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COI: It was ‘regrettable’ that defects were not identified and remedied by SMRT’s maintenance regime

Posted by temasektimes on July 5, 2012

The two major SMRT breakdowns in December last year were preventable had SMRT ‘s maintenance regime been more stringent, said the Committee of Inquiry (COI) in its 358-page report submitted to Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew this week.

The two breakdowns affected thousands of commuters and dented Singapore’s international reputation as a First World nation, making it a laughing stock overseas.

According to the COI, the first disruption on 15 December 2011 was triggered by a defective fastener that is part of the third rail assembly, located between City Hall and Dhoby Ghaut stations.

The COI believes the defects in question had taken time to develop before the first disruption and said it was ‘regrettable’ that these were not identified and remedied under SMRT’s maintenance regime.

It noted that there were no specific work instructions for the assemblies to be checked by staff. If this had been done, the COI said the disruption could have been averted.

Ex-SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa had rigorously contested the claims by the Land Transport Authority during the COI hearing that its maintenance regime is ‘inadequate’.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said he will release the full report of the COI soon and implored Singaporeans to thank the COI members for their hard work.


29 Responses to “COI: It was ‘regrettable’ that defects were not identified and remedied by SMRT’s maintenance regime”

  1. cc chia said

    Why are they blaming the equipment for the problem and not the people in charge? Looks like the PAP and the LTA are blameless as usual. I am also confused with the conclusion of the COI. Is the SMRT to blame for the faults or not?

    If we follow the logic of the arguments, then it is like blaming the car or the gun for killing the person, and not the driver of the car or the person holding the gun.

    • Jardel said

      Yes based on the COI report, even imbecile knows that SMRT is solely to be blame.

      • mel said

        Always blame the ‘foot soldiers’….what happened to the ones with big pay checks?? no point drawing big money if cannot take responsibility.

  2. justice said

    EX-CEO of SMRT should be force to give back her bonus and salary and pay for the COI report.

    • Jardel said

      Hi there, she is now the CEO of Delifrance part company. You can choose not to go to the restaurants that are being managed by her group. With lesser revenue, she will get sack sooner or later .Unless, Temasek Holdings were to buy her group and install her as the CEO like the way they done it during her times in the SMRT.

  3. Neutral said

    It is due to inadequate maintenance, any imbeciles can see that.

    • Jardel said

      Yes it is. And yet our dear transport minister had the guts to declare that we, the public must accept the facts that these breakdowns are inevitable. Bullshit. Worthless piece of shit who still has the shame to draw millions of dollars from us.

      • Kp said

        Learn from the Japanese.. Maybe a natural event like tsuami or typhoon can be term as ‘inevitable’.

      • mel said

        ‘swiss standard’ with made in china train parts/ systems…so what’s the solution? buy more cable ties? full of shit!

  4. Time Survivor said

    With the skeletons now out of the closets and fully examined and knowing the cause of the issue which was due to poor and unprofessional maintenance, shouldn’t the SMRT and its management (including the ex-CEO) be liable and penalised for this?

    The worst thing here is LBC said in CNA in Yesterday news that if needs be, SMRT can ask the government with good justification for money to help them in the maintenance. Why is taxpayers’ money be used to subsidize a Public Listed company which the top management and shareholders are getting bonuses and dividends respectively year after year?

    • farah said


  5. Law said

    So, what do you think?
    If not, it i a Honest Mistake, let move on.

  6. Cc Chia well commented they are never at fault it is always the lower rung at the recieving end. Those sitting there shaking their legs and balls doing nothing much and order around and commanding excessive salaries with their bullshit qualification will put all the blame on all other things except themselves. All these have caused all the damages, inconveience and monetarily, so what is SMRT and those Responsible for all trouble SUFFERED by commuters. It is not just sorry we will investigate and thats all. I CAN AND WILL ONLY SAY THAT THOSE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE AND INCOMPETANT TO BE TAKEN OFF THEIR JOBS AND MAKE TO PAY FOR ALL LOSTS SUFFERED BY COMMUTERS. NOT SORRY WE WILL INVESTIGATE.

  7. Jardel said

    so Mr. Lui had said that no amount of engineering efforts can prevent our traiins to break down as they are heavily utilized everyday and we are expected to accept the fact that it will break down sometimes but not more than 30mins. So with this report, it is damn clear that SMRT maintenance works are at fault and SMRT should bear all responsiblities.

    In conclusion, should Mr. Lui not considered resignation as he is also clearly not aware of the problem on hand? We are having ministers who are not clear in their works and would use words like “dunno” “ponding” “quietly confident” and yet we are paying them millions per year to show us this kind of below par performance. They are lucky to be in PAP and if they are elsewhere, they would have been long sacked if better calibre people waiting to draw the millions dollars salary.

    Mr. Lui, you are a disgrace and you must resign. With you around, PAP will only lose more votes. Face the reality, public sector is NOT the same as the time you had spent “managing” your beloved NAVY. Uniformed personnel are trained to obey commands bindly without a brain of their own, whereas we as the public have the eyes and brain to see and think. Your days are numbered. Resign now before you become a shame to your party.

  8. No no said

    So, what is the net result of the COI? The MRT users have suffered immense hardship. The CEO of SMRT has got away with million dollar pay and bonuses, and nobody is punished. Let’s move on.

  9. Sad Old Man said

    Lie Lie Lie……..COI is covering up LTA faults.

    SMRT will follow 100% the LTA’s recommended maintenance schedules. LTA did n;t state that the claws need to be replaced (after number of yrs). This FT Saw, only follow LTA instruction. If there are increase in ridership, LTA need to change the maintenance plan accordingly.

    Everything point to LTA, FT Saw only interested in min expenses, max profit. Saw will definitely follow maintenance instruction by LTA lah. But who going to pay this increase in maintenance cost??

    Any additional acquaintances needs, other than the initial maintenance plan should be paid forth by LTA, AND THAT is the core of the Breakdown.

  10. Jaded said

    no accountability as usual, just come out with a report and move on…

  11. Geo said

    Of course for years, the MRT big chief concentrated on all the stations becoming shopping centre to make revenue, revenue, revenue…….rather than Mass Rapid Transportation for the people, the primary purpose.

  12. spotlessleopard said

    Did the COI find out HOW MANY OF THE MTCE. EMPLOYEES WERE FOREIGNERS? WHERE THESE FOREIGNERS CAME FROM?. Wre inferior materials used ? Were materials used come from “Approved” Sources?…

    Ms. SAW is fully responsible for the debacle…She should be asked to return the “Bonuses” She received….She is truly unrepentant and recalcitrant…..When a New Government comes in by GE2016 She should be investigated and punished if necessary.

    • farah said


      • Kp said

        Be it foreigners or what. What is the truth is the culture. ‘aiyah’ it’s ok one lah… Maybe some staff ‘dare not’ speak up to their superiors. Massive work improvement in working style and culture is necessary.

  13. farah said


    • Jardel said

      Well, because our dear transport minister was from the NAVY and that’s how it works there? In those days, you even have to apologize to an officer even he is clearly in the wrong as he is THE officer and we are just the soldiers. So this Mr. Lui was from the uniformed group and he always demands the respect from the public and demands us to thank the COI. Well, what to do? He is still being paid millions.

  14. Full of thanks said

    HE should thank the COI members for their hard work because without them, he won’t even have any report to read and comment to the media. Asking the public to thank them is like thanking the verdict for imposing a woffle of a fine for the recent Woffles case. Might as well ask the COI members to thank SMRT for the train breakdown, if not they won’t have a chance to conduct this investigation and make their resume look good.

  15. Blood suckers said

    Hang the motherfucker he-she.

    Sue her for negligence and cough back the bonuses and salary that he-she was getting

    He-she did not perform the duties at all and thus not entitled to any monies.

  16. Dragon said

    Wasted $$$ on COI report. Was this info not obvious and clear right from the beginning? We are more interested in who is responsible for such lapses. And why are they not penalsed?

  17. bb said

    Look like the minister completely blurred -and don’t know what is going on. And things go wrong this phase very familiar-“No amount of engineering efforts”……… Gov did not do a cost benefit analysis on the influx of commuters(foreigners that cause all the components into fatigue mode)-due to cyclical nature of the trains. May be SMRT genuinely not at fault as the gov did not informed them offically the influx of foreigners. Sg gov always plan ahead-how can it occurs.

    It shows privatisation of public transport can not worked. Why other major cities MRT does have such problem- Lui TY go and study and learn from Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai.etc. LTA like all gov agencies have deteriorated to such a state that it loses its organisational capability- eg HDB unable to cope building flats, TP unable to deal with foreign drivers, ENV unable to deal with flodds. What ever the reasons for the failure all ministers should be on their toes and learn what is going on in their ministry. The worse of all is the PM who does not put them on notice.

  18. Safe and sound said

    No heads rolled? Man, in any of the compnies I worked in, you’ll need to call in a dump truck to remove the heads!

  19. solaris8899 said

    why spend ppl $$$ on COI and thank them for their hard work if not problem had occurred.
    So after so much time, ppl and $$$ spent into investigations, who are accountable for these faults? what is the penalty?

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