- Update: We are certainly confused about the different information from the NST and The Star!
- Update: SPAD has investigated the service disruption and ordered a 48-hour closure of the Melaka Monorail!
TRANSIT took note of this article in The Star which displays an amazing coincidence combined with a not quite unexpected event.
The Melaka Monorail stopped for approximately 20 minutes yesterday, trapping the (British tourist) couple aboard – possibly with 18 other passengers (according to the NST report below):
- SPAD suspends Sungai Melaka monorail service for a month (NST, 5 November 2011);
- Malacca monorail suspended 48 hours (The Star, 3 November 2011);
- Spad orders Melaka Monorail to stop service (NST, 3 November 2011);
But according to the original newspaper article about the incident, the incident occurred at exactly 1:11pm. As you know, yesterday was 1 November 2011 – or 1-11-11 – meaning that the fault occurred at 1:11 1-11-11.
Not to mention that the above articles state different information about the incident. The NST says there were 20 passengers aboard and they were removed with a skylift. The Star says there were two passengers aboard (the British couple) and they exited the monorail using a steel ladder (this borne out by the photo).
Monorail traps British duo (The Star)
Wednesday November 2, 2011
MALACCA: The city’s monorail service came to an abrupt halt at 1.11pm on 1.11.11, trapping two British tourists for about 20 minutes.
[TRANSIT: Seriously? We do find it a bit strange and hard to believe but many things are possible in Melaka.]
Firemen rescued James Craft, a 57-year-old police officer from England, and his 49-year-old wife Anne, a former school teacher.
The couple descended from the monorail using a ladder.
Off-track: Anne descending from the monorail using a ladder after the service came to a halt Tuesday.
Craft said he took a ride on the monorail to get a panoramic view of the historical city.
“It was a great experience. The service came to a halt a few minutes after it left the station. But we did not panic,” he said, adding that he and his wife understood that such a glitch was unavoidable.
Menara Taming Sari chief executive officer Nazry Ahmad said a faulty door pump caused the monorail to stop.
“We consider the incident a minor glitch as our service resumed at 3.30pm after the malfunction was rectified,” he said.
Menara Taming Sari, the operator of the monorail service, reimbursed the couple’s fare and offered them a free ride at the Taming Sari tower.
“We also sent an apology note and souvenirs to the couple,” Nazry added.
The RM15.9mil monorail service was launched on Oct 20 last year to mark Malacca’s developed state status.
But it was grounded shortly after the launch because of technical problems and software glitches.
The service resumed in March when Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam announced that the state planned to extend the monorail line by another 1.6km in 2013.
Currently, the China-made monorail line spans 1.6km, starting from Taman Rempah in Pengkalan Rama to Kampung Bunga Raya Pantai along the scenic Malacca River.
The only way to make this story better would be if the fault had occurred at exactly 11:11 on November 11th, 9 days from now.
Yes, that would be 11:11 11-11-11.
And while we wait with bated breath for that day to come (wondering if there will be another incident or not), we wonder (once again) why the Melaka Monorail was ever approved.
Aside from being too small, too delayed, too poor at connecting passengers, and too unreliable (and of course costing too much and being out of service too often), it’s also too ugly and does not suit the Melaka River environment.
But this is Melaka after all, where any project can go ahead if the Chief Minister gives his say-so … and much more easily if the project is pretending to be “public transport” for the rakyat.