What happened to LRT’s fail-safe protective devices?

The press conference on the LRT crash of former Prasarana chairman Tajuddin Abdul Rahman was revealing. He showed his lack of understanding of his role in the company, his lack of responsibility and, above all, his lack of empathy and compassion for the victims of the accident.

Would he have been so dismissive and flippant if lives had been lost?

We hope that his successor will not be a political representative. They are not the right type of people to manage our GLCs.

Politicians are only concerned about the next vote. The less scrupulous will ensure that their family and friends “win” the closed tenders. We need people of integrity and those who are not afraid of transparency about how an organization is run.

Interestingly, Ahmad Maslan, the general secretary of the BN, said he was shocked and surprised that Tajuddin had been sacked. He seems to have completely missed the point.

Did he look at the PC? Tajuddin was evasive, insulting, and offered an excuse to justify his inability to get to the crash site immediately after the incident. He made jokes about a serious accident. He could have caused a diplomatic break with his response to a Chinese journalist.

Ahmad said he respected Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz’s decision to fire Tajuddin, then added, “As human beings, we are not perfect.”

How does being a perfect human being fit into the avoidance of duty and lack of responsibility? Tajuddin focused on himself in the PC. It was the culture of “me”.

He was unable to visit the crash site as he had just finished a meeting. In addition, he had to prepare for his second vaccine shot the next morning. He should have thought of the victims of the crash, some of whom were seriously injured.

Tajuddin and Ahmad both ignored the fate of the victims. Tajuddin announced that each of them would receive immediate assistance of RM1,000, but money is not the cure for everything.

Did he stop to think that a person might develop a phobia of boarding and traveling on trains, or if a person is unable to work or study due to problems with concentration? If a breadwinner suffered life-changing injuries, how would the person support the family?

Ahmad “wanted to express his sympathy” and said he was sorry Tajuddin was sacked. Where is his sympathy for the victims? Is it collateral damage? Politicians tend to place more importance on their peers than on the people they serve.

Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong and Prasarana Managing Director Norila Noah visited the crash site when they were told that an incident had taken place in the tunnel under KLCC.

Wee said preliminary investigations by the Land Public Transport Agency showed that the driver of the empty train, TR40, was negligent. According to him, the train should not have reversed as it put it on a collision course with TR81, which had 213 passengers.

He also said the train was not running automatically because the vehicle’s on-board controller (VOBC) had stopped working. This is a telltale sign of serious misconduct. So why blame the driver of the TR40?

Although Wee later corrected himself and said his ministry would look into all potential sources of the fault, people would like to know what happened to the high-end technology these digital trains are equipped with?

In other words, what happened to the security devices, warning systems and sensors in the control center?

Each train has its own computer system and is connected to the main computer in the control center. The screens show the position of the train. The network is divided into sections and a train is only allowed to enter a section if the computer calculates that it is safe. If the line ahead is busy, the train will reduce its speed and will not be able to enter that section.

In Monday’s incident, there appears to have been a system failure of the highest level.

What happened to the technicians supposed to watch the screens in the control center? Did they miss something or did the system suffer a major technical problem? If the system had failed, the driver could not be accused of negligence and made the scapegoat for the accident.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

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