Malacca monorail suspended 48 hours
Thursday, Nov 03, 2011
MALACCA – The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has slapped a 48-hour suspension order on the management of Malacca Monorail following Tuesday’s incident where two passengers were trapped after the service came to an abrupt stop.
The commission directed the service operator to resume service only after the team of five rail engineers dispatched by SPAD certified that the service was safe and vefficient.
SPAD chief operating officer Azhar Ahmad said a thorough inspection on various aspects of the operations should be conducted before allowing the operator, Menara Taming Sari, to resume operations.
“We need to be sure the monorail system works well and will not pose a risk to tourists,” he said after visiting the Hang Jebat station, which is the main monorail terminal.
Azhar said SPAD considered the incident serious and noted that it could affect the local tourism industry as it involved the safety of tourists.
Personnel from the Jalan Kubu Fire and Rescue Department were summoned to rescue James Craft, 57, a retired police officer, and his wife Anne, 49, a former school teacher. The couple descended from the monorail using a ladder. This was the third time the monorail service was hit by a technical glitch since it was launched on Oct 20 last year.
“We want our engineers to focus on the emergency response initiative during the check, the daily maintenance records and so on,” he said. Menara Taming Sari chief executive officer Nazry Ahmad said: “We have our technical team inspecting the whole monorail system on a daily basis and SPAD’s assessment will further strengthen our safety system.” He said the fire department’s steel ladder was used to rescue the couple because it was deemed safer than the emergency rope ladders that were already installed in the coaches.
Malacca’s monorail service was launched on a grand scale last year to mark Malacca’s developed state status but the monorail line was grounded shortly after the launch due to a host of technical problems. The China-made monorail spans 1.6km from Taman Rempah in Pengkalan Rama to Kampung Bunga Raya Pantai along the scenic Malacca River. “We will give the go-ahead once the necessary checks have been conducted.