Thursday, August 5, 2021

No cover-up in LRT collision probe, says transport minister

He says the committee assigned to look into the issue was meant to investigate, not adjudicate.

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The transport ministry and its investigation committee, which conducted a probe into the collision between two LRT trains on May 24, never stated that no one is to blame for causing the incident to happen, said its minister Wee Ka Siong.

He also denied a “cover-up” regarding the investigation into the incident as alleged by certain quarters.

“The committee is an investigation committee, not an adjudicating body. Therefore, it has no authority to apportion blame or to pin liability on any party.

“Whatever internal action to be taken against the personnel involved in the incident must be governed strictly by the employment contractual terms signed between the respective personnel and Prasarana,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He added that the phrase “not for the purpose of apportioning blame or liability” did not mean no one could be blamed.

On June 10, Wee was reported to have said that technical issues and communication failure between the operations control centre (OCC) and the hostler (driver) were among the causes of the collision between two LRT trains on the Kelana Jaya line on May 24.

In the incident, 47 passengers suffered serious injuries while 166 escaped with minor injuries when a train carrying passengers and a faulty train which was being test-driven collided in a tunnel between the Kampung Baru and KLCC stations.

Wee said in determining the blame and liability, due process of the law should take place to ensure that natural justice is equally accorded to those responsible for the collision.

He said the investigation committee was not set up to be the judge and the jury, adding that the ministry had no power to prosecute any case.

“When I ordered the formation of the committee to thoroughly examine the tragic LRT collision, the terms of reference for the committee were to be made clear in its mission. We also want to prevent something like this from happening again,” he said.

Wee said the committee’s role was to determine the factors and causes leading up to the incident, which was the main function of the committee. He added that it had completed its task within the time given.

“I have also personally visited and called the affected patients… we take what happened to them extremely gravely and seriously.

“As I have informed in my media conference on June 10, the 23 recommendations approved by the Cabinet were all to bring broad changes to Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd’s safety and operative procedures and Prasarana Malaysia Bhd has promised to implement them within the timeline provided,” he said.

On June 10, Wee was reported to have said that the proposals presented by the investigation committee regarding the collision comprised five recommendations that needed to be implemented within three months, 11 proposals between three months and six months and seven improvements within more than six months.

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