KTMB workers at the scene after a goods train derailed near Bukit Mertajam in February, 2014.
PETALING JAYA: Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) and its workers’ union are on a collision course after the rail company threatened to sack anyone found to be responsible for breakdowns in its intercity train service.
The warning was contained in a March 27 circular issued by KTMB talent management and organisation department general manager Sharifah Mohd Sharif.
Sharifah did not say if any incident led to the ruling but KTMB trains have been involved in a few recent accidents.
In February, a goods train derailed near Bukit Mertajam, causing its containers to be thrown off the track. In November last year, a Komuter train jumped off the rails near Rawang while a locomotive caught fire near Kuala Kangsar.
KTMB is also making adjustments to its intercity routes in May.
The circular, which was made available to The Star, says: “Stern action up to dismissal, according to disciplinary procedures, will be followed through if the concerned departments or staff involved in the handling of the rail car stock fail to perform their tasks leading to train service failure,” said the circular, .
Sharifah said the fleet maintenance and engineering department must make sure the intercity coaches and locomotives were in the “best” possible condition.
“The goal is to make sure passengers would not be delayed by problematic trains,” she said.
The Railwaymen’s Union of Malaya (RUM) is not amused. Its president Abdul Razak Md Hassan said the move should have been made years ago.
He said the ruling pressured KTMB employees and made their work stressful. “They (workers) are under pressure. There are no spare parts, they work as hard as they can to keep the trains running. When there are problems, the workers are blamed,” he said.
KTMB chairman Datuk Nawawi Ahmad told The Star it was a management decision.
“There have been many complaints (by customers), such as the air-conditioning not working, or not enough water in the toilets,” he said.
He added that the matter would be raised at the KTMB board of directors meeting on April 7.