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No bus for you Kedah – even if your government was willing to meet…

TRANSIT took note of this article in the Star which gives a further update on the shut down of CityLiner bus services in Kedah & Pahang.

Both state governments have commented that they implored the bus companies to keep operating, but were not able to get the guarantees that they needed.

This situation makes it more and more clear that the public transport system is starting to break down – as both state government and SPAD are unable to exercise any authority or provide timely solutions to resolve the issues.

Of course, this is not to blame the state governments or SPAD – but the fact is, they were warned early on. And speaking of warning, TRANSIT has been warning the public, the state governments, and SPAD for years that more attention needed to be paid to public transport policy and resolving the problems in the industry.

Kedah Govt willing to meet KTB over bus service (The Star)
December 3, 2011

ALOR SETAR: The Kedah Govern­ment is willing to discuss with Konsortium Transnasional Bhd (KTB) on the problem of its stage bus service in the state.

State Environment, Chinese Com­munity Affairs and Transport Com­mittee chairman Tan Joo Long @ Tan Chow Kang said it had asked KTB on Nov 20 to postpone its decision to stop its service for at least a month pending a discussion with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Ra­­zak.

However, he said the management refused.

Comments on Government Comments on Planning Feedback Information Kenderaan Transnasional Bhd Local Councils News & Events Socioeconomic Equity SPAD / LTC Stage Bus Stakeholders' Participation Transit Demand

No (CityLiner) bus for you Kedah & Pahang!

TRANSIT took note of this disturbing news, the shut down of bus services by CityLiner in Kedah and Pahang.

The company operating bus services under the CityLiner brand (a brand owned by Konsortium Transnasional Berhad) in various states throughout Peninsular Malaysia

Earlier last month, CityLiner services in Negri Sembilan were shut down for a 1 week period because of similar ‘continuous losses.’ The services resumed on 21 November after SPAD and the Negri Sembilan state government intervened. There was also a threat to shut down services in Sebarang Prai on 21 November but this shutdown was put on temporary hold until the end of November.

TRANSIT is looking for more information on what is happening up in Penang – as well as Kedah & Pahang – but the fact is that there isn’t much that can be done. If SPAD is not able to step in fast enough to prevent services from being shut down (even temporarily) then we are going to continue to face serious problems within the public transport industry in the foreseeable future.

Cityliner halts services in Kedah and Pahang due to ‘continuous losses’ (The Star)
Friday December 2, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: Stage bus services in major parts of Kedah and Pahang will temporarily cease from today because their operations are no longer sustainable due to continuous losses, Konsortium Transnasional Bhd (KTB) announced.

Its executive director and chief executive officer Tengku Hasmadi Tengku Hashim said these were routes plied by KTB’s stage bus operator Cityliner, which has suffered RM30mil in losses so far this year.

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No bus for you, Seremban and surrounding area! (Update #4)

TRANSIT woke up to more and more bad news with bus service! Thousands of commuters living around Seremban are affected as local bus services are shut down.

Going nowhere: Bus drivers and employees of the consortium sitting at their depot in Oakland near Seremban 2 after services to several areas were terminated yesterday. Image courtesy of The Star.
More buses than usual lying idle at the depot now that services have been greatly reduced in Negri Sembilan. Image courtesy of The Star.

The biggest surprise – the buses shown in the photos above are “CityLiner” branded buses – and the CityLiner brand is used by various subsidiary companies of Konsortium Transnasional Berhad – Malaysia’s largest (and probably most complicated – see corporate structure here) public transport consortium and owner of well known public transport brands Transnasional, Nice and Plusliner.

The item below is quoted from the KTB website.

Cityliner – Negeri Sembilan Operations

Just like the two regions above, this region is an operations merger of four subsidiary companies under Jelebu Holdings Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary (83.2%) company of Park May Berhad that operates in Western part of Negeri Sembilan with two other subsidiary companies of KKMB, i.e. Starise Sdn Bhd and the stage bus outfit of Syarikat Rembau Tampin Sdn Bhd that operates the Eastern part of Negeri Sembilan. A Regional Manager was appointed to lead one integrated team to focus on the profitability of running the entire stage bus operations in Negeri Sembilan. The resulted merger has a capacity of running approximately 215 permits/buses. Besides running ordinary routes in housing areas and on main roads of Negeri Sembilan, the Cityliner buses here also serve the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) from Seremban, Nilai and Banting.

Now, we are really not happy. We could understand if a small bit-player was forced into stopping service because of continuous loss-making operations. But this is the largest public transport consortium in the country! Can they not find a way to keep services running?

In any case, read the articles. We will provide links to the various articles and comments after the jump.

Complaints - Other Ferry/Water-based Transport Local Councils News & Events SPAD / LTC Taxi Transit Infrastructure

Updates #82

Updates #82

1. An Electric Trike In The Trunk Makes For The Ultimate Hybrid Eco-Car(, 22 April 2011) – The Geely McCar concept (electric or electric hybrid) includes a built-in electrically powered trike (3 wheel scooter) that fits into the space between the driver & passenger seats.

A Geely McCar hybrid with its electrically powered trike. Image courtesy of

[TRANSIT: Now this is an interesting concept – and there would certainly be a market for the “real” version of the vehicle here in Malaysia. More info here. Google search on Geely McCar here.]

2. Article: Prasarana’s gearing to rise to 4-5 times when remaining LRT sukuk issued (The Edge, 23 April 2011) – More information on Prasarana bond rating & sale of additional bonds for the LRT extension

3. Article: Boost on the way for Kuantan bus service (The Star, 22 April 2011) – the Pahang Gov’t is in talks with a consortium to improve the bus service in Kuantan.

[TRANSIT: Hopefully this will not be a repeat of RapidTerengganu or Perak Transit – nice ideas from a well-meaning government that end up going nowhere.]

4. Article: BEST passengers increase six folds, more pick-up points mulled (The Star, 22 April 2011) – demand for the Penang Bridge Express Shuttle Transit service is increasing.

5. Letter: Ferries and terminals need makeover (26 April 2011) – Sohan Singh of Tg. Tokong comments on the appearance of the ferry terminals at Weld Quay, Penang.

6. Article: Cabbies get new uniforms (The Star, 25 April 2011) – Seberang Prai Municipal Councillor Teoh Seang Hooi used his April allowance to purchase uniforms for 17 taxi drivers in Nibong Tebal (at a cost of RM65 each).

7. Article: Fast Exit (NST Streets, 25 April 2011) – The direct link from KL Sentral to Lebuhraya Mahameru is now complete and open to drivers – and hopefully to buses. The article also has some information on plans for a contra-flow lane for buses & taxis on Jalan Tun Sambanthan in Brickfields.

8. Article: KTM run attracts 760 (NST Streets, 25 April 2011) – KTM’s Komuter Run 2011 attracted 760 runners.


KL – Kuantan High Speed Railroad to begin in May 2010? No way, says TRANSIT (Update#1)

Updated with additional comments!

TRANSIT took note of this article on the online portal of the Nanyang Siang Pau newspaper, regarding the proposed KL-Kuantan High Speed Rail link.

Let’s just be frank. Despite what you will read below and despite what you may have heard, the KL-Kuantan High Speed Rail Link is not happening anytime soon.

And the media and the Pahang State Government should be very careful about letting themselves be fooled.

TRANSIT has commented on the English translation of the article, in the space below. Clicking on the link will take you to the original version in Chinese.

Traveling time 45 minutes. Site to be based in Pekan. KL – Kuantan high speed railroad to start in May

KUANTAN: The Pahang state government has given the green light, the 350km/h high speed railroad project is expected to kick off this May, the construction site will be stationed in Royal town of Tanjung Agas in Pekan, the whole project is estimated to complete in 3 to 5 years.

[TRANSIT: A KL-Kuantan rail link would have to find a way over, around and through the massive Titiwangsa range – can it be built in 3-5 years???]

President of MRails International Dato Jayakumar confidently told to the press: “Once after this RM1,000,000,000 project started, this will bring explosive dominoes effect to the economic development of our country.

[TRANSIT: Do you note the obvious error? The 35 km of LRT extension proposed by Prasarana is estimated to cost RM7billion. The Rawang-Ipoh double tracking & electrification project cost RM1.1 billion. How can a high-speed rail link between KL and Kuantan be built for only RM1billion???]

“Nanyang Siang Pau” exclusive report of this issue the other day said that the MRails International Co. joint venture with Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co. of China to carry on three Maglev and high speed railroad projects amounting RM1,000,000,000 in our country, these projects included Penang – Butterworth (Maglev train), as well as two projects of Kuala Lumpur – Kuantan and the Kuala Lumpur – Johore Bahru high-speed railroad project.

[TRANSIT: Now they are talking about 3 projects valued at RM1billion]

Components are sourced locally

[TRANSIT: Yeah, right. We have the technology to build Magnetic Levitation Rail in Malaysia?]

Pahang state menteri besar Dato Seri Adnan Yakob has agreed the Kuala Lumpur – Kuantan high speed railroad project in a briefing session. By using a piece of 100 ekar [acre] land in Tanjung Agas as the equipment assembling site for these 3 projects, components required for the Maglev and high speed railroad will be supplied and assembled by local company.

He and Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co. management inspected the Tanjung Agas site on Wednesday, this followed by a meeting session with Adnan Yakob in Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kuantan and an interview with “Nanyang Siang Pau” reporter.

The MRails International Co. will submit a proposal regarding Kuala Lumpur – Kuantan high speed railroad project to Adnan Yakob in a short time.

[TRANSIT: Actually, the Department of Railways is not happy with this project]

He declared that his company had met former premier Tun Mahatir and PM, Dato Sri Najib about the Maglev and high speed railroad project, after obtaining blessing from the latter, he and the Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co. management then visited Adnan Yakob on Wednesday.

The Pahang state government assured giving full coordination

Jayakumar said that the state government had assured to give full coordination in the transportation aspect. Once the high speed railroad project is completed, traveling time between Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan is expected to take only 45 minutes.

The Chinese government thought that Malaysia is suitable to construct the high-speed railroad

[TRANSIT: Can you believe this? Malaysia is a relatively bumpy country with kilometer after kilometer of highlands – most of the flat land is in the flood plains of rivers like the Klang River, Selangor River, Kedah river, etc. We cannot afford the infrastructure costs of building high speed rail]

Jayakumar said again that the Chinese government believed that Malaysia is an ideal country to be a center of Maglev and high speed train.

He said instead providing 100% financing, Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co. will supply the world class railroad technology, but the human resources aspect will be operated and the managed by the MRails International Co.

“Maglev and the high-speed train is a high quality, the high tech transportation, they are believed to be able to relieve Malaysian’s transportation problem”


Don’t believe everything you read. There have already been rumbles about this Jayakumar and his efforts to ‘sell’ rail technology investment to the government of Malaysia – focusing on convincing the state governments first.

Despite all the talk, the project never gets further than state government approval because it is found that:

a) it is really not possible with the resources the state government has
b) the state government representatives know that it is not possible but keep it quiet to avoid embarassment
c) it is actually a scam to make money for various people.

The proper procedure to build a railway in Malaysia is outlined in the Railways Act, 1991, which says that a proper feasibility study & railways scheme must be presented to the Director General of the Department of Railways for conditional approval.

Then the project must go to public display for a period of 3 months. This public display must include maps of the route, land books for the people affected, and a place where people can register their feedback.

Has anyone heard about a public display on the KL-Kuantan High Speed Rail?

That’s because there hasn’t been one. So all this talk about starting construction is May is pointless.

Be well aware – someone is cheating someone.

To those in the media, you are warned…be careful. In your efforts to get the ‘big story’ you may fall prey unwittingly to scam artists and people who will take advantage of your thirst to present ‘news’ before your competition.

Do your research, do background checks, ask for a 2nd, 3rd 4th opinion if necessary.

Do not take the word of these salesmen or agents without a very large grain of taman negara rock salt.

If there is any confusion about the Maglev railway, perhaps these comments from the Minister of Transport will help clear things up:

Bullet train ‘mission impossible’

SEBERANG PERAI (Jan 4, 2010): Any attempt to install a magnetic levitation (maglev) rail system that can accommodate bullet trains in Malaysia has been brushed aside as “mission impossible”.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said Malaysia had neither the population catchment nor the infrastructure to allow the high costs involved in building such a system to be fully recovered.

Again…you were warned.

Now…can someone suggest a way for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to extract himself from the ‘opportunity’ that his government has given to MRails Intl.???