Will SMRT management be held accountable by the authorities?

by Anthony Ng

I have been very disturbed by the continuing saga, the flooding tunnel as the most recent, with SMRT. I’m even more disturbed with the deafening silence from all those responsible, no less the Minister himself. What I fear is that eventually the blame game will repeat itself and some minion/s will be the scapegoat. Here I’m referring to how the Director of Control Operations had to be the fall guy for the two fatalities on 22 March 2016.

What I’m writing is hopefully my preemptive take to avert another poor minion casualty in SMRT. I declare that I have never worked nor have friends or relatives working in SMRT. Nor am I associated in any way with SMRT. What I’m writing is purely objective. But I must admit that my letter is somewhat “politically sensitive” as I cannot contain my disappointment any longer. Believe me, I tried to tone down as much as I could. I pray and hope that you will find in your heart a tad empathy for me and those affected to see it to print.

When Teo Wee Kiat as Director of Control Operations of SMRT, was fined $55,000 for the accident on 22 March 2016, I scratched my head. Was he solely responsible, just because he was/is in charge of operations? Shouldn’t the ascending pecking order be similarly held responsible? Ultimately the CEO, and others should be held accountable too. If the CEO had done his job well, no such negligence would have happened.

On the flip side if ever SMRT does well in any one area, who would be accorded the kudos? Possibly a section head would only be mentioned in passing, after the CEO has claimed all the honour. A leader should lead by examples and do the honourable. And I’m not even mentioning the examples in other countries what CEOs do in such circumstances. What’s worse in this case is that the Authorities seemed to agree with this unfair blame game, absolving the one who is most responsible – CEO, and many others. Does justice exist?

Now with the flooding tunnels, I guess the Director of Tunnel Control ( if there’s such a position, from a sudden & quick & convenient creation perhaps ) would be fined $55,000. Again the CEO, if ever he did his job well no such mishap would have come to pass – heaping the many occasions of continuing & unnecessary inconveniences to the many commuters who can ill afford to own & maintain a car. When will this scapegoating end? I urge the Authorities to do what is right and hold accountable all those responsible and show that justice can prevail in Singapore.

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