Khaw: Mischievous to spin train defect issue into controversy

picture credit: The Straits Times

By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

Yesterday, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan held a press conference with regard to the defective China-made trains uncovered by Hong Kong online media FactWire (

LTA has been shipping the defective trains back to China for repairs over the past 2 years but prefers to keep things quiet. Many Singaporeans are asking why the issue was not made public earlier and had to be uncovered through a Hong Kong media.

Mr Khaw said that the cracks found on the car-body bolster, an aluminium alloy structure under the train carriage, were not major and did not pose any safety risk. So, the issue was not made public.

“If you were to go public on something that is not major, would you (not) unduly, unnecessarily cause a panic among the people?” he asked.

He said that the rectification process is treated as a “routine matter”.

Instead of apologizing and humbly learning a good lesson out of the whole saga, Mr Khaw appeared to take a swipe at FactWire, “With hindsight, the lesson to be learnt is (that) a seemingly routine matter, in mischievous hands, can be mis-spun into a controversy.”

He linked the news to factions in Hong Kong with an anti-China political agenda. Mr Khaw said, “We are caught in a crossfire and there are factions in Hong Kong who wanted to cause some difficulties for mainland China. I have no inside information on whether that is true or not, but it’s possible.” (

“Unfortunately, we become a convenient bullet and collateral damage. Whatever it is, it is of legitimate concern to Singaporeans and we have to address them.”

Since the issue was uncovered by FactWire, netizens have been discussing earnestly about the whole saga on social media in the past week.

Appearing to be also hitting back at those who questioned LTA’s and MOT’s decisions of withholding news of the repairs from public, Mr Khaw said, “When you are on the spot at the time… you have to weigh the downside of coming up with much ado about nothing, when it is not a serious matter… I can understand why LTA and MOT did what they did at that point.”