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Using Malaysia’s public trains is quite the emotional roller coaster.

On one hand, we’re eternally grateful for the cheap, efficient and relatively reliable service. But on the other hand, some passengers can be a REAL nightmare.

Despite countless reminders by the operators on train etiquette, Malaysians seem to have a case of amnesia when confronted about this.

Not for display only, you know.
(Credit: @aimanbaser/Twitter)

So we’re here to remind Malaysians once again on these 10 basic public transportation train etiquettes that they keep forgetting.

1. QUEUE UP, PLEASE!

Credit: Owee Ah Chun via NST

Remember when our teachers taught us how to queue up in tadika?

Apparently, most of us don’t.

It’s really easy, there’s two queues at the side of each door. Just stand behind the person in front of you and patiently wait your turn to enter.

2. Let People Come Out of the Train FIRST

In order for you to fit in the train, there needs to be some room right?

So, wait at the side of the doors. Do not stand right in the middle of the doorway and block the path for people exiting the train, that just slows everyone down.

If you miss the train, there’s really no real rush. The next one usually arrives within 5 – 10 minutes. Chill lah.

3. Manage Your Bags Appropriately

If you’re carrying a big backpack, please carry it on your front instead of behind.

Bags… Bags everywhere…
(Credit: @MuFarhan98/Twitter)

That way, your bag won’t keep hitting people in the face. Plus, you get to keep a closer eye on your belongings. Otherwise, just put it on the floor between your legs.

4. One Seat Per Human Body

Don’t kangkang or put your feet up on the chairs or even make it your bed. Space on the train is precious and everyone needs a spot.

Oh, and your bags don’t need a seat. Just put in on the floor under your legs to avoid tripping others.

5. Use Priority Seats Correctly

Okay, there’s two camps on priority seating.

  • Camp 1: Unless you’re pregnant, disabled, elderly or sick, don’t use AT ALL.
  • Camp 2: Can sit if the train is full but give up your seat up the moment someone who really needs it walks into the train.
Don’t keep staring at your phone until the outside world disappears.
(Credit: The Star)

Our advice: Give the priority seats a complete miss if the train’s not full.

But if you’re going to use it, you MUST be alert of other passengers boarding the train who might need it more. That means looking up from your phone (or book) often to keep an eye out for other passengers.

Which brings us to our next point…

6. USE YOUR EARPHONES

This probably the most annoying trait of Malaysia’s train users.

You’re sitting on the train, minding your own business in peace when suddenly the fellow next to you decides he MUST watch that forwarded WhatsApp video on exploding phones right that moment at FULL volume.

Sure, sharing is caring but not everyone cares. Pop in those earbuds and you can enjoy that video without having a hundred people glaring at you.

Be like this girl. Everyone likes this girl. She wears earphones when watching videos on the train.
(Credit: Freepik)

7. Leave The Pole Hugging For The Club

We have no idea why, but Malaysian public transportation users seem to be quite affectionate of the pole (train pole, don’t be naughty).

Some next level pole action spotted on the MRT.
(Credit: RapidKL/Facebook)

As much as you love the metal pole, don’t hug or lean against it. It’s meant to be shared with other commuters for their safety, especially when the train jerks to a stop.

So please, leave some space and leave the dancing for the club.

8. The Emergency Button Is No Playing Matter

Do you remember that viral video of some young Malaysians playing with the MRT emergency button?

While it turned out that they didn’t actually press the button, it was still an inappropriate and possibly dangerous action.

One wrong push and the entire system gets put on high alert. Besides, crowding around the emergency button slows down emergency response.

In any case, misuse of the emergency button can lead to fines up to RM10,000. If you want some laughs, a comedy show ticket is a lot cheaper.

9. Your Boyfriend Does Not Belong In Women Only Coaches

This one’s for the KTM users. The women only coach exists to address the many sexual harassment incidences that female passengers experience on public transportation. It’s supposed to be a safe space.

If you identify as male, DO NOT ENTER. Let the ladies have some sense of security.

10. Escalator Golden Rule: Stand on the left, walk on the right.

Stand on the left, walk on the right. Stand on the left, walk on the right. Stand on the left, walk on the right. Stand on the left, walk on the right. Stand on the left, walk on the right.

Repeat until the message is deeply embedded in your brain.

This rule applies ANYWHERE in Malaysia. Don’t block the path and don’t be selfish.


There you have it, 10 basic public transportation train etiquettes that’s really easy to remember and follow.

If you know anyone who needs a gentle reminder, just show them this article. Or just share this as an act of public service. Trust us, it’ll make everyone’s lives better!

Look, everyone’s happy because you followed basic public transport etiquettes.
(Credit: Prasarana Malaysia Berhad)

Do you have any basic public transportation etiquette to add to the list? Let us know on TRP’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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