It was reported today that SMRT sacked two employees involved in the fatal train track accident on March 22, with one of them being the driver of the train that killed Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24, and Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26. SMRT’s decision has drawn flak from several people online.
Responding to The Straits Times’ report of the news in its Facebook, user FL AyraAysha UmarMaryam said: “Management gets away in this life. But they will have to answer to their Creator come judgement day. Where is the fairness/justice/accountability? Isn’t the highest possible position supposed to take the rep? I suppose his salary as a train operator is just enough to get by. Now that he is out of job, his future is uncertain.”
Roger Cassidy Lim: “Seems like as long there is a head to roll, the issue will be treated closed. The driver wasn’t operating the train out of the track was he?”
Referring to ST publishing the name of the fired train driver Norimah Abdullah asked: “Must you even publish his full name…he could be a sole breadwinner to his family & someone’s father…goodness have some heart ST!”
Zannora Farsyaannkhay: “I hope this is not an attempt by SMRT to find a scapegoat. I don’t think it’s fair. It’s not like driving a car, whereby he can swerve to the left or right to avoid the accident. The whole safety procedure implemented by SMRT should be reviewed and improved. Sacking the operator does not solve the issue. I’m very sure the operator is already having sleepless nights after the incident, and now his livelihood has been taken away. Sorry, but I totally disagree with this decision.”
Prominent blogger Andrew Loh also commented on the sacking and said in his Facebook:
“Was the train driver really at fault? Even if he had to bear some responsibility, should he bear full responsibility? Seems to me this is scapegoating. Amazing that, at the other end, despite years of failures, disruptions, delays, and all sorts of incidents on our trains, affecting millions of commuters, NOT A SINGLE higher-up has ever been held accountable. In fact, they are even being paid more than a DPM! Why is it that it is always the lower-downs who are dealt with swiftly, while the higher-ups are rewarded handsomely despite numerous failings? Amazing.”
In yet another post Mr Loh said:
“Let’s ask one simple question:
Why doesn’t smrt at least wait till investigations are over and the Coroner has completed his inquiry?
What sort of management fires an employee when investigations are still ongoing?
And then when asked, SMRT has the cheek to say:
“We do not comment on staff disciplinary measures.”
This is simply absurd.
This is bullying and only cowards bully.
Shame on you, SMRT.
You are hopeless.
From what has been reported, it doesn’t look to me that the train driver should bear such a heavy responsibility for the deaths.
Really, we can’t wait for the investigations to be over first, and for the facts to be ascertained, before destroying his livelihood?
Goodness. What sort of management is this? Where is the conscience, and fairness?”