THE presence of men in the women’s coach is proving to be the bane of the commuter rail service run by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad in Kuala Lumpur.
Ignorance and oversight are often the excuses given, but there have been instances when passengers who ignored the ruling were described as disrespectful.
Recently, Facebook user Wan Amiasyazlia Meor lashed out at passengers who ignored the ruling, and who told her off when she asked them to leave because there was a passenger who wanted to breastfeed a child.
Amiasyazlia wrote that she was on her way to Rawang from Shah Alam when she asked some 10 men to leave the women’s coach.
Instead of leaving they berated her, and called her vile names.
Engineer Shikin Taha, 36, said men could be regularly seen in the women’s coach during peak hours.
“During peak hours, women also have to stand in the coach just like other passengers,” she said.
“We also see foreign tourists but most will move when they know it’s the women’s coach.
“I have pointed out the signs inside the coach to tourists and most of the time they would nod and leave.”
Shikin suggested the authorities should have security personnel check the coaches regularly at stations to deter men from occupying the women’s coach.
There are 33 station stops on the Tanjung Malim-Port Klang route and 26 stops on the Batu Caves-Tampin route.
Intan Madiha Raihani Md Kamsani, 27, who commutes alone from Bangi to work in Kuala Lumpur, said there had been many instances when the auxiliary policemen would just ignore the men who sit in the women’s coach.
“They are the ones who need to tell these passengers to move because there are times when we may not feel comfortable,” she said, but added that most of the time the men who entered the women’s coach were tourists.
A male passenger, Muhammad Saifuddin Abd Rahman, 26, who was met inside the women’s coach said he was accompanying his wife, Nor Fitriyah Azizi, 23, as he felt it was his duty to do so.
But Saifuddin agreed that men should not be in the compartment and suggested more patrols.
The women’s only coach was introduced in 2010 to provide passengers more comfort when travelling and each are clearly marked with pink signs.
KTMB chairman Datuk Nawawi Ahmad said creating awareness on the “ladies coach” remained a daunting challenge.
In admitting they have received numerous complaints of people abusing the policy, he said KTMB would continue to mobilise its auxiliary police personnel to conduct spot checks.
“Regular announcements and sticking of bold notices are also done to ensure people do not abuse this policy which is meant to provide better comfort for women passengers,” Nawawi said.
However, he said their actions were limited to advising people to shift coaches as there were no laws that allowed them to punish those who abuse the privilege.
“But, rest assured, we are well aware of the comments and complaints made by passengers and we will monitor this consistently,” Nawawi added.
In a statement, KTMB chief executive officer Mohd Rani Samsudin said a special operation to curb such incidences was launched by the KTMB auxiliary police and Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) on Thursday.
The operation was aimed at enforcing the policy and to create greater awareness among passengers, he said.
“KTMB with cooperation from SPAD will also look into its operational guideline to better enforce the policy on the women’s coach,” he said.