Friday, December 11, 2015

ETS stands for Electric Train Service case you didn't know.

I have been toying seriously with the idea of travelling up to Ipoh on the ETS because I've been told it takes only 2 hours and 30 minutes from the KL station to the Ipoh train station.

How cool is that?

I am an avid train traveller, if you must know. Been travelling on the train since I was a kid as I was born in Singapore and after my family and I moved to Malaya in 1959, we would travel back to our kampung in Singapore by train during the school term holidays when my father was not able to drive us down.  During my teen years, we would travel on our own by train to visit our relatives in the island republic.

Overseas as a student and later for work and private visits, I'd make a point of travelling by train.

So really, I like train rides.

When the Kelana Jaya-Gombak LRT line began operation in September 1998, I was a regular Sunday commuter together with my children, nieces and nephews just for a funtime from Kelana Jaya to KLCC.

I wanted them to be familiar with train rides for one day they might just need to use it on a regular basis.
By the way, the Kelana Jaya-Gombak line that serves the Petaling Jaya South region - central KL is 29 km in length. It  is the fourth longest fully automated driverless metro system in the world, after Dubai Metro in Dubai(74.6 km), the SkyTrain in Greater VancouverCanada (68.7 km) and the Lille Metro VAL in LilleFrance (32 km).

Back to the our new ETS train service from KL to Butterworth and Padang Besar that has been in operation for quite some time this year.

I have read blogposts by people who have been on the KL-Ipoh service and they enjoyed it.  Mostly great reviews. Very appealing, this idea of an ETS ride.

After all , the ETS Class 93 high speed train service is dubbed the Malaysian 'Bullet Train'.

According to official data, Malaysia's first ETS train from Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh began operations on Aug 12, 2010. The first South Korean made trains can travel at speeds of 160km per hour and take only two hours to reach Ipoh making train travel much faster. This time around, the Chinese made ETS Train KL to Butterworth and Padang Besar will only take less than 5 hours. 

The fares, of course,  are pricier than those of regular KTMB commuter but then, you'll be paying for a service that's way faster. The fastest, in fact. 

For fares and schedule, check HERE  

also HERE
Where to go :
Kuala Lumpur Railway station (and ETS HQ) – Main Lobby – +6032272-3392
Kuala Lumpur Sentral – Level 2 – +603 2272 3392
Ipoh Railway Station – Main Lobby – +605 254 0481
The On-board Facilities:
  • Cafe Car and trolley service
  • LED televisions at both ends of each carriage
  • Disabled friendly toilets and priority seating for OKU
  • Interior CCTV system for all coaches
  • Power socket (one for each seat row of 2 passengers)
Looks like it will not be long before I try it out.

Here's from Tripadvisor.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Embattled Najib Faces Umno

It is that time of the year again when Umno holds its general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre.
Every year cynics will dismiss the assembly to be yet another unproductive sessions of grumbles, grouses and growls.  Same old same old.

Yet, every year, there is something new. Or an expansion of what has happened since the last session.

Just look at what has happened over the past year.
To say that Umno is under siege is an understatement. This party has been that in the last two decades (and longer).

To say that the position of party president Najib Razak is shaky is so mild. But nothing unusual because his predecessor Abdullah Badawi had been in an almost similar position but different circumstances.

Former PM and Umno president Dr Mahathir was up against rebelling and dissident deputies and colleagues during his time - Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar Ibrahim.

Najib is faced with attacks no less vile and malicious than Dr Mahathir when he held the reign. Reformasi was raised from the wave of discontent and dissatisfaction during Dr Mahathir's  premiership. That is history.

Najib is embattled. He is attacked by his former boss and former deputy. He has been dragged through the mud by Umno members themselves.

So now, he faces his party and the taikos and the makcik2, pemuda2 and puteri2.

Let's hear them

Interesting to follow the goings-on.

Yes -- another session. Detractors and critics will continue to vilify or mock the assembly dismissing them as a circus full of clowns.

I have my own criticisms but I wouldn't go so far as to say that. It is always so easy to do that -- you know, being all so intellectual and high-and-mighty and arrogant and all that.

I've been critical of Umno leaders -- in open discussions and writings - since my NST days. I've always believed that you deserve the leaders you get.

I am from the outside looking in. Thank God for that.

One thing for sure -- Umno has to evolve and be realistic of the new Malaysia that we are living in.

Meanwhile -- selamat bersidang.