KTMB: Gender designation for KTM Komuter carriages soon? (Update #3)

  • Updated with information about the launch of the women-only coaches (see this link) scheduled for 28 April 2010;
  • Updated with comments from Maria Chin Abdullah, Executive Director of NGO Empower!
  • Updated with comments from Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Minister of Women, Family & Community Development!

TRANSIT received a concerned tweet from someone asking us about the story that KTMB was considering offering separate carriages for women.

We thought that perhaps this was related to the motion by Bandar Bayan Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin in the current parliamentary session, in which he asks the Minister of Transport to consider separate carriages. You can see the motion here (scroll to the bottom of the post).

Comments from KTMB Managing Director Dr. Aminuddin Adnan

Shahrizat Welcomes KTMB’s Women-only Coaches (Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 (Bernama) — The provision of optional ‘women-only’ coaches on KTMB’s commuter train service will give women the choice to travel in an environment they feel safe and comfortable in, said Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

She said, however, it was crucial to give women passengers the option to travel either in mixed carriages or women-only carriages.

“Such a move must go hand-in-hand with efforts to educate and raise awareness that sexual harassment is unacceptable and wrong,” she said in a statement here, Thursday.

Yesterday, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) said it planned to separate men and women passengers in different carriages for its commuter service in order to give women more comfort when travelling.

KTMB to have ‘women only’ carriages soon (NST)
2010/04/01

By Minderjeet Kaur
mkaur@nst.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: The railway will soon have separate compartments for men and women in commuter trains serving Klang Valley, Rawang and Seremban.

This is to ensure the safety of women in packed trains during peak hours, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) president Dr Aminuddin Adnan said yesterday.

There are three compartments in each carriage and these will be designated for men, women and families or couples.

“We will not ask families, old folk or married couples to take separate carriages. If we do that, it will create a lot of problems, especially for old folk who might need help.

“Since 60 per cent of our commuters are women, we want to make their ride as comfortable as possible,” he said, adding that the railway had received feedback from women who preferred such an arrangement. Aminuddin said the inter-city coaches would not have such sitting arrangement.

He was speaking after presenting customer service awards to some of his front office staff including clerks, train drivers, quality inspectors and traffic wardens here yesterday.

Aminuddin said the railway aimed to cut the waiting time for a commuter train from the present 15 minutes to 10 minutes and “eventually to 7.5 minutes”.

To achieve this, it is waiting for 15 trains called electrical multiple units to be overhauled by October next year and with 38 new ones expected to arrive in the middle of 2012.

He said the Sentul-Batu Caves line serving people going to the Batu Caves area would be ready by June. About 120,000 people took the service when it went on a trial run during Thaipusam two months ago.

On the Ipoh-Padang Besar electrified railway double tracking project, he said about 42 per cent of the work had been completed.

The project, which covers 329 kilometres and costs RM12.5 billion, is expected to be completed by 2013. It is a continuation of the double tracking project from Rawang to Ipoh, completed three years ago.

KTMB syor gerabak komuter ikut gender (Berita Harian)

2010/03/31
KUALA LUMPUR: Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) bercadang mewujudkan gerabak berasingan untuk penumpang lelaki dan wanita bagi perkhidmatan komuternya dalam usaha meningkatkan keselesaan para penumpangnya.

Presiden KTMB, Dr Aminuddin Adnan, berkata tinjauan yang dijalankan oleh KTMB menunjukkan 60 peratus penumpang KTM Komuter terdiri daripada kaum wanita dan selebihnya lelaki.

Katanya, jika keretapi komuter mempunyai tiga gerabak, satu gerabak akan diperuntukkan untuk mereka yang berkeluarga serta warga emas dalam usaha KTMB mewujudkan keselesaan penumpang serta meningkatkan mutu perkhidmatannya.
Bagaimanapun sebelum melaksanakan cadangan tersebut, ia perlu diperincikan bagi mengelakkan sebarang isu lain yang akan timbul, katanya kepada pemberita selepas melancarkan program “Customer Service Star Award 2009” dan program Ikhlas Dari Hati di sini hari ini.

Aminuddin berkata, langkah pengasingan gerabak ini telahpun dilaksanakan di Jepun dan beberapa negara di Eropah.

Sementara itu, beliau berkata perkhidmatan komuter KTMB akan mendapat 38 set gerabak unit gandaan elektrik (EMU) yang baru dalam usaha mempertingkatkan perkhidmatannya.

Beliau berkata KTMB juga akan membaiki 15 set EMU yang lama dan usaha ini diharapkan dapat mengatasi masalah keretapi lambat tiba serta isu perjalanan dibatalkan.

Bagaimanapun, beliau tidak menjelaskan bila KTMB akan mendapat gerabak EMU baru itu, yang mampu meningkatkan jarak masa ketibaan antara satu komuter dengan satu komuter yang lain selama 7.5 minit.

“Penambahan gerabak itu adalah untuk menampung pertambahan penumpang komuter yang dijangka meningkat kepada 300,000 penumpang setiap hari,” katanya.

Mengenai program Ikhlas Daripada Hati itu, beliau berkata ia adalah program KTMB yang memberi penekanan kepada tiga nilai perkhidmatan cemerlang iaitu empati, mesra dan ikhlas (EMI) yang akan diamalkan oleh kakitangan KTMB bermula esok hingga 31 Mei ini dalam usaha meningkatkan mutu perkhidmatan.

Beliau berkata, sepanjang tempoh program itu, seluruh kakitangan KTMB akan memakai butang lencana “Ikhlas Daripada Hati” sebagai tanda komitmen dalam memberi perkhidmatan cemerlang kepada pelanggan. – Bernama

Pengasingan gerabak kereta api (Malaysian Insider)

Maria Chin Abdullah
7 APRIL — Empower menulis kenyataan ini dengan merujuk kepada artikel yang bertajuk Gangguan Seksual: Gerabak gender KTM bukan idea logic oleh Syed Mu’az Syed Putra (4 April 2010). Kita tidak bersetuju sama sekali dengan cadangan tersebut (pengasingan gerabak kereta api).

Pengasingan gerabak kereta api dan pelbagai bentuk pengasingan seksual dilihat seolah-olah meletakkan tanggungjawab keatas wanita dan memberikan alasan kepada lelaki untuk meneruskan tingkah laku yang tidak boleh diterima Pendekatan sedemikian diyakini gagal mengambil kira realiti bahawa kes keganasan tidak semestinya berlaku keatas wanita, meskipun dalam zon selamat kereta api.

Idea kepada pengasingan gerabak kereta api ini adalah susulan daripada beberapa kejadian gangguan seksual yang mana wanita sepatutnya tidak harus dilayan dengan menyediakan kawalan keselamatan, tetapi, kebanyakannya lelaki yang menjadi punca kepada masalah yang di hadapi ini perlu diberi perhatian serius.

Pengasingan seks bukanlah penyelesaian mutlak. Ianya seperti menampalkan plaster yang merupakan sementara, namun isu sebenar kepada keganasan masih belum diatasi. Disamping itu, langkah ini juga memberikan persepsi bahawa lelaki tidak boleh dipercayai manakala wanita sememangnya terdedah kepada risiko yang tinggi dan memerlukan perlindungan.

Mitos membabitkan wanita yang terdedah kepada pelbagai ancaman masih berperanan penting dalam kehidupan seharian. Malah, wujud pandangan termasuklah “sekiranya ingin mengelakkan wanita dirogol, mereka haruslah dilindungi dengan baik” “Sekiranya wanita berjalan keluar pada waktu malam, siapakah yang patut dipersalahkan sekiranya wanita ini dirogol?

Mitos- mitos sebegini yang menjurus kepada idea pengasingan gerabak kereta api tersebut, sekali lagi seolah-olah meletakkan tanggunjawab isu ini dibahu wanita dan memberi peluang ataupun alasan untuk lelaki terus berkelakuan yang tidak dapat diterima.

Wanita tidak memerlukan zon-zon selamat, tali pingang kesucian (chastity belt), supaya tidak hilang dari pengawasan. Sebaliknya, wanita ingin jalan- jalan, tempat letak kereta, kereta api, dan bas yang memberikan ruang awam yang luas sepertimana yang dinikmati oleh lelaki. Wanita dan lelaki haruslah dibenarkan melaksanakan kegiatan harian tanpa berasa bimbang akan keganasan, serangan dan penganiayaan.

Undang-undang sedia ada ternyata mengiktiraf gangguan seksual sebagai kebiadapan yang sederhana. Ini menganggap seks sebagai sesuatu perkara yang buruk. Kesederhanaan dan kesopanan seseorang wanita tersebut harus dilihat sebagai sesuatu yang peribadi dan perlunya perlindungan daripada penghinaan dan dimalukan berdasarkan keadaan emosi yang dialami oleh mangsa gangguan seksual Apa yang paling penting disini adalah, bila kejadian seksual berlaku, wajib ditangani sebagai kebimbangan umum.

Maka, dengan adanya pengasingan seksual ini, akan menghasilkan lebih banyak kesan negatif dan secara tidak langsung menyekat ekspresi seksualnya. Memasang kamera litar tertutup di stesen kereta api, meningkatkan bilangan pekerja yang bertugas, memperbaiki cahaya lampu, memasang telefon serta butang kecemasan seperti dailan cepat 911, melatih para pekerja untuk mengenalpasti kemungkinan ancaman keganasan dan menanganinya secara tegas. Ini merupakan langkah yang sedang diamalkan di kebanyakan negara seperti Hong Kong dan Britain dan Malaysia harus bersedia dan terbuka dari pengalaman negara-negara tersebut.

* Maria Chin Abdullah ialah Pengarah Eksekutif Empower.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

TRANSIT Says:

This topic is a contentious one, with potential for a lot of rancour and debate, so let us put the facts out from a public transport perspective.

First we look at customer service:

  1. A large number of public transport users are women;
  2. Some women do not feel comfortable in large crowds;
  3. Public transport operating companies may wish to consider the concerns of a large group of customers;
  4. KTMB has received feedback from women passengers saying that they would prefer this;

Then there is the security issue:

  1. Some people (usually men) take advantage of the close proximity & anonymity of public transport to sexually harass or molest female passengers;
  2. Security systems will never be able to prevent all of these incidents; This makes it a safety & security issue.
  3. Many public transport operators in other parts of the world do offer women-only carriages as an option for the safety of their female passengers.
  4. However, TRANSIT would like to point out that many KTM Komuter stations are located in “out-of-the-way” areas, with poorly lit parking lots and walkways. Many KTM Komuter stations are not actively monitored by CCTV, security personnel or Polis Bantuan

At the same time we have to consider the other ‘elephant-in-the-room’ issue:

  1. Malaysia is an “Islamic” country and there is a concern about “Islamic” values – you can see this expressed in the motion from Zul Nordin;
  2. Some Islamic countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, UAE) practice the separation of men and women including in public transport.
  3. In other Islamic countries (e.g. Iran) separate carriages are offered as an option.
  4. A move to separate carriages might be misunderstood and thought to be motivated by “Islamic” values rather than practical security and comfort issues.

TRANSIT believes that the option of female-only carriages can be offered in our existing public transport system once the system is properly  expanded. At the moment the capacity of the train systems does not allow the segregation and there will be no improvements in capacity for some time.

We would like to know what you think about the proposal. Please send us emails at klangvalley.transit@gmail.com or comment in the space below. You can also reply to @transitmy on our twitter feed (twitter.com/transitmy) or comment on our facebook page.

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9 thoughts on “KTMB: Gender designation for KTM Komuter carriages soon? (Update #3)”

  1. Somehow, the segregation proposal sounds more like compulsion instead of choice. Proper implementation of the “married” category would be a headache; are couples going to have to show marriage certs? Wedding bands?

    1. It always sounds like compulsion rather than choice – you can see that the different newspapers will spin it in different ways.

      TRANSIT’s concerns are obvious: the option of women-only carriages can only reduce but not eliminate some of the problems that have been identified.

      The issue of sexual harassment is the most significant one. Having the option of women-only carriages may make a difference on the train itself, but what about the areas around the stations? Many KTM Komuter stations are located in ‘out-of-the-way’ places that are poorly lit and not monitored by security guards or auxiliary police.

      As for general safety, pickpocketing, etc, crowded trains and platforms are still an ideal place for pickpockets – even if they have gender-specific platforms & carriages.

      And then, there is the idea of women-only carriages in an ‘Islamic’ country – will it affect Malaysia’s ‘moderate’ image?

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  2. “4.A move to separate carriages might be misunderstood and thought to be motivated by “Islamic” values rather than practical security and comfort issues”

    You missed one more Islamic country: Japan! Somehow they don’t ask the Japanese men to ‘learn to control their urges’ but proceed with special coach for women instead.

    1. Serious Shepherd

      Er…by what measure is Japan an “Islamic” country? Not that it matters much – the safety & security issues at KTMB have to be resolved and the movement to separate carriages is not really a solution for that.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  3. hey transitmy

    “Er…by what measure is Japan an “Islamic” country? ”
    i dont think Serious Shepherd meant it literally

    it was more of a comment to illustrate your statement
    “And then, there is the idea of women-only carriages in an ‘Islamic’ country – will it affect Malaysia’s ‘moderate’ image?”

    By the way, the sentul batu-caves line seem to be going in to a never ending spin of delays

    i wish they would hurry it up

    also, i think there is something seriously faulty with kl sentral. is it just me or it is normal procedures for a train to stop a couple of times before entering kl sentral. especially from angkasapuri and midvalley. In fact it also happens when the train is leaving kl sentral.

    1. Tobey

      Thanks for your comments. Regarding the comment about “Islamic” country, we are just painfully aware that some people will take the perspective that KTMB is separating women & men – rather than providing the option of women-only carriages.

      Regarding Sentul-Batu Caves, we have heard that they may delay the opening until June as there are concerns about the signalling system. If we get more information we will keep the website updated.

      Regarding the stopping of trains coming from Angkasapuri and MidValley before they get to KL Sentral, it is KTMB procedure that Komuter trains stop and wait for intercity trains and freight trains to pass. Freight trains will usually be coming from the Pelabuhan Klang railway subdivision (forcing trains from MidValley to stop), while intercity trains will usually coming from the KTM mainline (forcing trains from Angkasapuri to stop).

      A solution for this would be to create a railway fly-under which would allow the trains to pass each other, such as this one in Toronto, Canada:

      Railway lands near Toronto's Union Station have a special 'fly-under' to reduce delays

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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