atans1

Silence of SMRT, LTA & MoT explained

In Internet on 11/07/2016 at 7:40 am

In my own opinion, they should have disclosed it. Everyone has their reasons, but in the end there’s always consequences. Daniel Yap of TMG in a FB post when introducing this piece he wrote http://themiddleground.sg/2016/07/07/faulty-trains-tell-not-tell/

Piece is worth a read, explaining why it would have been better for the authorities to have disclosed the cracks and the remedial action: they would then have controlled the news agenda.

But this analysis and other criticisms of the silence miss the point.

PAPpies brains work differentlyL when the public doesn’t know a fact, that fact never exists.

In 2011, I analysed a senior PAPpy’s and his team’s  unhappiness with a TOC report.

I wrote, they must believe in an 18th century philosophical theory that is now treated as a forerunner of the concept of “subjective idealism”. One Bishop Berkeley argued that there are no material objects, only minds and ideas in those minds. He summarised his theory with the motto “esse est percipi” (“To be is to be perceived”). In modern PR-speak, this translates into,“Perception is reality”, one of the major tenets of the PR and public communication industry.

This theory of “Perception is reality” is best summarised in the following example he gave. If a tree in a forest falls, but no-one sees or hears it fall, has it fallen? Berkeley argues that it has not fallen. It is still standing.

An example in the S’pore context would be that S’poreans were not aware of how close the voting would be on polling day in 1988 in Eunos GRC and in Cheng San GRC in 1991. The mainstream media did not report the sentiment on the ground in these two GRCs, so S’poreans were not aware that many S’poreans were unhappy with the PAP. The unhappiness did not exist because it was not reported.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/%E2%80%9Clittle-disappointment%E2%80%9D-tony-tan-to-toc/

Coming back to Traingate. SMRT, the LTA and MoT kept quiet because they like Bishop Berkeley believe that “Perception is reality”. So long as the public did not know that there were cracks in the 26 China-made trains, and that the trains had been returned for repairs, there were no train cracks. There were no cracked trains because If a tree in a forest falls, but no-one sees or hears it fall, has it fallen? Berkeley argues that it has not fallen. It is still standing.

What they still don’t realise that in this age of social media and the internet where many people walk around with smartphone cameras, If a tree in a forest falls, someone will see it or hear it fall. And tell others about the falling tree, after taking a selfie beside the fallen tree.

This being the case, disclosure of problems or cock-ups, not cover-ups or silence should be the best (and default) policy for the authorities and corporations They should assume that news of the cock-up or problem will become public knowledge and that by disclosing, the news agenda can, hopefully, be controlled..

But in one-party states, silence or cover-up are the default options, not disclosure. And this is the weakness of one-party states where people carry smartphone cameras. The one-party state will, in time, be undermined.

Ban smartphone cameras PAP? After all internet access for public servants will soon be restricted in this wired, connected nation.

 

 

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  1. […] Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Silence of SMRT, LTA & MoT explained – likedatosocanmeh: Cost per SMRT train fell by S$5.3 million after 6 […]

  2. No need to ban smart phones. PAP just need to order all ISPs to block data/internet traffic coming in from outside Singapore. We can still be a wired & connected country, just to internal or PAP-approved e-services.

    • LOL. I would not put it pass the MIW to do just that as their sense of selfish self preservation in their eyes is infinitely more crucial than any moral sense (if they have any) and basic human honesty.

      The values of the PAP are the values of a dictator to whom everything is subordinated to his own survival and dominance over the common good.

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