Friday, February 15, 2013

SMRT commuters might be burned to death next time?

I just bashed the government in my previous post. As per my habit I then try to look for something praiseworthy about them. It is good that I didn't need to look very long or far. Minister Lui hits the nail on its head about taking fire incidents with utmost seriousness. Now my question is why didn't LG Desmond Kuek gave a similar view PUBLICLY soon after ascertaining that it was fire? So far there is little evidence to suggest that Kuek can handle this job except that it is too early to tell.

One down on Kuek's record for failing to return to Singapore while away on vacation in the USA during the bus drivers' strike. For giving SMRT a B grade, his choice of new hires and explaining his plans I am worried if he is up to the job. Let's apply Joe Pillay style of looking at SMRT challenges as I sort of pointed to in my previous post. Like Paul O'Neil focus on safety at Alcoa, the number one objective for SMRT must also be safety. Immediately the number one activity is that everyone must know their work VERY WELL because that is the first rule of safety. All the troubles that SMRT has tumbled into show that they don't understand the train system which they are responsible for. My suggestion is actually very mundane. It is a complete ripped off from the aircraft industry. No point talking about zero defect or tolerance. That is passive. You must use action and positive words. Therefore Kuek newest hires were not the smartest choice. In fact the board wasn't wise to hire him as CEO. They ought to have found a leader and team who know train systems well. There is no time to waste and only old hands can get up to speed quickly and most importantly restore public confidence.

Now some commuters must be wondering if they might be burnt to death in the next tunnel fire. A quick answer (very confidence building) isn't available because nobody in SMRT knows the system well enough to talk authoritatively about it. Sigh! Isn't it clear as day now what sort of team the board should assemble to run SMRT? Isn't it obvious like I suggested before that MOT should fire the entire board? But that is not going to happen because MOT must 'strike a balance' between many competing interests SMRT is tasked to fulfill. It has no understanding of the overriding interest which makes all others meaningless.

1 comment:

  1. The root cause is apparent to most people but Minister Lui.
    It was also not apparent to the previous Transport Minister, Raymond Lim (2006-2011).