When SMRT, its regulator, LTA, and the government were in denial about
— overcrowed trains; and
the CEO, Ms Saw Phaik Hwa , was allowed by all three to get away with remarks like, “Not as crowded as in Tokyo leh”*, and “Other places got security lapses too”* and “People can board the train, it is whether they choose to” despite the howls of upset commuters.
Well now that we have three serious disruptions (one “immensely serious” according to the transport minister) of service within the space of four days (And the second breakdown in three days on the North South Line. Whoever said, “Lightning never strikes twice on the same spot”?), shouldn’t S’poreans be told what are the international benchmarks of best practice when it comes to disruptions of service for a city the size of S’pore in the developed world? And what are the benchmarks in Hong Kong and Shanghai? And the frequency of breakdowns in HK and Shanghai? And what the train operators in other cities pay for maintenance, as a % of their pre-tax income.
True as this is S’pore (not Ms Saw’s beloved country, Malaysia**), we should aim to better these benchmarks. But, if we want to beat them, we should know what they are. After all, if the CEO can make comparisons with other cities when it comes to overcrowding and security, it is only fair that other comparisons be made.
Hopefully, the SMRT, LTA or the government can tell us what these are. If not, then what about the constructive, nation-building local media? If not then the netizens of the Wild, Wild West have to do their part, as usual.
Trumpets pls. I was right, “Commuters have a choice. They can have more trains or less breakdowns. They can’t have both.” (See our MSM reports, “MRT trains to go slower, frequency reduced”.)
*Not her exact words.
**She loves M’sia so mich that despite living here since her school days (she is 58), she is still a PR.
Sorry she is 57 going to be 58 soon.