Wednesday, July 11, 2012

No apology for the SMRT fiasco

It has dawned on me that the government given its size, complexity and reach will always make lots of mistakes. If they would to contritely apologize for each of them, apologies will become trivialized. When the occasion arise that they really need to apologize, what can they offer?

The only way to make few mistakes is to take few risks, which itself will eventually be a fatal mistake.

I think the world has become messier and getting that way in a hurry too. It is becoming more like developing software, where mistakes are quickly made and fixed. You can't have the same attitude building a bridge or dam.

We must understand better or fail to leverage the PM's credo of "safe to fail".

The failure of the MRT system was a fiasco which the government should apologize for. This time there were no fatalities but it could have been a disaster because we were sitting ducks for a devastating terrorist attack.

I suspect the whole government sector have become complacent and the Transport Ministry was just unlucky to be caught napping. Also what is this "outcome based" regulation? Sounds like two things to me. One, do nothing until something you don't like happen. Two, regulating with a light touch, i.e., when in doubt err on the side of doing nothing.

Government now have to do more. Costs are going up!


  1. The trick is to recognise mistakes early,that is why REAL feedback is so important,are we there yet?NO.

  2. The SMRT/LTA fiasco can draw lessons from neighbors up north - Japan's fukushima nuclear plant.

    To put it bluntly, it is the exact problem of complacency and collusion between the regulators and the operators - no less. The cozy relationship and non-independency is the root of it all, aided by MoT and the Govt being the enabler. SMRT has paid the price for its CEO departure, and the COI results proved that the public is right in demanding for acceptability. I was waiting for LTY to hold LTA accountable, but so far, nothing is forthcoming, but words of apologies and more assurances.

    He has a chance to reset this incestuous structure right. Their action will give hints to how this govt/adminstration truly understand what 'accountability' is all about.

  3. the whole transport ministry and LTA was unlucky to be caught napping - are you kidding me???!!!

    the Whole of spore govt is asleep!! we r seeing some gentle tweaks to some things now because of so many complaints for so many years. and because of the 2011 vote, and so many things going pretty obviously wrong. in MOT's case, because of the major train breakdowns.

    look at the housing sitn. look at the hospital sitn. look at the fact tt older pple find it difficult to get work and then are underemployed. look at the inflation figs. look at the gambling probs. look at the edu probs. look at the fact that the world's so-called fabulous edu system apparently cant produce good enough pple to run the country's business and agencies. look at the fact that we've gone into service industries when no one is even encouraged to think its worthwhile and its so badly paid. (and now we're being told these low-paying jobs are the wonderful jobs that await us in the future!!)

    MOT unlucky?! my big toe!!!

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