Wednesday, 31 March 2010

KTMB proposes women only passenger car

The last Malaysian train I rode in was 30 years ago, and it was slow, I mean really slow. But it suited my purpose; I was young with plenty of time on my hands. I recalled climbing on to a train at the Kuala Lumpur train station at 9.30 pm and arriving at Butterworth 7.00 in the morning. Presumably Malaysian trains are more comfortable and much faster now. But what is this thing about KTMB proposing women only passenger car? Why the segregation? Is it one of those things again: separate swimming pool for women, separate payment counter for women in a supermarket, separate classrooms for girls...etc, etc? But it is not women only passenger car, families and senior citizens will be given separate cars. According to KTMB, it is for the 'keselesaan' or comfort. of woman commuters. So I guess women are more comfortable sitting among themselves, rather than with strangers of the opposite sex. But could there be another unstated reason? Could it be that chikan has become common on Malaysian trains? If that is the case, by all means have separate coaches for women to prevent sexual harassment. The problem as I see it would be that if there were more men than women on a particular day, the men would be packed like sardines in the men's only coaches. What if a lady prefers to be with her man friend? Would they be separated?

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