Sunday, December 18, 2011

Heads Should Wait

Just 2 days ago, I blogged about the breakdown along the North-South Line (NSL) and how SMRT should have informed passengers immediately of the fault in their system. That was a problem in communication but now the problems at SMRT seem to be far deeper than that.

Just yesterday, there is another breakdown in the services. This time it is along the North-South MRT line and according to the SMRT, the problems lies in damage to the third rail of the tracks at certain locations. I find the reasoning very strange as I do not understand why there is suddenly this spate of damage rails all happening at the same time.

However, I understand that whatever the (real) reason is, the SMRT will need some time to fix the issue. This is why I do not agree with the calls for SMRT chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa to resign. There had also been calls by some Singaporeans for the head of Mr Lui Tuck Yew, the Singapore Transport Minister, and while I can understand why Singaporeans are unhappy with the duo, the timing of the calls is wrong.

Frankly, I’m more interested in why there are so many faults all of the sudden. Like I said earlier, I find the reasons given by the SMRT to be very strange and I believe I’m not the only one. I believe Singaporeans should wait. Yes, heads should roll but we need to find out why the trains stopped in the first place and then put in procedures to prevent it from happening again.

Once those are done, then heads should roll. This mess happened on the watch of Saw Phaik Hwa and Lui Tuck Yew, so it’s only right that they be the ones who fix the problems. After that…

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe people wants to see accountability. By announcing Ms Saw will be leave at say (1-3mths notice who knows) will give people the closure they want. There must clearly be handover period while investigation go on and the new CEO can come in on clean slate to rebuild confidence. I don't see any other way forward now. The damage is irreparable by Ms Saw. Lui will have a bigger fish to fry...the entire transformation of our transport infrastructure. His turn will come. He is just getting warm in his seat, so will cut him some slack. Ms Saw time is out..after 9 years.

Anonymous said...

Lui Tuck Yew is the minister in charge for only half a year he has undoubtedly inherited a mess from previous minister Raymond Lim. CEO Saw has been in the job far longer,and I do not think she is not happy with the job apart from the big fat renumeration.
It would appear to me no body is in charge at SMRT in the years prior to the May GE 2012.No regular audit of the transport system were done and they simply can be bother.
This is a sorry state of affairs in Singapore.
You can bet that more of these deficiencies will surface in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a voice of reason. Let's not bay for blood simply to satisfy our blood lust. Heads must roll, but we have to find the root cause first. I'm not defending the CEO of SMRT, cause it was under her charge that this happened. To sack her now would be too light a punishment.
Anyway, who has the authority to sack her? The government? The citizens? No! Only the share holders. Do you think the share holders bother about our discomfort?As long as the company makes money, why rock the boat?
So I think we can forget about the "saw" resigning............unless. ...........

Ghost said...

Accountability can come after fixing the problem. That comes first.

Anonymous said...

If the government is really accountable and transparent, if the COI called by PM Lee is really impartial, a can of worms will soon be revealed. Many in LTA will have to go because the MRT is built by them and then handed over to operators, SMRT and SBS. Of course, someone in SMRT has to go because of maintenance and emergency procedure.

This shows you how important is an accountable and transparent government. With OSA in place, do you really believe COI is independent and impartial? I personally doubt it. There are so many COIs before, what do they achieve except to provide you a convincing story without verification? Are you sure those asked to provide evidences are able to do so under Official Secret Act? Do not forget most of those asked to testify are in the civil services or government who are subject to this OSA.

Hum Yee Fan Sang said...

http://humyeefansang.blogspot.com/2011/12/you-donch-know-how-to-siam.html

Ghost said...

Personally I think people are reading too much into this. This is the MRT breaking down, not the Singapore government. The Singapore government does not want the MRT to break down and they would not want to cover anything up. Why should they?
The sooner things get fix, the better it is for them. The better the fix, the less likely the breakdown will happen again. It is in the government’s interest to show Singaporeans they can fix the problem. People only cover things up when it is in their interest to do so. That is not the case here for the Singapore government. PM Lee himself said that he believe the SMRT need to begin restoring public confidence in its system and it is important for us now to get to the bottom of the matter.
He said “for us” which means the government. It is important for the government to show that they can get to the bottom of the matter. The SMRT is a private company. A company with strong ties to the Singapore but a private company all the same. Why would the Singapore government want to cover things up when it is more beneficial for them to be honest? I think even the most anti-PAP of people will admit that make no sense.

Anonymous said...

When nothing bad has happened, there is no need for cover-up. But, if mishap happens, then..........

Ghost said...

Again I will ask the simple question; what reason the government have to cover it up? So something bad happened; so what? This is not going to bring down the government, in fact having a cover-up would make things worse for them! Who would do something that is against your own benefit?

Anonymous said...

It is only normal to expect ugly people to make up and cover up lah.

Ghost said...

If you are going to say you "expect" the government to cover up, please at least give a reason on "why". I am especially interested to hear that since I think it's againest their interest to do so!

Anonymous said...

If Transport Services in Sg are provided by non-state owned operators, there will be very little need for politicians to scramble into the non-casualty breakdowns. Who are the main-owners of our transport companies? Who appoint the CEOs of the Two Biggest Transport Companies?

The Public are well aware of how our housing, medical services, education, utilities and public transportation are link to the Government.