When I go from KL to Medan I usually check in at KL Sentral then take the train to KLIA. I must have done it a hundred times. But on my last trip I decided to exert my right as a consumer.
I have always thought that one is free to choose one’s means of getting to KLIA. However, in the past 99 times I have decided to overlook KLIA Express’ implied condition that only they be used. This time I did not (overlook their imposition), and instead challenged it.
KLIA Express has positioned its ticket counter right at the access to the check-in counters giving the impression that only by buying their train ticket can one pass through the barrier.
On this occasion the gate was opened and I passed through without being stopped. I duly checked in my luggage but as I exited the barrier was shut. An officer from KLIA Express asked me how I got in. I told him. He was furious that I had checked in my luggage without buying a ticket first.
I told him that it was not a condition of my airline ticket that I should use KLIA Express which made him even more furious. He insisted that it was but was unable to back up his claim. I told him I could travel by KL Transit if I wanted to, to which he asked if I was over 55 (what a compliment!). What has that got to do with the price of fish I wondered.
Nevertheless, it was a climb down from his original position. I then made it clear to the small gathering that consumers have a choice how they travel to KLIA. One can go by bus which is only RM8 or be taken there by a friend, or go by KL Transit and save RM10 if one were a pensioner.
It is the deceit and arrogance of KLIA Express that if one wanted the convenience of checking in at KL Sentral, one had to use them that I find unacceptable. MAS and Cathay Pacific operate the city check-in for the convenience of their passengers not for the profit of KLIA Express.
I suggest that the electronic gates be removed so that passengers will not be fooled into thinking that only by buying a KLIA Express ticket can they check in.
There may be occasions when I may decide to use them but that is my choice as a consumer. It is unacceptable that consumers must give in to this kind of monopoly.
In view of the letters titled, “Quarry’s response to complaints” and “Historical limestone gone forever” published in the September 1-15 issue of the Ipoh Echo, Lafarge Malaysia Berhad (formerly known as Lafarge Malayan Cement Berhad) would like to reassure the public that it is committed to working with local stakeholders to promote and protect biodiversity. Around the world and in Malaysia, Lafarge employs a sound and responsible approach to its quarrying activities, and has in place quarry development plans which take into account sensitive environmental aspects.
Underground mining is a common method employed for mining coal, gemstones and rocks. Mining techniques deployed are dependent on geological and hydrological conditions. Each situation is very unique and the area where underground mining takes place needs to be very stable. In the case of Gunung Kanthan, taking into consideration the necessary conditions required, we are not looking into this option.
To address biodiversity concerns, Lafarge is currently working with local stakeholders and, more specifically, is collaborating with a qualified and independent team at the University of Malaya’s (UM) Institute of Biological Sciences to assess biodiversity sensitivities in the area. The UM team is working in partnership with Lafarge’s International Biodiversity Panel whose members include representatives from IUCN France and the Wildlife Habitat Council amongst others.
Moving forward, Lafarge will continue to engage environmental groups, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work towards preserving biodiversity at Gunung Kanthan. We will only make a decision on how to proceed with our quarrying operations once the relevant studies, including biodiversity have been completed.
Kanthan Plant Manager
Lafarge Malaysia Berhad
Of late the public transport in Ipoh has been a disappointment to the public. With Perak Transit running the show and with the new manager, little or nothing is taken to improve the bus services, especially to Kampung Bercham, the destination with the most number of passengers. There is no bus schedule in the bus or at the station showing the actual departure time, as the drivers leave the station (Medan Kidd) as and when they like. Five buses are supposed to be on the road, but on one occasion, I noticed that only two buses were running, causing one to wait for more than an hour to get a bus.
With the express (bus) terminal located at Amanjaya, passengers are cheated by irresponsible taxis at night, charging expensive trips, as the bus services stop at 9pm.
Even worse is the express bus going to Teluk Intan with frequent late departures and cancellation of trips due to poor management. Once I booked a 5pm ticket on Sunday hoping to reach home by 7pm, only to be informed that the trip for that timing was cancelled and I had to take the 6pm bus. The bus finally departed at 6.25pm and I reached Teluk Intan at about 9pm! I thought that the purpose of advance booking was to assure passengers of a time and a place on the bus, not add to their problems. I hope the relevant authority will look into this.
The historical Victoria Bridge spanning the width of Perak River at Karai, Kuala Kangsar is more than a century old and oozes with nostalgic charm. It is like stepping back in time when one walks along this bridge which still has its railway lines and iron lattice girders intact.
This magnificent bridge was opened by the Sultan of Perak in 1900 but sad to say, the humongous commemorative metal plaque, which was still seen attached to the entrance of the bridge a year ago, is missing. The only one left standing is the plaque which is at the other end of the bridge. This is our national heritage and I hope the relevant authorities will do something about it before this goes missing too. Looks like scrap metal must be worth its weight in gold!
Yoon Lai Wan
Ipoh City Council has responded to some of Ipoh Echo’s complaints raised in its “iSpeak” and “Thumbs Down” columns. It is a good indicator that Ipohites’ woes are being addressed.
Here are the responses, which we received from the Council on September 6:
*Ipoh Echo Issue 170 dated July 16 to 31 – “Retention Pond in Merdeka Garden – A Failed Design”.
An inspection of the said retention pond was carried out by Council officers after reading the complaint in Ipoh Echo. The retention pond was built and is maintained by Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran (Drainage and Irrigation Department). Therefore, it is only proper that the complaint be directed at the department as Ipoh City Council is not the responsible party.
*Ipoh Echo Issue 170 dated July 16 to 31 – “Big Bully Buses”.
The affected areas were patrolled by Council’s enforcement officers. It was found that the buses were in fact school buses waiting to pick school children. The bus drivers were duly warned.
*Ipoh Echo Issue 171 dated August 1 to 15 – “Kinta River a Tourist Attraction?”
The complaint relating to water level in Kinta River has to do with the dam upstream. The dam was built and is maintained by Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran (Drainage and Irrigation Department). The responsibility of regulating water flow in the river lies solely with the department. Ipoh City Council has written to the department highlighting the matter.
I applaud the recent statement in Ipoh Echo by Lafarge Cement that they are taking steps to protect the biodiversity within its quarries. The Limestone hills here in the Kinta Valley are actually just the “Tip of the Iceberg” and very much more limestone lies underground according to geological surveys. I urge Lafarge to spare the hills and instead practise Sub-surface Quarrying.
They can start digging underground at their present quarry site instead of blasting more hills. Since the quarry site is already degraded, just continue going below the surface and spare the hills which are the homes of so much flora and fauna. Underground quarrying, when done on degraded land, is much less damaging to the environment.
I believe that Hume Cement near Kampar is using Sub-surface Quarrying for their limestone. The hills in the Kinta Valley are of great benefit to all living things so please spare them from further destruction.
The picture shows an extension of an old shop lot belonging to ‘Public Restaurant’ in Pasir Puteh. I find it rather dangerous and I wonder how an old building like this one can support such a heavy structure. And how can our government approve such an architecture. I feel like it’s my duty as a citizen to do something before disaster happens.
Can you imagine when a big structure like this one is hit by strong winds? I wonder if it will collapse.
Ipoh Echo, can you please try to alert the public and our Ipoh government before it’s too late?
I am one of the regular joggers at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Park (also known as the Polo Ground), in Ipoh. As such, allow me to give a few suggestions for further improvement. It would be good to widen the present track to at least 2-3 feet. Planting more trees along the track gives more shade to the users as well as those who wish to relax along the benches.
While I am grateful for this service provided by the Municipal Council, I would also like to highlight some inconveniences which have cropped up lately. These things may be minor yet in the long run it will cause more harm than good to those who frequent the park.
The tiled jogging track has of late been used by motorcyclists and this is very dangerous for the joggers/runners, and especially dangerous to children who also play around the area. It is not just random members of the public who do this but also policemen, enforcement officers and DBI workers. They seem to use this track as a shortcut to their pondok. Another issue is the mowing of grass during peak hours (when there is a fairly large crowd using the grounds).
However, what bothers me most are the many vendors around the grounds. It seems that this place is no longer a scenic exercise ground but more like a market. These vendors not only sell drinks and cooked food, but also sell vegetables, clothes, bakery goods and others. I have no qualms against these vendors but I am just wondering how these vendors have multiplied over time.
I do hope the enforcement officers and those responsible for the maintenance of this park will look into this matter, and perhaps take the necessary actions. I am sure many others, like myself, would want to preserve this beautiful park for many more years to come as this is one of the better jogging grounds in Ipoh City.
I read from The Star (dated August 1) that the Ipoh City Council has appointed two companies for the Waller Court re-development project. The nearby clinic will be demolished for this project.
My concern is for the fate of the beautiful trees that have been growing around the flats serenely for many years. Will they still be there when the project is completed or will they be sacrificed?
Over the past few years, we in Ipoh have seen many majestic trees being cut down for the sake of development. I sincerely hope that the Ipoh City Council will try its best to maintain Ipoh’s charm and beauty by preserving the few spots of greenery still found in the city.
It is distressing to see only stumps and sawdust left on the ground after the chain-saws have done their work.
Trees that have stood for decades should be treated as landmarks and allowed to keep their place in the city that they grew up with.