SMRT caves after online backlash, promises to update safety measures after gruesome commuter death


Following outrage online after SMRT’s senior VP’s testimony that SMRT has “no plans” to update safety measures at the coroner’s inquiry into the gruesome death of Malaysian Ang Boon Tong, SMRT has released a statement that it will revise its safety protocol and better publicise safety measures.

Ang had died after 2 driverless LRTs ran over him after he drunkenly stumbled and fell onto the tracks at Fajar LRT Station train platform on 24 March this year.

Public backlash grew after SMRT senior Vice President Chia Chun Wah said yesterday that the single train service controller in the operation control room did not spot Ang’s fall, since she was occupied by a whopping 46 CCTV feeds on 22 monitors in front of her, and that the organisation does not plan to update existing measures to prevent such accidents in future.

Netizens reported being “shocked” at Chia’s comments and SMRT’s attitude to the tragedy:

SMRT was quick to respond after pressure mounted. Vice President for Corporate Communications Patrick Nathan released the following statement in response:

“We are saddened by the death of Mr Ang Boon Tong on the Bukit Panjang LRT in March this year. The safety of all our commuters is a key priority for us. Safety measures to prevent track intrusions at BPLRT include fixed barriers at station platforms, safety reminders displayed on posters, regular broadcast messages at the platforms to remind passengers to stand behind the yellow line while waiting for the train, as well as a line of tactile warning studs installed before the yellow safety line along the entire length of the platform to warn visually handicapped passengers that they are approaching the platform edge. Commuters can also activate the emergency train stop buttons at the platforms when there is an emergency. We continue to drive home the safety first message on the BPLRT and transport services we operate.
“We will also put up additional signage at BPLRT station platforms to remind commuters to stay behind the yellow line for their safety. We will also work to improve commuters’ awareness of proper use of the emergency train stop button.
“Following yesterday’s CI, we are reaching out to the family to offer assistance.”

Meanwhile, commuters continue to be extremely upset with the transit service operator after massive breakdowns along the North-South Line occurred over morning peak hours today.

Upset commuters have criticised SMRT for the new signalling system which caused the delays due to faults and have also castigated the organisation for failing to provide accurate and timely information during the breakdowns.

SMRT Senior VP has “no plans” to tweak LRT safety protocol even after man was run over by 2 trains


  1. Complain and complain but when comes to crossing the box at the ballot, chickened out and voted for the same misery. Comes next election, rinse and repeat. Bunch of hopeless losers.

  2. I arrived at Changi Airport and wonder why, despite the high traffic, it is not broken like our train system. It is because it has access to strong revenue growth and keen monitoring on maintenance and contingency. Our train system on the other hand has no land bank like MRTC or government blank check like London Underground. In fact, there is a wishful thinking that it is an attractive stock company. Unknowingly, revenue is only as high as the fares ( which I am unsure if PTC discusses) and that of shops. But maintenance costs balloon because of age. I wonder if anyone had said in the past our way of working the train system doesn’t work. Or is it a case of groupthink and many yes men and yes women. Today, decision makers of the past probably have retired or dead. But we have created coordinating minister to get the job done better. Also we changed out the senior team with strong military discipline marching in. Now we know that the blaming of the past team is becoming blaming by the present team of the present team. Alas, poor citizen like us, not paid thousands or millions in salaries, have to grit our teeth, and stomach the inconvenience. Whilst those who run the system travel in cars !

    • 4 young policemen walking along the MRT corridors, some caught chatting with each other, and if there’s trouble over the other end, what can they do? What sort of surveillance is this?

    • Lawrence Koh you are absolutely right – young inexperienced conscripts put up for show. Cheap labour – they are not really interested in solving security lapses if it concerns spending more money on real professional security.

  3. So what consequences is going to happen to a “SVP” who comment as good as saying the death is not tragic enough to update the safety protocol?
    Is it because of such people present that we have so much problem with our transport system.
    Dun need update….

  4. We clearly have issues with leadership quality in all facet of governance in this country! Highly paid individuals with highly questionable competence and intelligence!

  5. It was only about two months ago that a senior minister said that since he took charge, there were less breakdowns. What bashful garbage! I was stuck last evening (17.8.17) at bukit gombak~jurong east at 1680hrs for 30mins. This morning (18.8.17), my friend’s wife was stuck at bradell~bishan for 30mins. This is just to highlight that boastful talk differs from walking the talk.

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