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SMRT sacks 8 staff over tunnel flooding

Posted by temasektimes on November 28, 2017

In other countries, when things gone wrong, the top leader or executive will usually resign to take responsibility, but in Singapore it is the other way round.

Despite widespread calls from the public for embattled SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek to resign over the recent spate of ïncidents”affecting the train operator, he has adamantly refused to do so, choosing to sack 8 junior staff over the recent tunnel flooding which shut down train operations for up to 21 hours.

According to a statement released by SMRT on Monday, the staff who were dismissed comprised one senior executive, two managers and five technical staff.

Two former SMRT staff – Vice President Tay Tien Seng and Senior Manager Ivan Kok – had failed to exercise sufficient supervision over the period when the falsification of maintenance records occurred. SMRT said it reserves the right to pursue legal action against them.

Another Vice President and two other management executives have also been disciplined for “failing to exercise the due care and diligence expected of them” over the maintenance of the pumps, SMRT said, without specifying the actions taken against them.

In the meantime, Mr Desmond Kuek remains as CEO of SMRT after 5 years and several high profile breakdowns and disruptions which have tested Singaporeans’patience to the limit.



One Response to “SMRT sacks 8 staff over tunnel flooding”

  1. Peter Koh said

    Please allow me to offer my views in the handling of the trains collision incident on 15th November at Joo Koon MRT Station.

    1. Knowing why it happened is only important to address the situation to prevent another similar accident from happening again; 2. The Management must focus 100% to get things back on track as soon as possible. Sacking staff and talking and placing blame is secondary. Restoring service is paramount to satisfy commuters for which the system has been introduced and operated since 1987. 3. Constant announcements at all other stations only highlight the inefficiency to quickly get back on line and it even irk 98% of commuters who are not the least affected. 4. Apology has no meaning if the system continues to be out of service. Why does the management need to regularly remind commuters of the “unavailability” of service for this sector of transport? It reinforces its inability to fix the problem quickly. 5. They only need to make one major announcement that the service at the affected stations are temporarily out of service and then move on. 6. The right thing to do is to activate more trained personnel at the affected stations to assist and guide commuters to get to their destinations with the minimum of inconvenience. 7. Foreign visitors using our transport system will not have a good impression when they are regularly reminded about the suspension of services at these stations. They may not even be using the EWL at all. 8. What is preventing the restoring of service by addressing the fault itself while the new change of the signalling and controlling systems are being worked out. 9. Even if it means a heavy outlay at the moment to reinstate the failed system, the image of a World class system must be upheld at all costs. 10. SMRT has become the laughing stock of many countries operating older systems with efficiency which a newer system like ours has no match. Focusing on profitability on running a viable operation should now be put on hold while priority for a safe and efficient system must of necessity take centerstage.

    Hope these comments are useful

    Peter Koh

    Sent with my iPhone

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