The below is a statement from the Singapore Democratic Party in response to the revelation that defective MRT trains were shipped back to its manufacturer in China on 12 June 2016.
The revelation today that the Government has shipped defective MRT trains back to China has raised serious questions about the PAP's effort to ensure the safety of commuters.
Our train system has been plagued by breakdowns and malfunctions in recent years due to mechanical and electrical problems. There were even occasions when the trains have broken down in the middle of the track and passengers have had to walk back to the stations, endangering their safety.
The question on the people's minds is: Were these problems caused by the defective Chinese-made trains?
The PAP also needs to explain why it purchased the trains from China as opposed to ones from other countries. What were the considerations in the orders? Was cost the only or main factor of the decision? What were the steps taken to ensure that the trains were of the highest quality?
The SDP understands that many of the lifts in HDB blocks are also made in China. The recent spate of lift breakdowns have caused injuries and even one fatality in Singapore. Can the Government tell Singaporeans that the lifts are of the highest quality? Was due diligence conducted when the authorities awarded the contracts to the manufacturer(s)?
The Government must give a full account by answering these questions and explain to the people whether there were compromises in safety standards from these purchases of Chinese-made products.
On a separate note, why did the Government not announce that there were defects in the train-carriages and that it was sending them back to China? Why did it take the FactWire News Agency in Hong Kong to reveal this? Would Singaporeans have known of the development if not for the report?