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LRT tragedy: Take multi-dimensional approach in probing the case

Publish date: Sat, 29 May 2021, 04:38 PM

THE Government should cover all angles of the recent Light Rail Transit (LRT) train crash when investigating the root cause of the incident.

“In the past, we had some glitches in the rail line but this is the first time we saw a major incident. The authorities must look into the standard operating procedures (SOPs) practiced by Prasarana Malaysia Bhd.

“For example, why did they allow a malfunctioning train to be driven on an active rail line, during peak hours at one of the most packed areas like the KLCC?” HELP University Faculty of Business, Economics and Accounting and Institute Crime and Criminology senior lecturer R Paneir Selvam told FocusM.

R Paneir Selvam

On Monday, a manually driven LRT train collided with an automated one in a tunnel near KLCC, leaving 47 seriously hurt and another 166 with light injuries.

Prasarana later announced a RM1,000 compensation for affected parties but the public criticised the company for the paltry sum, calling for it be hauled up in court.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said that preliminary findings revealed element of “negligence” by the driver in manually controlling one of the trains.

However, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) urged the Government to probe whether the LRT crash could have occurred due to human error, triggered by overworked personnel.

“The element of human error due overworked personnel must be probed. Malaysia is one of the most overworked country. This includes workers in Government-linked agencies such as RapidKL,” its central committee member Sharan Raj was reported saying.

The case received much public attention that its chairman Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman got his marching orders from the Finance Ministry for his unprofessionalism in handling the tragedy.

Hacking, mental health issues

On that note, Panier said Prasarana should have tested its malfunctioning train during non-peak hours to avoid such mishaps.

“They could have also shut down their network for a period of time, say between 10.30pm and 11.30pm, to test the said train.

“This is what they do in London to avoid any untoward incident. The authorities must also investigate how the malfunctioning train, which was supposed to go north-bound, ended up on the south-bound route,” he stressed.

Panier Selvam added that the LRT line is nearly 30 years old and queried whether Prasarana updates its system regularly to meet present day demand and complexity, especially during the COVID-19 era.

“And I agree with Sharan’s view that we should look into the possibility that the driver may be overworked.

“I also suggest that the authorities evaluate the driver’s mental health status as we all know that the pandemic is wreaking havoc on people’s lives, including their mental health well-being,” he opined.

On a broader perspective, Panier Selvam called upon the Government to look into the possibility that the LRT computerised system was hacked by irresponsible groups.

“Because we’re talking about a driverless train system. If hacking is involved, then it becomes a national security issue,” he remarked. – May 29, 2021


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