Historical token shows Indian community's contribution to the rail sector

PETALING JAYA: A train key token with Tamil script was proof that the Indian community significantly contributed to the development and operation of the country's railway system, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Transport Minister said he saw the token when he boarded a Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train from Pasir Mas to Wakaf Bharu in Kelantan on Sunday (April 11), and was told that it was the key to keeping trains running smoothly.

"The key token I have is quite heavy. It is 136 years old and it is still being used today," he said in an Instagram post on Monday (April 12).

Dr Wee learned from Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) train driver Mohd Dasuki Setapa that key tokens breathed life into trains, as it allowed trains to depart and pull in at stations.

Dasuki explained to Dr Wee that only one token can be given at one time to prevent collisions, and station masters at each station would give out the tokens which indicated the train's destination.

"The tokens will be placed inside a leather bag and the train driver must return the token to the station master when he arrives at his destination," Dr Wee said.

In his post, Dr Wee put up a picture of a token with the number 23 and Wakaf Bharu and Pasir Mas written in Tamil and Roman scripts.

He said he was fascinated by the fact that the Tamil script was included in the token, which showed the significant contribution of the Indian community towards the development and operation of the railway system.

"This just shows that the community played an important role in building the train tracks and operating KTMB," he said.

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