Media statement by MP for Seremban, Anthony Loke Siew Fook on 11 June 2021:
What actually caused the LRT accident on 24 May 2021?
Many, including myself have been wondering this question ever since we heard the news of the tragedy on the night of 24 May. There must be several contributing factors that would end up causing this strange incident which has been dubbed as one of the darkest periods in our nation’s public transportation history.
I have been waiting for the findings of the investigation on the incident with hope that it would answer questions that have been raised by many quarters.
However, after I read the media statement and slides published by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) yesterday evening, I am left disappointed and confused.
The question that have been going through everyone’s minds is yet to be answered – What actually caused the LRT incident on 24 May 2021?
The Minister of Transport only announced that,
“The Hostler and operation control centres (OCC) had neglected critical SOPs inadvertently resulted in Train 40 being manually driven north, Gombak-bound instead of south-bound towards the Subang depot.”
Yet, the details of these neglected critical SOPs were never elaborated on; Why was critical SOPs neglected by both the Hostler (train driver) and staff that was on duty in OCC at that time.
Furthermore, it was never mentioned whether the staffs involved were given ample training regarding train operation SOPs within varying situations.
Apakah sebenarnya yang mengakibatkan nahas LRT 24 Mei yang lalu? Ramai yang tertanya-tanya dalam minda termasuk saya…Posted by Anthony Loke Siew Fook on Friday, 11 June 2021
The health and safety of the staffs involved was also not elaborated on – whether they had enough rest, whether fatigue could be a contributing factor to negligence and so on.
Furthermore, what about the conditions of the LRT track in its tunnel section when the accident happened? Was there insufficient lighting? Or was the sign post not fully visible that the Hostler failed to determine the direction of the train?
There have been a lot of possibilities and hypotheses regarding the accident put forth by various quarters since 24 May. It is the responsibility of the government through the Investigation Committee to investigate in detail from all possible angles based on the evidence at hand.
The Investigation Committee consists of nine members, four of which possess technical expertise in the field of rail engineering or transport safety. I am sure that these experts have studied all possibilities.
However, why was the evaluation and views from these experts regarding staff training issues, fatigue, workers’ health and safety, track and tunnel condition as well as maintenance record of both trains involved were not announced yesterday?
Moreover, not a single expert from the Investigation Committee was invited to attend MOT’s press conference yesterday.
In this day and age, we can’t stop the public from asking questions and raising a slew of hypotheses and possibilities.
What the government should have done was explain to the rakyat in the most complete and transparent way possible.
If I were to lead the Ministry, I would have made sure that the full report of the investigation on the 24 May 2021 LRT accident was announced immediately to the public after it was presented to the Cabinet.
In fact, I would not have been satisfied with an internal investigation committee headed by the Head Secretary. This is because I know that without a professional and independent investigation team headed by industry experts from the outside, it is near impossible for the government to assure the victims of the accident as well as the rakyat.
The public’s confidence towards our public transportation system, especially the LRT have fallen to its lowest point following the 24 May LRT accident in Kuala Lumpur.
I also couldn’t imagine how a Minister could possibly be able to face the victims and their families without explaining the full reason as to why the tragedy happened. A tragedy that has brought them injuries and sufferings.