‘LTA and SMRT must shoulder the blame and be held accountable for persistent MRT issues’ – Fierce forum letter goes viral

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A forum letter calling out Land Transport Authority and SMRT for persistent problems plaguing the Mass Rapid Transit system has been widely lauded online.

The letter, written by Patrick Tan Siong Kuan, was first published in The Straits Times. In it, Tan criticised the excuses LTA and SMRT routinely roll out during disruptions, without acknowledging or accepting responsibility for service breakdowns.

Adding that it appears no one has been held accountable for the problems plaguing SMRT’s train lines, Tan asserted that SMRT’s privatisation appears to have become a shield for it to evade public scrutiny and that the management continue to be rewarded as ordinary commuters continue to face struggles.

We republish his entire letter here:

“LTA, SMRT should take the blame
It is strange to read the excuses that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been giving for the shutdowns of our train system.
First, it was the signalling system’s fault. Then, it was the track’s fault.
With Saturday’s flooding of the tunnel, resulting in a major shutdown of the North-South Line, it was the rain and water-pumping system’s fault (NSL services disrupted by water in tunnel; Oct 8).
The LTA and SMRT almost never admit that they could have been at fault. It seems that no one in the managements of LTA and SMRT have been held accountable for all these persistent problems.
When the SMRT management team was first appointed, I was full of hope and support for them.
Surely, if there was anyone who could do the job, a group of army generals with experience in running a most efficient fighting force should be able to do it. But I have been sorely disappointed and disillusioned.
With the privatisation of SMRT, the management is no longer subject to public scrutiny. Operating under a shroud of secrecy, the management continues to be rewarded despite the sufferings of commuters.
Patrick Tan Siong Kuan”

36 COMMENTS

  1. If SMRT is private entity why are they using government manpower and equipment??? The recent train breakdown at Bradell MRT I saw 5 fire engine and the firefighters helping them to fix their problem. !! Why never use private bodies to solve the problem??? I don’t see a life and death situation?? Nobody was trapped???

  2. The peasants of Singapore, please don’t think too highly of yourself.. you peasants are not so important to make the ruler of Singapore to do anything for you .. just swallow it …

  3. Are they going to get the religious leaders back again for another round of blessing? Maybe they need a sacrificial lamb? Who will they blame next for all this mess? Feel sorry for those affected.

  4. Absolutely ! The people voted PAP and PAP formed the government, and the government entrusted Temasek and Temasek appointed SMRT leadership and the government appointed LTA leadership.

  5. one or two sentences could not explain these issues? there are 10 thousands people working within these SMRT and LTA? Would it be sensible to make one or two people be responsible? can one or two people maintains the working of these issues? where and who are the others hiding behind these people?

  6. I don’t care who’s shouldering blames and giving further excuses. I need those trains working.
    If those trains are not working, Operators and relevant ministries are all to be blamed.

  7. what a joke.
    ‘generals running the most efficient force..’ most of these scholahs just know how to bark orders, they know they have it made. most of the work is done by the others.
    in saf, you can take cover and hide from the public, and find some scapegoats. NOT when the paper generals are running public companies.
    the writer is politically motivated by blaming lta and smrt. why deflect public anger away from ah khaw? who is the milister of transport? he is responsible. as he failed to appoint the right ceos.

  8. what a joke.
    ‘generals running the most efficient force..’ most of these scholahs just know how to bark orders, they know they have it made. most of the work is done by the others.
    in saf, you can take cover and hide from the public, and find some scapegoats. NOT when the paper generals are running public companies.
    the writer is politically motivated by blaming lta and smrt. why deflect public anger away from ah khaw? who is the milister of transport? he is responsible. as he failed to appoint the right ceos.

  9. In the past six months, there were three very contentious issues – the Lee debacle, the Elected President and the MRT breakdowns. All these episodes deeply affected the citizenry, across all walks of life, young and old, rich and poor. The chatter was hot, often furious. Before one is concluded, another flares up. And all three are on-going. A month after assuming the highest office, Madam President moves into her bungalow. Security or wayang, either way brickbats will be thrown. And we wait for the next words on the Lee debacle. And wonder will there be minor or major MRT disruptions next week. If you continue to sweep all these concerns under the carpet, you are being dishonest with yourself and loses the respect/confidence of the people. So, pick the least sensitive of the three – the latest MRT breakdown (flooding), an act of nature.

  10. For a start a start has anybody seen the ceo making statement after all the shits that is going on, the last thing the asshole said was smrt followed all safety protocols when the two young technicians were murdered, yet no punishment for him but fine for director of Occ

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