Apology from MP Seng Han Thong?

In a BlogTV programme MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC Seng Han Thong admitted that part of the problem with the SMRT breakdowns last week is due to SMRT staffs not being trained in emergency preparedness. He said that because some staffs are “Malay(s), they are Indians, they cannot converse in English good, well enough”. See from 6.12 minutes:”

The latest hot topic whenever Train Officers meet each other at the crew room or station platform is to ask each other what is our opinion on the above statement made by Seng Han Thong – MP for AMK GRC recently on national television – BlogTV programme.

I’m a Chinese Train Officer but my Malay and Indian colleagues just want to know how I feel.

Of course, being a true blue Singaporean living amongst the Malay and Indian races, I told them SHT should not have mentioned races. As simple as that.

He should not pinpoint any race. He should just say in a general manner that our Train Officers should go for training to brush up their English so as to improve their communications skill. Better still if we could go to British Council for Effective Spoken English course! I am sure there will not be any issue if he did not mention race(s).

Having said that, I then mentioned that SHT has already apologised on his FB. Some of them being quite observant said that he was not sincere. He claimed that it is miscommunication. He tried to push his “mistake” to our SMRT PR whom denied categorically. Is it a case of miscommunication or him trying to wriggle out of it? Really langgar lah!

Some TOs have written to our union delegates to voice their indignation. The union has yet to reply or is it avoiding the matter cuz SHT was our NTWU’s Secretary? How could he be so daft to commit such a mistake?

On our TOs’ FB, the incessant rantings and flamings (figuratively lah!) continue unabated despite his apology on his FB. Those Train Officers demand that he apologise sincerely by coming down personally to the ground to our 3 crew stations. Do you think he will do that?

Do not forget that he has got “immunity” from “flaming” especially after his last traumatic encounter and the PM spoke so highly of him.

Don’t believe me?

Just stop and ask any Malay or Indian Train Officer and just mention SHT. I’ll bet with my last dollar – all kinds of “F” expletives will fly and hurl against him on your face! No joking here.

Read related article here.

Read SHT’s last encounter here.

Read another related article here.

Read more on SHT’s apology here.

About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
This entry was posted in Gintai. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Apology from MP Seng Han Thong?

  1. nadzri deres says:

    now in saying that sht may have raised more questions….
    if really the malays and indians are lacking in english speaking skills, then how do they get their job in the first place?. interview not conducted in english. surely a person with bad english can be easily spotted during interviews and can then be rejected.

    on the other hand, i’m sure that whoever applies a job with mrt must have decent spoken english skills. if they do, then why they have problems handling the communication part now which i’m sure is standard procedure using simple words etc.
    maybe the staff felt the pressure in a situation like that. now this i can understand but in saying “some staffs are “Malay(s), they are Indians, they cannot converse in English good, well enough” is simply ridiculous!

    i simply cannot understand why he said that. did he really believe that? i always think there are people who have problems communicating in english that is good enough to be understood but surely they’re not just limited to the malays and indians. the chinese speak well? all of them?

    sht has, by all accounts, said something without thinking clearly. he has apologised, yes. but he did not say “i’m sorry. i’ve said something that was clearly not appropriate” this would certainly made him human……instead he went around the bush trying to cover his backside. look where it has brought him. i think your malay and indian colleagues gintai, are going to be hot under the collar for a few more days!


  2. nadzri deres says:

    sht’s apology:
    “In my interview with blogtv.sg, I made a regrettable mistake in my language, which may be misconstrued as me saying that people speak bad English because of their ethnicity. I sincerely apologise to all Singaporeans, who have been offended by this error.”

    i think the above should be good enough. but he continued below which i think is BULL! the last paragraph sounds so hollow.

    “Singaporeans of all ethnicities and backgrounds speak varying standards of English. My own Chinese-educated background gives me a special empathy for the non-English-speaking sections of our society. We should all be tolerant of people of different standards of linguistic ability.
    The point I was trying to make is that this should not prevent people from trying to communicate, especially in times of emergency.
    The remark was made in the context of a larger discussion about how we could better and faster improve the current problems we’re facing with our mass rapid transport system. Let us once again focus our minds and our public discussion on this issue.”


    • Assalammualaikum !
      Syukur Alhamdulilah !
      SHT has written a long letter to all SMRT staff via NTWU. He tried to explain his mistake in the letter to all staff. You can find it in your company mail. Thks for dropping by.


  3. Pingback: SMRT Staff’s Reaction to Seng Han Thong’s Remarks on Their English Standard | A L V I N O L O G Y

  4. cy says:

    actually maybe we should also place name of train officers on the 1st carriage as there are some train officers who make it a point to announce to every pax when doors closing… but dun know the name,… hope corp comms pple can identify and commend him


  5. Yes. Gd idea. Why not you write in officially to SMRT? I’m sure they will look into it. Thks.


  6. cy says:

    yes.. i sent in an email … hope he can be identified.. 🙂


  7. Pingback: SMRT Chinese Train Officer speaks of SHT - www.hardwarezone.com.sg

  8. cy says:

    hi… just got a reply. hope he can be identified and give the commendation.


Comments are closed.