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KTM DIUTAMAKAN: KTM’S COST CUTTING AT THE EXPENSE OF PASSENGERS’
                         DISCOMFORT AND SUFFERING



Personal Experience

        On the 13/05/2011, I went to Butterworth KTM station to board the international
train to Bangkok. When I arrived, I saw one passenger inside while another was outside the
passenger waiting area. Both were suffering from the heat with them being drenched in
sweat. The passenger inside was using a notebook that was hooked to an overhead power
source in the middle of the waiting area. I went into the waiting but found it to be too hot
and stuffy as the air-con was turned off. So I went outside and waited in the sweaty heat of
the day. After a while I found it intolerable to hang around there so I went over to the
Butterworth bus terminal where there were fans along the waiting area to cool off. Later
after an early lunch I came back and the situation at the KTM station was unchanged. As I
had to use the waiting area, I protested to one of the KTM staff who informed the KTM
station master. After a while the station master came out and explained that the air-con
would only be turned on half an hour to an hour before the departure of a train. This was
due to the KTM management policy to cut cost. Though I protested to him that they cannot
cause passengers to suffer just to cut cost, he went off inside his cool air-con office and just
carried-on with what he was doing. It was only very much later that he turned on the air-
con.



Time Expectations on Passengers

         KTM do have certain rights as to time expectations on passengers. For example, it is
KTM’s right to expect passengers to be on time in meeting departures deadlines. But it
cannot presume that passengers will or should come only half an hour or an hour before a
train departs. That is an ideal expectation but not a real one. Why? The variables and
scenarios faced by average travellers, like hotel checkouts, travel time (earliness and
lateness), transit problems, and different travel time schedules of different transport
services, may cause passengers to be early or late. If they are late in meeting departure
deadlines, any loss should be borne by the passenger. But if they are early and there is an
existing passenger waiting area, it is natural expectation of passengers that the waiting area
would be conducive and will not causes them to suffer from factors like heat and stuffiness.
It is a mockery to use the argument of cutting cost as a reason to make passengers who are
early to suffer while even the station master and his ticketing staff are enjoying a
comfortable and cool air-con environment. I don’t think so that KTM policy makers who
came up with the rules sat in open-air under the blazing afternoon sun while making
decisions that led passengers who are early to suffer a non air-con environment of heat and
stuffiness. Isn’t it a mockery of the very passengers who are giving the revenue to KTM to be
treated like shit while the policy makers, station master and their ticketing staff function in
cool air-con offices right in the face of passengers? Adakah ini cara passenger diutamakan?



Passenger Unfriendly Premise and Bad Example

        To say that passengers who come earlier have to put up with heat and stuffiness is a
passenger unfriendly premise that is supported by a bad example. In these days where
customer comfort and satisfaction is taken as priority by profit orientated entities, KTM is
promoting a backward passenger unfriendly premise by ignoring the suffering of their
passengers in their non-conducive waiting area in Butterworth KTM station. It is a bad
example because while claiming to cut cost by depriving the passengers of a natural and
rightful comfort, the policy makers, Butterworth station master and their ticketing staff are
enjoying the very comfort which they deny to their passengers who are their clients. Cost
cutting should start with the KTM policy makers, Butterworth station master and ticketing
staff and not with the passengers. This why, KTM diutamakan bukan passengers!

       If KTM thinks that this is just a complaint of an isolated single passenger, which
would only show that it is close to feedback for its own positive progress. If KTM were to
claim that there are no complaints about this issue, it could be that they don’t want to see
any complaints. Any progressive entity would always look forward for feedbacks despite
whether it sounds positive or negative. Feedbacks are avenues that can be used for
improvement. KTM should only worry when there are no feedbacks. I am putting my
experience in writing with the hope that KTM would be more passenger friendly and know
how to “utamakan passengers.” Any entity who hopes to be profitable won’t function by
making its clients suffer. “Utamakan passengers.”

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KTM diutamakan: ktm’s cost cutting at the expense of passengers

  • 1. KTM DIUTAMAKAN: KTM’S COST CUTTING AT THE EXPENSE OF PASSENGERS’ DISCOMFORT AND SUFFERING Personal Experience On the 13/05/2011, I went to Butterworth KTM station to board the international train to Bangkok. When I arrived, I saw one passenger inside while another was outside the passenger waiting area. Both were suffering from the heat with them being drenched in sweat. The passenger inside was using a notebook that was hooked to an overhead power source in the middle of the waiting area. I went into the waiting but found it to be too hot and stuffy as the air-con was turned off. So I went outside and waited in the sweaty heat of the day. After a while I found it intolerable to hang around there so I went over to the Butterworth bus terminal where there were fans along the waiting area to cool off. Later after an early lunch I came back and the situation at the KTM station was unchanged. As I had to use the waiting area, I protested to one of the KTM staff who informed the KTM station master. After a while the station master came out and explained that the air-con would only be turned on half an hour to an hour before the departure of a train. This was due to the KTM management policy to cut cost. Though I protested to him that they cannot cause passengers to suffer just to cut cost, he went off inside his cool air-con office and just carried-on with what he was doing. It was only very much later that he turned on the air- con. Time Expectations on Passengers KTM do have certain rights as to time expectations on passengers. For example, it is KTM’s right to expect passengers to be on time in meeting departures deadlines. But it cannot presume that passengers will or should come only half an hour or an hour before a train departs. That is an ideal expectation but not a real one. Why? The variables and scenarios faced by average travellers, like hotel checkouts, travel time (earliness and lateness), transit problems, and different travel time schedules of different transport services, may cause passengers to be early or late. If they are late in meeting departure deadlines, any loss should be borne by the passenger. But if they are early and there is an existing passenger waiting area, it is natural expectation of passengers that the waiting area would be conducive and will not causes them to suffer from factors like heat and stuffiness. It is a mockery to use the argument of cutting cost as a reason to make passengers who are early to suffer while even the station master and his ticketing staff are enjoying a comfortable and cool air-con environment. I don’t think so that KTM policy makers who came up with the rules sat in open-air under the blazing afternoon sun while making decisions that led passengers who are early to suffer a non air-con environment of heat and stuffiness. Isn’t it a mockery of the very passengers who are giving the revenue to KTM to be
  • 2. treated like shit while the policy makers, station master and their ticketing staff function in cool air-con offices right in the face of passengers? Adakah ini cara passenger diutamakan? Passenger Unfriendly Premise and Bad Example To say that passengers who come earlier have to put up with heat and stuffiness is a passenger unfriendly premise that is supported by a bad example. In these days where customer comfort and satisfaction is taken as priority by profit orientated entities, KTM is promoting a backward passenger unfriendly premise by ignoring the suffering of their passengers in their non-conducive waiting area in Butterworth KTM station. It is a bad example because while claiming to cut cost by depriving the passengers of a natural and rightful comfort, the policy makers, Butterworth station master and their ticketing staff are enjoying the very comfort which they deny to their passengers who are their clients. Cost cutting should start with the KTM policy makers, Butterworth station master and ticketing staff and not with the passengers. This why, KTM diutamakan bukan passengers! If KTM thinks that this is just a complaint of an isolated single passenger, which would only show that it is close to feedback for its own positive progress. If KTM were to claim that there are no complaints about this issue, it could be that they don’t want to see any complaints. Any progressive entity would always look forward for feedbacks despite whether it sounds positive or negative. Feedbacks are avenues that can be used for improvement. KTM should only worry when there are no feedbacks. I am putting my experience in writing with the hope that KTM would be more passenger friendly and know how to “utamakan passengers.” Any entity who hopes to be profitable won’t function by making its clients suffer. “Utamakan passengers.”