At 6:56pm last night, trains on the North-South Line (NSL) came to a stop as for the second time in 2 days, there is a fault along the MRT lines. The stoppage affected train service in both directions from Bishan to Marina Bay and normal service was only resumed at 11:40pm.
I’m not too bothered with the stoppages. In any country, things like this happened all the time. What I do mind however is the way SMRT went about informing people about the stoppages. To be more exact, how they DIDN’T inform people about the stoppages!
You would think that when the trains stopped, the train company would inform passengers on other lines that their trains are down and not go wait for the trains right? Not in Singapore! Passengers on the Circle Line (CCL) reported that they were not informed of the problems on the NSL and some had changed from the CCL to the NSL only to discover that the NSL was down after waiting a long time for trains that never came.
If that’s not bad enough, it seems that people from the media were not allowed to inform their viewers of the problem on the MRT as well!
The day before, on the 14th Dec, there was a minor breakdown on the CCL. A local radio DJ informed his listeners on the breakdown and he is now censured for the announcement. His crime? It seem that the DJ, Hossan Leong, got his information from callers who call in to the radio station to report the matter and he was censured because he announced the disruption on the CCL before the SMRT released an official statement on the matter!
What total nonsense!
This is a prefect example of the “cover your own backside” mentality that has infected the Singapore government. Who cares about the official statement? Just tell people there is a breakdown first, and worry about the official statement later! Telling your customers about a fault in your system should be your first priority. No one cares about the official statement when they are struck in the MRT station without knowledge of whether the trains are coming or not. And then to add spice to the dish, you censured someone who did something you ought to be doing in the first place!
Brilliant! Wonderful! No wonder so many Singaporeans are piss off at the SMRT!