment Needed To AUDIT Incidents of LRT Failures

RAPID KL CEO Assures Communters It Provides BEST SERVICE At ALL Times; LRT Trains -TOP CONDITION; LAST 30 YEARS; DRIVERS Well Trained But No ASSURANCE When twill the Next Accident Occur?

The CEO claimed that a FULL Report of the July 24 incident has been submitted to the Transport Ministry, then why are we waiting?. Ministry doing some "improments", "enhancements" or "doctoring" on it? Perhaps the LRT trains are running too rapid like the rabbits, slow down, reduce speeds and void accidents as the police said.

The police should now conduct speed traps on these LRT trains to ensure they do not exceed the permitted speed limits, if any specified by the Railyway authorities. Take your ride on LRT and take the risk.

LRT Trains Still In Good Condition, Says Rapid KL CEO;

October 31, 2006 20:57 PM
PETALING JAYA, Oct 31 (Bernama) -- Rapid KL says its Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains are still in good condition despite being involved in several incidents over the last three months. Its Chief Executive Officer Rein Westra said the trains have a lifespan of 30 years but nevertheless the company had not stopped making improvements to the operations and services to ensure it provides the best service to all its customers. "We regret there have been a number of incidents and service disruptions recently and we take the matter very seriously.”For each case, we have set up an investigation team which will carefully analyse every aspect and report the findings in an independent manner," he told a press conference Tuesday.

Westra said investigation findings would be submitted to the Transport Ministry and it was up to the minister to release it to the public. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said Monday findings of investigations by the Railway Department and an Independent Checking Engineer (ICE) on the three LRT mishaps would be made public. Westra said Rapid KL had submitted a full report to the ministry on the July 24 incident. In that incident, over 1,000 commuters in three Putra LRT trains were stranded in the tunnel between the Central Market and Dang Wangi stations when the electric-powered trains suddenly stopped at about 7pm. Westra said Rapid KL hoped to complete the interim reports on the Oct 6 incident by Nov 15 and last Friday's by next week, at the latest. On Oct 6, the electronically-manned Putra LRT service between Gombak and Ampang was disrupted for 10 hours when a LRT train stalled between Datuk Keramat and Damai stations, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded. On Aug 23, about 5,000 Putra LRT passengers were stranded for an hour at the Masjid Jamek Station when water seeped into the main train. Last Friday, an empty Star LRT coach overshot the track at the stabling area in Sentul Timur Station. Over the last three months, there were three incidents of failures in the LRT system -- two involving Kelana Jaya Line (formerly known as Putra LRT) and the latest on last Friday involving Sri Petaling Line (formerly known as Star LRT).

Westra said the LRT driver involved in last Friday's incident has been suspended in line with the Standard Operating Procedures until further notice. Star LRT has 90 well-trained drivers. The Star LRT line has been operating since 1996 while the Putra line two years later. Both the LRT systems have more than 1,200 employees, most of whom have been working with the systems between eight and 12 years.

See previous post on

STALLED LRT Causes – COACH “Missing” From CONTROL TOWER Screen; “MALFUNCTION of BACK-UP SYSTEM” –CEO Rapid KL; SABOTAGE Ruled OUT- DG Railway dated Tuesday, July 25, 2006= = = =

ANOTHER MYSTERY U-Turn By TRANSPORT MINISTER on NO Foreign CONSULTANT; Now REPORTS Vetting by INDEPENDENT Checking Engineer; ALL 3 Reports Be Publicized (put them on website!): And SAMY Research Paper

The Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy was quick to response to the call by NIOS Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye for the reports to be made public. But it is a mystery why this U-turn on the appointment of the foreign consultant is suddenly reversed. He must have better counsel and perhaps to save cost. The findings are to be made public and it would most probably cost a bomb to purchase them. Why not post i\them on the Ministry of Transport website for everyone to enjoy ifthere is nothing to hide

And believe it or not our Minister Samy Vellu did present a paper (see report below) – as a submitted paper under the programme. But if the Bernama title is taken, then it must be very backwardBack to the Drawing Board For Engineers. Do engineers still use “drawing boards”? All of them are now using CAD programme and the defacto is AutoCAD (release 2007, the current version)

Findings On Three LRT Mishaps Will Be Made Public, Says Chan; October 30, 2006 20:33 PM

RAWANG, Oct 30 (Bernama) -- Investigation reports on the three Light Rail Transit (LRT) mishaps will be made public, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said Monday. He said the incidents, which occurred over a span of three months, are being investigated by the Railway Department and an Independent Checking Engineer (ICE). "We are not going to hide anything. All reports will be made public. Action will be taken against the people responsible under the Railway Act 1991," he told reporters after handing over the Desa Kuala Garing housing project to squatters. Chan said the three incidents would be investigated by the Railway Department and the ICE instead by a foreign consultant as was decided earlier. He said a preliminary report on a LRT coach overshooting the track at the stabling area in Sentul Timur Station on Friday was submitted to his ministry today but he had not read it as he was away to inspect the Ipoh-Rawang double-track rail project. The report will determine whether the incident was caused by a mechanical fault or due to the driver's negligence.

"As the Transport Minister, I cannot accept the fact that three incidents have occurred in three months. We have to investigate the incidents right down to the root causes," he added. Within three months, there were three incidents of failures in the LRT system -- two involving Kelana Jaya Line (formerly known as Putra LRT Line) and the latest on Friday involving Sentul Line (formerly known as

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And believe it or NOT, Datuk Samy Vellu has presented a paper

STAR LRT Line). On Aug 23, about 5,000 Putra LRT commuters were stranded for one hour at the Masjid Jamek Station when water seeped into the main train.

On Oct 6, the track between Gombak and Ampang was closed for 10 hours when a LRT train stalled between Datuk Keramat and Damai stations, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded. On Friday, an empty Star LRT coach overshot the track at about 7am at the stabling area at the Sentul Timur station, forcing the track to be closed for more than 20 minutes. Two heavy duty cranes were used to pull it back to safety.
= = =

Back To The Drawing Board For Engineers; October 30, 2006 10:26 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 (Bernama) -- Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu wants to promote change in the way the Public Works Department (PWD) and Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) think and manage projects. He wants the PWD to develop, equip and train a workforce able to embrace new innovations and technologies to oversee the implementation of projects.

"If a new method of building and delivering roads and highways is to become standard practice, communicating the information, new practices and new innovations is critical.”Without a high level of communication, innovative approaches would remain with those who initially developed or employed them," he said when delivering a paper at the 22nd Australia Road Research Board (ARRB) conference in Canberra, Monday. The text of his speech was made available here. Samy Vellu said that recounting the successes and lessons learned from related agencies in other countries tended to instil a higher level of understanding and appreciation of the challenges as well as the benefits. He proposed that the PWD and the MHA embark on staff and information sharing with ARRB and other relevant agencies around the world. "Transferring technology to users in the field should include training of personnel and education at the technical, associate, undergraduate and graduate levels," he said. Samy Vellu said the successful implementation of projects called for extensive research before and after the completion of projects. "Documentation is important as it involves collecting facts and figures on construction conditions, costs, results, outcomes and benefits prior to construction, during the work, and after completion of the project.”One use for documentation is to employ it for teaching the concepts and applications to young (new) engineers," he added.

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The High Tech LRT seems beyond the SCOPE and UNDERSTANDING of the Railway Department which is capable only to oversee diesel locomotives failures in our one track Railway. So all along when the reports of the LRT failures were submitted they were kept to gather dust. If a consultant is needed to audit these incidents, it is anyone guesses how the “thorough investigations” are being carried out. In an accounting procedure, auditors are employed to check on a company’s account to ascertain the correctness of the figures submitted. Is the minister suggesting and suspecting a lot of cover-ups in stating the “actual problems” in the reports submitted so far? A foreign consultant is needed to check on these.

Are there not any experts around the country to determine whether a failure is due to “mechanical faults or driver’s negligence” that a foreign consultant is needed? Where are all the professors in the so many universities offering Mechanical courses and the Mechanical experts in the Railway that we cannot determine the causes and a foreigner is needed to do so?
What are needed perhaps are proper guidelines and procedures in investigation whereby the “evidence” are impounded and carried out by local independent bodies rather than by the companies operating the LRT. In this way, the evidence is not temper with.

Another worrying aspect is that with only one driver on board, it is his words against accusation of being negligent? In a complex LRT systems with so many automatic controls and sensors it is more likely the problems are coming from this end rather than the often quoted “human negligence or mechanical faults”. There should also be similar “black boxes” as in aircrafts to monitor the essential operating parameters like speed and voice.

Meanwhile Datuk Seri Samy Vellu is lapping it up in Canberra for a 5 day conference in Canberra, Australia which tailgates very nicely with his Deepavali Holidays. According to Bernama’s report (see below) Samy is “expected to highlight Malaysia's interest in enhancing its cooperation” But a check here on the list of invited speakers at 22nd ARRB Conference is all are academics. If his trip is sponsored by the Aussie Government, at least the taxpayer would not have to forked out A$1980 (RM5554.00) per participant and you think MAS provide the FREE AIR TICKET? We wonder who the other two are tagging along for a trip. Are they from the academics and do you think the Federal Roads would be safer ?

Let us see what he brings back this time. The last time he went to London, there was a lot of noise after he returned and announced (see Bernama’s Oct 15 report below) to the media that the Intelligent Transportation System (IRS) Master Plan is being studied for possible implementation.
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Govt To Appoint Foreign Consultant To Audit Railway Mishaps

KUANTAN, Oct 29 (Bernama) -- The government will appoint a foreign consultant to assist the Railway Department to audit recent incidents of failures in the light-railway system. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said thorough investigations would be carried out on the recent problems of Star LRT and Putra LRT which have raised eyebrows and the people's confidence in the light-railway system. "I agree with the proposal by the Railway Department to appoint a foreign consultant to have a joint audit team with us on all incidents," he told reporters after opening the Kuantan Han Inn Association meeting today.
Chan said
Germany and other European countries have been short listed due to their experience in handling light-railway system for more than 100 years. He said investigations are in progress to find out the root causes of the incidents and action would be taken against the people responsible.

"I am taking these incidents very seriously. Within three months there are three incidents. We can't wait for another more serious incident to happen before taking action," he said. Chan is expected to receive a preliminary report tomorrow on a LRT coach overshooting the track at Sentul Timur station on Friday whether the incident is due to a mechanical fault or the driver's negligence. The minister reminded companies responsible for the Star and Putra LRT services to take the incidents seriously as it involved the people's lives. "I want the companies to strictly follow the guidelines. We've to train the officers and workers to have the skills and knowledge to efficiently handle the light rail system," he said.
On Aug 23, about 5,000 Putra LRT commuters were stranded for one hour at the Masjid Jamek Station due to water entering the main train. On Oct 6, the track between Gombak and Ampang was closed for 10 hours when a LRT train stalled between Datuk Keramat and Damai stations, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded. On Friday, an empty Star LRT coach derailed 10m at the stabling area at the Sentul Timur station, forcing the track to be closed for more than 20 minutes. Two heavy duty cranes were used to pull it back to safety.
On Ops Sikap XI, Chan said 68 per cent of fatal accidents involved motorcyclists.
This could be due to the traffic volume increasing by 300 per cent during the Deeparaya festive season, he said. "Eventhough the number of deaths was lesser than last year and the ratio of death was lower than an ordinary day, we are still not happy," he said. He hoped there would be fewer accidents and fatalities once traffic action and initiatives under the five-year Road Safety Campaign were fully implemented by 2010. The campaign started last year.
"Nevertheless, it all depends on the attitude of our people, for example, wearing many are not wearing helmets, why so stubborn," he added.
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Samy Vellu Attends Road Conference In Canberra; October 29, 2006 14:26 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will highlight its achievements in the construction of roads and expressways at the 22nd Australia Road Research Board (ARRB) Conference in Canberra beginning Sunday.

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who is leading a three-member delegation to the five-day conference in the Australian capita
l, also hopes to learn new technologies available in the industry.
"The conference is held every two years throughout
Australasia for the past 40 years to promote and facilitate discussions of issues relevant to the transport industry and new researches being undertaken on the local and international scene," the Works Ministry said in a statement today.

Samy Vellu is expected to highlight Malaysia's interest in enhancing its cooperation with the ARRB through the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) and the Public Works Department (PWD). He is expected to call for exchange of staff among MHA, PWD and ARRB.

After the LONDON Business Trip with several businessmen

Roads, Highways To Go Fully Online - Samy Vellu ; October 15, 2006 12:39 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- Major roads and highways in Malaysia may soon be controlled electronically to speed traffic flows while all vehicles could be fitted with the Global Positioning System (GPS) to guide motorists to their destinations.
The idea may seem far-fetched in
Malaysia, at least for now, but for Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, it could be made possible with the implementation of the Intelligent Transportation System (IRS) Master Plan soon.
"We are studying to use the ITS on a larger scale. Now, it is more on an ad-hoc basis like the electronic toll collection system and the variable message signs (VMS)," he told Bernama Sunday.

Samy Vellu headed a 10-member delegation to the five-day 13th ITS World Congress in London. The delegation members include Malaysian Highway Authority director-general Datuk Mohd Noor Yaakob, Works Ministry's Highway Planning Unit director Amir Kassim, PLUS Berhad managing director Datuk Idrose Mohamad and several businessmen. While the GPS system was readily available in many high-powered vehicles in Malaysia, its usage has not been widely accepted due to lack of technological infrastructures.
"This will be overcome once we come out with the ITS Master Plan," he said without giving a specific date for its implementation. Samy Vellu, who chairs the Malaysian ITS Council, said the ITS Master Plan aimed to develop a comprehensive "Road Map" towards setting the direction and framework for the deployment of ITS applications in Malaysia over the next 10 years. The plan would also recommend four strategic focuses in the ITS Deployment Programme -- identification of proposed ITS projects, identification of strategic projects, designation of national ITS corridors and identification of priority areas for enhancement of ITS deployment. The ITS include devices such as electronic coordination of signal lights on local streets, large variable signs informing drivers of traffic conditions ahead, one-way street patterns, GPS equipment in cars and trucks, and radio broadcasts of current road conditions.
"These technologies exist now and can be effective on local streets and arteries and informative on expressways," he said.Samy Vellu also said
Malaysia was in the process of formulating the ITS System Architecture. "It will be a blueprint that sets out in advance, the elements of the system, defining how they will be integrated to achieve the targets of development," he added.

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Findings of (LRT
) ACCIDENT at SENTUL Overshooting End Station yesterday MUST Be Made Public URGED LEE LAM THYE; But Will Transport Minister Agree?
UPDATE1: October 29, 2006
The call by Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye is timely. All the time whenever an accident happened, there will be an outcry and especially the Transport Minister and interested parties will come out and showed their concerns and asked for reports, and it will be studied and kept secret. Why? Because there are serious legal implications; if the technical reports are unfavorable to the concerned party, libel actions can be taken to sue for damages and negligence. So who is protecting who?

Anyone remember the July 30 Sunday -

Go here for a recall;

It was the worst express highway accident; all the big guns were there. Puspakom was to determine the technical aspects of the bus; Samy Velly said the driver must be sleepy. And after that no one knows what happened except that the bus driver was charged with “reckless driving”. Other LRT cases and Monorail - wheel falling down. The local main stream media are not interested to follow up on most of these cases but only in the sensational news and pictures.

= = = = = =Read on For details of the latest LRT accident



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