THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Ex-SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa boasts: SMRT never ‘cut corners’ and I help to avert need for huge fare increase

Posted by temasektimes on March 19, 2012

Despite question marks over her management of SMRT in the wake of two disastrous breakdowns in December last year, its beleaguered ex-CEO Saw Phaik Hwa was adamant that her business strategy was correct.

In the latest post on her personal blog on Saturday, Ms Saw wrote:

“This was the first time I was faced with a business whereby costs escalated quickly but revenue did not grow at the same pace. Ridership was growing at a steady but slow two per cent annually, with limited or no fare increase.”

She claimed that as the company “can never cut corners” to improve margins, the “most obvious opportunity” was to make full use of its station assets – the space, adding that the monies brought in from maximising retail and advertising space benefited commuters.

“In doing all these, everyone benefitted.  SMRT managed to raise commercial revenue from $28m to more than $100m and hence, averting the need for huge fare increases.  With this growth in value of the organisation, shareholders and investors also got good returns,” she wrote.

Ms Saw was forced to resign from SMRT after she became a target of public opprobrium following two disastrous SMRT train disruptions in December last year. She is set to leave SMRT for good on 5 April.

Though she initially vow to stay on to fix the problems at SMRT in the immediate aftermath of the breakdowns, things began to “snowball” and that it was “very difficult because every faction was coming at us”.

She eventually tendered her resignation to SMRT in early January to “defuse the bubble” so SMRT could get on and “do what is right for the organization.”

Ms Saw also said she has received a few offers but has yet to decide, insisting that she is not planning to retire for good for another 5-10 years.

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12 Responses to “Ex-SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa boasts: SMRT never ‘cut corners’ and I help to avert need for huge fare increase”

  1. Ken Lee said

    SMRT never ‘cut corners’!!! but cut cost and manpower’s!

  2. spotlessleopard said

    SMRT MUST NEVER AGAIN EMPLOY SUCH A self aggrandizing, conceited, delusional person to head it…….PERIOD.

  3. Busybody said

    This “MAN” talk n sing song, after creating such a mess…. Now 1 2 score points. Hv he ever taken the train to work everydays?????

  4. Why so boastful after resigning, she should have done what she did now while with SMRT. What ever she says now does not mean a thing right now which I think is very stupid of her to resign and mention what she mentioned now. As the saying goes REAL GOLD CAN BRAVE ANY FEROCIOUS FIRE, 真金不怕烈火。In the first instance, why should she resigned if she has done no wrong. Secondly she will never be able to command the pay packet any where else except that only SMRT is paying her. Thirdly, why didn’t she claim what she claims now while in SMRT, only now she starts to boast about it, which the increase of ridership was saddle on SMRT through influx of foreigners into Singapore but not through her own merits. Thanks very much to the Minister who brought them in and together with all the troubles that Singapore are facing right now.

  5. What she said and what actually happened did not telly at all.

    睁大眼睛说瞎话 !

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  7. worldorder said

    Oh !! they don’t cut corners BUT they only trim the sides and made a big hole in the center and allow intruders to “decorate” the trains..and left thousands stranded more than once !!! I think the local media should stop giving her the “air time”. she doesn’t deserved any at all !!!

  8. Tml said

    Do our government or SMRT really have to wait for more accidents or death to happened, then they are really and prepare to take actions. Do we really need so many people in our countries in the first place? And can our infrastructure accommodate such huge numbers?

  9. Tml said

    opps, my above posting under TML was posted under wrong topics, suppose to be under “accidents at packed boon lay mrt Station”. Somehow I cannot find the edit or remove icon to correct it. Can the editor help to remove the above posting for me. Thanks.

  10. Oops.. said

    I think one reason is also management salary is too high. Thus, inevitably one has to find from somewhere extra money to feed their payroll and annuals bonuses. Imagine if her salary is 20k per month it takes, a quarter of million for an annual package. Let bonuses alone a two months pay that will easily cost half a million a year. Now the question is how many percentage of the train fair is going for the entire teams monthly and annual payroll? A simple maths can easily detect if maintenance and overhaul cost is sufficient.

  11. You made a few good points there. I did a search on the theme and found most persons will have the same opinion with your blog.

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