The Malaysian army has apologized after two of its vehicles broke down in Kuala Lumpur on two consecutive days, blocking traffic and inviting derision on social media.
The first incident occurred on Friday, when a PT-91M Twardy tank stalled with engine problems on a highway near the country’s Parliament building, the army said in a statement Saturday.
Photos on social media showed traffic jams building up around the tank as army officials and police officers attempted to divert cars around it. The tank was towed away by a recovery vehicle 30 minutes later and repairs were carried out, the army said.
Less than 24 hours later, an armored prime mover – used mainly for towing heavy weapons – broke down on a busy road outside the National Museum in the heart of the capital.
Videos taken at the scene showed a queue of military vehicles behind the prime mover. Curious motorists were also seen slowing down to take a look at the unusual scene.
A team of mechanics completed repair work by 12:30 p.m. local time Sunday, the army said. The vehicle then continued on its journey to Dataran Merdeka, or Independence Square, where Malaysian Independence Day celebrations will be held on August 31. Both vehicles were involved in rehearsals for the parade, the army said.
“The army apologizes for the two incidents and will ensure that this does not happen again,” the army statement said. “But should it recur, a standby recovery team will be dispatched to the location as quickly as possible to tow the stricken vehicle away in order to avoid traffic jams.”
Photos of the broken down vehicles attracted ridicule from Malaysians online. Many found humor in the situation while some on Twitter criticized the army for what they claimed was poor maintenance of the vehicles.
“Singapore needs tanks to defend their roads. Malaysia’s roads can defeat tanks,” said Malaysian standup comedian Jason Leong on Twitter.
“A tank broke at the middle of the (Malaysia) highway,” wrote another Twitter user. “If Malaysia goes to war, we would be Russia.”