Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SMRT don't understand trains and systems

After reading the article from CNA, to put it simply, SMRT and LTA basically don't know the train systems they are in charge of very well. Another way of saying this is they don't know their jobs. We are paying people to run something they don't understand well enough to keep it reliable and is constantly surprised by how the systems act up.

We are paying them money to learn slowly. It also hint of lots of staff are badly trained as well.

What the hell are we doing keeping these people around for? Learning on the job at our huge expense.

By now nobody wants to understand why. You had many chances long ago and blew them all. Just get it to work or get out. But the LG has no sense of shame. A military man without sense of shame is also one without courage. Why on earth did he even take this job in the first place?


  1. Contrary to popular opinion, the LG is actually the right man for the SMRT CEO job.

    The problems he's facing right now can be blamed on his predecessor, so if he's successful in fixing them he's a hero; if not, he cannot be held accountable.

    Most importantly, and probably overriding everything, is that he's an Insider within the Singapore Inc system. SMRT is a GLC, not a true private company. 99% of whether or not the LG is successful in raising profits depend not on improving operational efficiency, not on manpower satisfaction, not on commuter satisfaction, but on raising fares. Period. In one stroke of the pen, a 4% increase in fares (coupled with the organic growth that comes from increasing population and increased SMRT netrowk) bring much more in profit increase, than any twiddling of operational costs etc can bring. And raising fares is a Insider-to-Insider discussion behind closed doors. You bring someone from the outside in -- how much familiarity, trust, "guanxi" does he or she has with the Insider counterparty, in this case, the LTA or fare review committee or the Minister of Transport. Of course, you want an Insider. From the Singpapore Inc system.

    This is nothing new. Why does Goldman Sachs, JPM and other investment banks hire Princelings in China? Its for the guanxi!!! Insider to Insider communication, Insider to Insider transaction. So the SMRT board did the right thing. And of course, the LG delivered too, in terms of higher share price and increased profits.

    And as an elite Admin Service personnel, he knows the name of the game is, to put it in George Yeo's words, "go with the flow". He serves his time in SMRT, he gets parachuted to another GLC or stat board or probably get some directorships when he retire.

    SMRT board did the right thing. And of course, the Minister has nothing to lose too. He also blames his predecessor. And he also serves his time faithfully in this hot seat, knowing that he will be rotated out to another ministry later. And his successor will play the same game, of blaming their predecessor .... And the neatest thing here is that because SMRT is so-called "privatised", the Minister can always say that who is appointed the CEO, is for the SMRT board to decide.

    So nobody is truly accountable. Neither the SMRT CEO, the Transport Minister, or the LTA (oh, the predecessor CEO has been posted to a cushy job elsewhere) or even the Prime Minister. Welcome to Singapore Inc. Heads I win, tail you lose!!

    The lesson here? If your kids have outstanding academic credentials, join the Elite Admin Service. Its the only way to "sure win" the rat race here in Singapore.

  2. It is so evident SMRT is NOT SMART. Wonder what great consultants they got in the first place?? Maybe there should be a crawl-back of the fees they paid to these consultants to compensate for the commuters' inconvenience

  3. Well heard that speaking skill is penultimate skill that rule them all

    in Sg inc, it is

  4. In-breeding will breed retards!

  5. SMRT - Singapore's Most Retarded Team

  6. If you are one of their long service maintenance engineers, do you want to offer your neck to be slaughtered by these Military mercenaries by trying to be too smart in your job?

    Afterall if job is well done, these bosses are not going to thank you after they have claimed their credit for it. If job is screwed further, sure they will sacrifice you as scapegoat for the altar.

    Sure it is better to pretend you are not that smart, isn't it?