KUALA KANGSAR: The electric train service (ETS) from Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar via Ipoh starts today, in time for the festive season.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the twice-daily service would be increased later.
The fare from Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar, which takes four hours and 45 minutes, is RM81.
“We have ordered 10 sets of the electric trains, and once all are ready and fit to ply the routes, the frequency will increase.
“In the meantime, to cater for Hari Raya, the trains will service the northern route twice daily,” he told reporters after a test run of one of the brand new electric trains from Batu Gajah to here yesterday.
Liow also said there were plans to introduce Klang Valley-like commuter services within certain districts in Perak, citing Kuala Kangsar-Sungai Siput-Ipoh-Kampar as a possible route.
Earlier, Liow visited the RM400mil manufacturing plant for rail transportation, CRRC Rolling Stock Centre Malaysia in Batu Gajah.
“The plant has an annual production capacity of 100 new carriages, and to overhaul and maintain 150 vehicles,” he said.
On another matter, Liow said he had approved the exclusive rights for the sale of the “Patriot” registration number plates to Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia, the foundation set up in April 2013 to promote racial unity, religious tolerance and patriotism among Malaysians.
“The approval was carried out according to the necessary procedure. JPJ (Road Transport Department) has made it clear, and the procedure was announced as well, so I don’t see any wrongdoing in the matter,” said Liow.
JPJ had granted the foundation permission to auction the numbers Patriot 1 to Patriot 9999.
Asked if anyone could apply for the rights to sell registration number plates, Liow said there were certain requirements to be fulfilled.
“One of them is that the party concerned must have national interest,” he said without elaborating.
DAP recently lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission against JPJ and the Transport Ministry over the matter.
Later, asked to comment about The Wall Street Journal’s report implying that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds had been transferred into the Prime Minister’s personal accounts, Liow said a task force had been formed, and it was only right to allow it to complete its investigation to seek the truth.