Keeping the city moving

September kicked off with news about the disruptions of our LRT services and along with that, a barrage of complaints. As a commuter, I understand the anger and sadness, but let’s not forget that while we were focusing on the problems, there were those who were toiling away to find the solutions – the technicians working furiously behind the scenes, and the drivers tasked with getting us from one station to the next.


I spoke to one of the RapidKL Transit Officers, Muhamad Hizami bin Abd Rahman, who has been tasked with managing the Ampang Line for four years now. If he’s on the morning shift, he starts work at 4am and has to travel to the depot to transport the trains out. Hizami and his team have to check the trains to ensure that everything is in working order so that passengers can enjoy smooth rides.

On night shifts, he does a sweep of the train after operation hours to check that the lights are switched off, the coaches are clean and also look out for any belongings that commuters may have left behind. He then has to send the train back to the depot.

What feeds Hizami’s passion is the opportunity to test out technological advancements. Before a new train is put in service, it is Hizam’s job to test drive them – from sunrise till sunset, putting the trains through the paces properly so they are able to handle the load when the time comes.

_dsc4615His main priority is to ensure that the trains function as they should and on schedule. As commuters, we think we have a bad day when the trains malfunction but imagine what people like Hizami go through then. For example, when we need to go, we’ll just look for the nearest toilet but that is a luxury for him as he cannot simply stop operating the train just to take a toilet break!

Hizami hopes the public can understand that his job isn’t easy. The public will point their fingers at RapidKL staff when the trains are down, and they have to bear the brunt of the anger while continuing to carry out their jobs and troubleshoot problems at the same time.

Putting the blame on people is easy, understanding the whole situation before blaming is hard. – BY BELINDA SOH