Closer look: Syed Hamid, accompanied by his wife Puan Sri Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin, leading a team of SPAD officers on an inspection of the Guillemard Bridge in Kelantan.
PETALING JAYA: The closure of the Gemas-Gua Musang portion of the east coast rail line will take place beginning Aug 15, two weeks after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said in a statement that Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) was allowed to operate trains on the sector after it appealed for a postponement of SPAD’S initial order to cease services there by today.
He said SPAD agreed to KTMB’s request on condition that it made sure that trains could run safely on the track – already showing high levels of deterioration at many spots – and was willing to accept responsibility should anything happen from now until the closure date.
Previously, the Railwaymen’s Union of Malaya claimed that closing the stretch would leave hundreds of thousands of passengers without options to travel to the East Coast and put the welfare of some 300 unionised KTMB employees at risk, besides costing the company RM100,000 in revenue a day.