SMRT: Staff falsified records that maintenance was done at Bishan depot when no work was carried out for almost 1 year

SMRT revealed today that a staff team responsible for maintaining a pump system at the Bishan depot falsified paperwork that work was being carried out, when no maintenance work was conducted for the system for nearly a year.

SMRT found that the team, which was supposed to conduct maintenance works for the pump system every three months, had not done any work since December last year. The transport operator has since suspended the manager and staff members in the maintenance team, pending further investigations.

This revelation was made as SMRT released the preliminary findings of its investigation into a major service breakdown on 7 Oct, when Bishan MRT station was flooded due to a heavy downpour causing services on the North-South Line to be shut down for over 20 hours.

SMRT reportedly discovered the lapse when the probe showed that there were no track access approvals granted for the maintenance of the pumps in December 2016, March 2017 and June 2017 – dates when the crew claimed and recorded that they had conducted maintenance.

Pump records also showed that the pumps were also not activated on the dates that the crew claimed to have done work. According to SMRT, pump activation “would have been required as part of the maintenance procedure had the work been actually done.”

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) added that it was “deeply concerned” by SMRT’s findings. Asserting that it will “independently evaluate SMRT’s investigation findings on the suspected falsification of maintenance records,” it said:

“LTA is carrying out a full investigation into the incident and will make its recommendation on the penalties to the LTA Board in due time.”

LTA stressed that rail operating licence breaches are viewed seriously, including breaches related to the maintenance of the rail operating assets.


SMRT further commented that changes to the management and maintenance team may be made if warranted, adding:

“We are determined to correct these weak links swiftly and decisively and are implementing a series of measures to do so.”

SMRT Corporation chairman Seah Moon Ming further asserted:

“SMRT has zero tolerance for failures in supervision and diligence over maintenance tasks. We do not condone any acts of dishonesty and dereliction of responsibility, whether by management or staff. All who are accountable will be disciplined sternly, regardless of rank and position. Accordingly, the relevant Management chain of command in SMRT must be held accountable.”

Meanwhile, the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) will “ensure that any disciplinary action taken by SMRT against its workers would follow due process, and is fair and appropriate.”

The Union’s executive secretary and Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC, Melvin Yong said:

“As SMRT takes steps to investigate the incident and implement corrective measures with regard to rail maintenance, NTWU urges SMRT to put training for its workers as one of its top-most priorities.”

As investigations are ongoing, a joint readiness inspection team will also be set up together with the LTA to supplement SMRT’s audit system. The team will report independently to a SMRT Board’s audit and risk committee and to the LTA and SMRT joint board technical committee.

Third-party experts will be roped in to increase quality control monitoring of preventive maintenance activities and conduct a system-wide inspection of critical systems, as well.

Besides this, training is also expected to be conducted to create a higher work responsibility ethic within front line staff groups.



  1. Same with LTA. We’re also shocked since you people didn’t do a good supervision on them. Don’t blame SMRT you are much bigger authority. KBW must Step down. Let someone capable takes over. Commuters are being secrutinised everyday.

  2. nothing shock … water was up more then 30% over then last 52 years … why ? … why pay leaders millions dollars salaries and they FAILED to provide the basic ? …. by increase the water and electtic rate shows badly > ….. ALS or ERP for years … and not able to solve the traffic issues … why? …. how many 50years … still water ponding etc

  3. This is nothing more than a witch hunt to further annihilate specific staff. The chain of command further up cannot afford public scrutiny and accountability. Their reputations and ministerial roles are at stake. No claim the blame culture here in the civil service. It’s, “Let’s find some people that cannot defend themselves to blame.”

    Obi Wan and his henchmen men probably think their performance management culture & system is faultless like the train system. It is the people that are faulty. These are easier targets.

  4. If there is a useless DUMB ASS CEO still hanging to his job just because he is a military man n our PM buddy..wat do u expect those below him to performed?
    Chinese phrase says so

  5. This is not new Maintenance work in all Government Agencies all white wash this included Town Council especially Lift Maintenance!!Due to poor supervisions is the main factor Some one responsible for Checking and put the Signature on the Approval Forms should resigned immediately.

  6. Good job on LTA part in rectifying the root problem as well as disclosing the personnel involved . However being the overall organization which overlooks the entire operation should be held responsible too on the past series of unfortunate happenings due to laps in supervision .
    “Our mission is Connecting people and places, enhancing travel experience.”

    Sounds familiar ?

    Apart from the ever impotency of KBW , what are the other high positions within the LTA agency have contributed in fulfilling the statement of the above ?It saddens me to know how much money have we wasted on wayang people like those mentioned since up to today , the main government agencies which is established to govern the transportation workings of the nation has done nothing but finger pointing ?

  7. Smrt to penalise staffs. Lta to penalise smrt. Ministries to penalise lta. Commuters demand answer from ministries. The whole system at fault. Not just those staffs

  8. Public have deep concern too. Stiff penalties on ground workers instead of mentioning how to prevent a recurrence. Punishing ground workers is like cat and mouse game…no ending. Just give them a better salary to justify their hard work instead of paying so much to the top people where they do not micro scope the ground details.

  9. This finding further strengthen my thinking that the system was not managed properly and effectively
    Yes, the maintenance staff needs to be punished, what about the heads, minister who are overseeing the system? dont their heads need to roll?

  10. where got concerns. if have concerns will have check every year and do a good up keep. sad maintenance not in place all money go to pay wrong people to do the wrong job all know how to sit and take pay every month and people below work also never carry out to do check or maintenance. if really maintenance or check is in places nothing will happen worst. Sg good place but anything under pap all go wrong

  11. Whilst in the SAF Generals got things done due to the powerful SAF Ac5t but in the civilian world they have to prove themselves worthy of the Stars. If the CEO cannot manage, supervise, plan, motivate and worst can’t detect wrong doings in their organisation they better quit. Don’t poit fingers when things go wrong. Bear the ultimate responsibilities.

  12. Shame on SMRT, both maintenance staff and top management. It takes two to tango. Somehow the blame is on the poor maintenance team and not the management. If LKY is still around, management will be shitting bricks.

  13. Is that a “Surprise”!!!!! A lot of maintenance work alway short cut lah. No problem everybody happy, when problem come than start looking for scapegoats lor! Who can say all Maintenance work in Hospitals, LTA, MOM, MRT and any government building etc are all 100% well maintained????? All short cut lah

  14. At least MRT had honestly stated its flaws. I appreciate that. So who are the culprits? Locals? Foreigners? Fake certificate holders? Sacking them is not the only way to deal with such irresponsible elements. They should be made to pay back the salaries they had received because receiving salaries for no work done tantamount to cheating.

  15. CB lo, this is not a excuse, you ALL did not lead your team to check instead just sit on your Dum chair and wait for $ to come every months and point your fingers on others

  16. These days such ‘investigation’ and ‘reports’ are hard to believe. Solely because the people in authority have lost the credibility and trust build by our founding fathers over five decades.

  17. This is the results which brought by too many paper general and paper Engineers . Engineering need skill and commitment and also good engineering management. I am not surprise that there are more discovery in non compliance engineering practices due to bad management systems and eventually caused disheartening to all site staff.
    If the same top management do not resign , our government should put pressure or remove them. I believe there are many capable people around this world to revamp the team and reputation on our train system .

  18. You think people very stupid is it? Can the mtce staff do sth as he liked. He must be under the supervision of a supervisor. Supervisor is instructed by a superior, a manager. Then managar is responsible to whom? Yes this rung finally point to the ministers is’nt it. Then y smrt must suffocate the innocent lowest rung who only carry out instructions. Under supervision some more?

  19. If the security teams from SMRT carry out their routines patroling or vitals point checks should be easily spotted the faults??Why no reporting Security Directors sleeping Also@!@

  20. The Upper Management must accept responsibility. The breakdown of the trains is not “an act of God” but an act of negligence on the part of the Upper Management. Hence the CEO has to go.

  21. KNNBACCB! All sleeping. The “Top snake until the bottom.” All snakes!
    It’s no bloody excuse with tha salaries you are extorting from our Singapore.

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