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SMRT Chairman steps down as CEO of energy company to focus on SMRT

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SMRT Corporation Ltd and SMRT Trains Ltd Chairman, Seah Moon Ming, has stepped down as chief executive of an oil and gas company, Pavilion Energy, to focus on the transport operator.

This is according to a statement released by Pavilion Energy today that revealed French national Frédéric Barnaud will take over the reins of the Temasek portfolio energy company from Seah.

The energy company’s chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, expressed his gratitude to Seah for his service in the organisation. He added that Seah, who had played a vital role in establishing the company, was keen to devote more time to his role at SMRT when he was appointed as SMRT Chairman in July.

Responding to the announcement, Seah said:

“I am especially grateful for the support the Board has extended to me as well as the hard work of a team of colleagues. Their support and hard work had enabled me to build Pavilion Energy from scratch to where it is today. I know they will give Frédéric the same level of support to bring the Group to the next phase of its growth. We are at the centre of a growing LNG market, underpinned by China, India and Southeast Asia. I am confident that the Group will continue to do well.”

Seah’s decision to leave the gas and oil company to focus on SMRT comes at a time when several rail service breakdowns, disruptions and delays persist and after two high profile incident occurred recently – one, the MRT tunnel flooding in October that inconvenienced a quarter of a million commuters and two, the MRT collision at Joo Koon station where 38 individuals were injured.

Public confidence in the train system took a severe blow following the serious incidents.

An SMRT spokesman said that the company is pleased with Seah’s intention to prioritise his work with them. We re-publish the transport operators’s full statement here:

“SMRT is pleased that Mr Seah Moon Ming, Chairman SMRT Corp and SMRT Trains, had planned to prioritise more time as an active Chairman at SMRT when he took on chairmanship of SMRT in mid-2017.

“Under the guidance of Mr Seah and our Board, SMRT remains focused on delivering key initiatives such as asset renewal efforts, while it continues its multi-year effort to strengthen management, operations and maintenance teams, and build robust engineering and operational capabilities for future needs.

“These initiatives aim to achieve higher reliability, availability, maintainability, safety and security, not just to address the challenges of an ageing system, but to deliver continually over the life of key critical infrastructure like the MRT system.

“The Board, CEO and management of SMRT welcome the opportunity to work even more closely with Mr Seah from 1 Feb 2018, when he is scheduled to relinquish his position as CEO of Pavilion Energy.

“The SMRT Board, management and staff are committed to work with various key stakeholders to deliver a safe, reliable and efficient service to commuters.”

Earlier today, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan also called for more support for Seah. He said:

“SMRT is top priority for Seah Moon Ming, as national duty calls. Let us all help to render full and public support, not just for Seah Moon Ming, but also for his management, and the rank and file at SMRT.”


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