Caretaker transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong did not explain what led to the disruption or how it was caused. — Bernama pic
MUAR, Nov 11 — The massive breakdown of the Kelana Jaya Light Rail Transit (LRT) line, which led to an unprecedented service shut down for a week, has been sorted out and services may resume sooner than expected, caretaker transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said.
Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported him as saying that this is subject to a full day’s test, adding that the modem and power supply for the tracks have been replaced and the problem was now rectified. The system, however, needs to undergo a test tomorrow.
Based on the report, Wee did not explain what led to the disruption or how it was caused.
“The Land Public Transport Agency (SPAD) will also need to certify the Thales Group experts’ confirmation that the rail line is safe and stable for use before we can resume operations.
“If there are no more problems, then we will resume services with Prasarana making an announcement at 6pm the day before,” he reportedly said, during a press conference at the Lembah Subang Rapid Rail depot today.
Speaking to reporters in Kluang on November 9, Wee said apart from staff of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Thales Group who were said to have arrived in Malaysia the previous day, experts from Turkey and Canada would also be flown in to identify the main cause of the automatic train control (ATC) malfunction.
On November 9, Prasarana Malaysia Berhad said it had to shut down 16 LRT stations along the busy Kelana Jaya LRT line due to a malfunction detected in the ATC system last Saturday.
Its president and group CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah added that the malfunction had never happened before.
He added that Prasarana engineers have so far been unable to diagnose the root cause of the disruptions and decided that the best course of action was to temporarily halt the train services from today until November 15 for the safety of passengers.
Prasarana president Azharuddin acknowledged that the system had reached the end of its lifespan, adding that the sum of RM150 million for the first phase of upgrades had been approved.
“The Kelana Jaya LRT line has been operating for nearly 25 years. It is an ageing system that needs all its parts, trains and systems replaced. It is about time that we change it and we have plans to change it,” he said, adding that the incident had caught Prasarana off guard.
He added that the group is also preparing to add new trains in July 2023.
When asked about whether Prasarana would compensate the affected passengers, Azharuddin said the company would “definitely” look into it.
On Wednesday, RapidKL announced that 16 trains along the Kelana Jaya LRT line will be out of service for a week starting November 9, leaving many stranded with no other means of transportation.
Some unhappy Malaysians even started an online petition, calling for the resignation of Prasarana’s key management.