COI – Who to blame?

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Years ago when I was rostered to perform Station Sgt duty at Bedok Police Station, I was held accountable for my men’s lapses. I remember that I had to ‘stand in’ as Station Sgt even though I was just a newly minted Sgt – a post usually reserved for the most senior experienced Sgt cuz it carried quite a heavy responsibility. The others were either on course or on leave so I had to ‘stand in’ for few days in lieu of supervisory patrols.

On every shift, the Station Inspector who was in charge of the team assisted by two most experienced senior Sgts – Station Sgt and Operations Control Room Sgt.

Station Sgt was in-charged of the whole police station especially after office hours including security sentries. The police safe in the charge-office for keeping important case exhibits, accused persons in the lockup, police vehicles in the garage, armoury etc on top of handling walk-in complainants were all part of his jurisdiction.

One of the sentries – NS man was found dozing off by a senior officer who happened to clock-in early in the wee hours during my tour of duty. As the duty Station Sgt, I was held accountable. I was put on a charge of ‘Failing to supervise or lack of supervision on my subordinates’ or to that effect – couldn’t recall the exact charge -amounting to a dereliction of duty yadda yadda …

The above clearly shows the chain of command. The in-charge or in this case the supervisor is held ultimately accountable for his subordinate’s lapses or inadequacy. Can the supervisor just exonerate himself and absolve all blame in this situation? Should he join the others or the public to further condemn his subordinate’s mistake or negligence just to save his own skin?

Magnify the above scenario in our local context – it exactly mirrors our latest MRT fiasco. The two contending parties – LTA the regulator and SMRT the operator – Whose authority is higher? Which of the two agencies calls the shots? Which is the ultimate agency held accountable for that massive train disruption on last December?

LTA and SMRT engaging the most highly sought after lawyers money can buy to play the “blaming game” in an open court proceedings parading right in front of an aghast public.

After a 6-week inquiry involving more than 100 witnesses, the Committee of Inquiry (COI) released its 358-page report. 24 recommendations were made. Some of which have already been implemented. Concluding that the disruptions on Dec 15 and Dec 17 – which affected more than 200,000 commuters – were “preventable.” If its preventable, someone or some agency – whether it’s the regulator or the operator will have to account.

Source : Today

NUS transport expert Associate Professor Lee said “The incident was preventable but was not prevented. It is disappointing that SMRT did nothing, things that were supposed to be checked were not checked.”

Pls click here to view video.

Pls click to view another video.

From the two videos above, we need to humbly learn from the Japanese. Their problems esp that nuclear disaster is even worst than our transport woes yet they faced it stoically head on. That’s why The Japanese are a great people. Do we measure up to them?

It seems that SMRT is made a scapegoat. It’s so easy to just blame it on the obvious, isn’t it? No need to be a professor to do that. Any retard could also do just that.

He added, “And all this while, where was the LTA? They are the regulator and should know the system better than the operators – if not how do they regulate? I would question if the regulators have the corresponding technical capabilities to be able to regulate.”

This seems a fairer logical view. Fortunately he’s awaken to this vital fundamental fact of facts.

Statement from the Transport Minister will be released in parliament next week. COI did not specify clearly the different roles of SMRT and LTA during an emergency situation. It may happen again and there may be confusion again over their different roles and responsibility.

Kudos to SMRT for merely stating the facts as it is in a professional response to the COI’s report. No need to get agitated.

SMRT reiterated it “has operated a comprehensive maintenance regime in the past, regularly validated by LTA, which has served us well and placed SMRT among the top performing metro operators.”

Source : Today

Everybody is merry going round molly coolly for more than 23 years when all of a sudden, partly due to aging assets, worn-out depreciating equipment, over capacity stretching to breaking point etc , things turned out to be the worst nightmare, then the knives came out.

In my own view, do we need a transport regulator if it “Fails to supervise or lack of supervision on the subordinates, amounting to a dereliction of duty yada yada …” like the above given example What is the use of LTA if it is incompetent? If it had done a proper job in the first place, would those problems have surfaced? Did they exercise their supervisory role to the fullest? Who is ultimately responsible?

Instead of acknowledging its failure, they get the best lawyers to wriggle out of their ineptitude by joining the chorus of condemnation from the helpless public. It’s just too tempting and easy to “taichi” the blame away to the other party. Do you see the clear picture out of the mess? Most don’t including that eminent professor.

Read related article here.

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DISCLAIMER
“The opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect the official policies, practices or opinions of SMRT or any organisation with which I may be affiliated.”

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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. At least they know I'm still alive and well. It's a free country. No one is forcing you to read if you don't like what I write. I'm entitled to my own opinions. Having said that, there are still retards, morons and losers out there hiding behind anonymity hurling all kinds of insults and wicked remarks on my blog. I guess we'll just have to live with these cowardly mangy dogs found in any society. Sigh!
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52 Responses to COI – Who to blame?

  1. Lohcifer says:

    Thank you for blogging about this. But now, what is your suggestion? In addition to your blog, letters in today’s Straits Times FORUM (both print and online) on this subject are worth a read as well – they are sensible, well-written and largely devoid of accusatory or emotional tone. I’m sure they will be viewed as positive attempts at constructive feedback. (Anonymous commentators on blogs and their often negative tone are not really helpful at all. I include myself in this category, I must admit.)

    After all that time and money spent, the COI’s report has shown that those behind it lack the moral courage to name those accountable and hold them accountable by making some heads roll. This is one incident when I yearn for those good old (or should I say bad) days of LKY, when he, thug-like, would barge in like a storm trooper, bypass all levels of authority and declare that heads WILL roll. Remember how he dealt with this SIA pilots? In 2008, SIA pilot and union representative Ryan Goh Yew Hock, who has lived here for over 25 years, was accused by LKY of trying to instigate a union revolt against the government-controlled airline and had his PR status revoked overnight. To rub it in, Kuan Yew told the pilots: “It is not just SIA that goes down, but you go down, too.”

    Today the authorities seem all too happy to simply slap wrongdoers on their wrists. Plastic-surgeon-with-a-mole could have been charged under the alternative Section 182 which provides for imprisonment for his offense. But he wasn’t. Imagine you did something wrong and the powers-that-be all rushed in to explain away your light sentence. Man with balls like LKY are very much needed today in our society that is slowly becoming way too soft and forgiving.

    So life goes on for the goofy doc and life goes on at the SMRT?

    As if nothing happened?

    BAU?

    Business As Usual?

    SMRT must not forget its singular, one and only paramount goal – that of providing mass rapid transit for the populace, not maximizing profit for shareholders by becoming a giant retail landlord. Last I checked, SMRT stands for Singapore Mass Rapid Transit, not Secure Most Retail Tenants.

    That goal of becoming a huge landlord is contrary to SMRT’s raison d’être. Hiring that dowager is mistake number two, mistake number one being hiring that ex-navy head Kwek Siew Jin to run it. One would have thought after Kwek, the SMRT board should have been wiser but the regulatory body above it did nothing but watched. Hiring an ex-navy chief to head the SMRT is akin to hiring the head of the air force to run our airports. I am sure netizens wiser than me can find other examples of such foolishness.

    In any case, LTA didn’t even wring their hands; they just stood by and watched.

    Then they hired the best lawyers they could afford, using tax payers’ money, mind you, to defend themselves.

    To me that’s a crime of omission. A crime.

    Where is LKY when we needed him?

    • LKY is a national icon. For good or bad, history is the best judge. I’m not saying he’s perfect. There is no perfect being in this world. Scholars will judge him according to history. He was a product of his time. He had to deal with problems of the day in his own ways. Today it’s a different world. Times have changed. I hope as a people, we have not lost that tenacity and grit to seek higher breakthrough and greatness.

      • E W says:

        What is your stand? You have been sending confusing messages, Gintai. Just because someone opines that tough measures are needed by tough leaders (“when the going gets tough, the tough gets going”) you accuse him of not having the tenacity and grit to seek higher breakthrough and greatness?

        • I don’t accuse anybody. I wish and hope that as a people we possess those worthy attributes. In short, do not look for scapegoat. It won’t solve our common problem. That is the message. No confusion at all.

      • Alan says:

        I beg to disagree.

        In a way, LKY was acting like a bully trying to find a scapegoat to serve as a warning hoping it will solve what is basically a management problem between SIA and one of its union. Look at SIA now, it appears to be in a mess now and the problems with the pilots union has still not gone away.

        In the SMRT maintenance fiasco, what can we expect when LTA which happens to be the Project Manager appointed by SMRT Corp to be in charge of all the planning, coordination and building the whole MRT infrastructure and then later becomes the appointed regulator to check on SMRT itself ?

        Is it not like asking your own appointed building contractor to check what is exactly wrong when the building collapse later on ? Do you expect your building contractor to tell the truth admitting their mistakes ?

        • Thks for your participation. That’s an interesting angle which I didn’t look at. Yes, what you say is logical and makes sense. No wonder we are having all these problems and nobody admitting liability. SMRT maintained that it had done his maintenance regime to the letter as validated by LTA and the latter hitting back – to and fro, back and forth, ding and dong etc until the cows come home without solving anything. Is it a case of Langgar Tiang Authority?

  2. Observer says:

    I can sense your frustration Gintai. I understand. I understand completely. I can only imagine what all this is doing to SMRT’s moral. As for the general public they too are befuddled as no one seems to know why the regulator doesn’t seem very interested in regulating. And instead they seem to spend all their time and energy deflecting blame and shirking responsibility. Some have even openly told me, what is the point of privatizing the trains when there seems to be no discernible benefit to the tax payer, worst of all justice is not seen to be done. As for the leader he appears to be saying all the right things, but the blame game is overshadowing his best efforts and fast become a national joke – now the regulators are hirring lawyers to split hairs further. That can only confuse the tax paying public. This can only make people who care for our trains restless and angry. I can understand your anger and frustration my friend. Please I am not trying to tell you how to live your life – but maybe Gintai, it is a good idea to take a break from blogging.

    I find that sometimes when we get too worked up and blog. We end up writing things that may be misconstrued. As since we are emotionally invested in this whole experience, we know the frustrations on the ground only too well. And this realization seldom sits well with our sense and sensibilities. But we must also be wise Gintai. Are you listening to me? And learn how and when to pick and choose our battles.

    Darkness 2012

    • Lohcifer says:

      Observer/Darkness

      Thanks for your advice. I need it as much as Gintai. I don’t have a vested interest in the SMRT; unlike Gintai, I don’t work there but I tend to get too easily worked up and hit out rather sarcastically without being constructive.

      • You do have a vested interest as a pax and citizen of this country. When you travel outside of the country are you proud of this national icon? Do you feel anything if outsiders speak disparaging of our transport system and our efficiency? Remember we are supposed to be Number One in everything? We are brought to believe in that we must the best in everything at the expense of everything.

        • Lohcifer says:

          What I meant is unlike you, I am not an employee of the SMRT.
          And since when are we supposed to be number one in everything? Is that our national agenda? I don’t feel anything if “outsiders” (or “insiders”) speak ill about our transport system. I have other more important things in life to worry about.

          • It depends on our priority in life. Some prefer to play saga games and watch serials. Whilst some prefer to invest in prayers for a secure place in heavens. It’s a question of how you feel for our little country. We lead our life and visions differently. Who am I to impose on your choice? Maybe times have changed. Number one is no longer important. Not our aspiration any longer.

    • Darkness 2012,
      Thank you for your sincere counsel. I really appreciate that. The truth always hurts. No one wants to know the truth. No one dares tell the emperor that he is walking naked without clothing in that famous fable for fear of incurring his majesty wrath. Only innocent children with no hidden agenda or ulterior motive spoke the hard truth when that retard emperor paraded naked along the streets for the whole world to see making him a laughing stock. No one except the children told him the hard truth. The learning cycle will nvr end. It keeps repeating when the same mistakes keep repeating. They say history will always repeat itself. Question is do we have the luxury of repeat learning when the world sped by? Each lesson gets more painful and costly. It’s getting more challenging.

  3. ape@kinjioleaf says:

    To me, the key thing here is the (lack of) clear segregation of roles and responsibilities. LTA may be the regulator but to what extent? Should LTA dictate the maintenance program? Or just the service standards? How much autonomy should be given to SMRT? Can SMRT change the first generation claws or must they go to LTA for permission?

    End of it all, what has both parties learn from this incident? What will they do to make things better? Merely follow the recommendations of the COI-the ‘higher authority’, who are perhaps have even less ‘expertise’ in public train transport? Or acknowledges their own short comings and change?

    Gintai, let me know if there is a thorough and comprehensive review if a TO should step out of his cabin or stay inside when the train breakdown like this again.

    Have a great weekend to all but don’t forget, while we enjoy our weekends, there are many others working so that you may go jalan jalan or jiak hong by land, sea or air!

  4. both parties also got fault. smrt and lta. seems like the latter got off easy. the onus is on lta to audit smrt and clearly define both their roles but it seems that many are just happy to skip that question.

  5. agongkia says:

    Gintai ah….
    Please help to understand that it doesn’t look good for our country and our Authority if LTA is to look incompetent and answerable .

    Someone need to answer and for the sake of our country, just bear with it .
    Just because SMRT is involve ,many also got carried away.There are other similar cases where smaller kachang puteh enterprises took the blame and get condemn for life because of the incompetency of the Authority but who will make noise.
    If smaller companies can LL keep quiet and get life going,why can’t bigger organisation just admit its their fault and take the blame instead of wasting money and everyone’s time.Saving the legal fees and give discount to passengers or a higher bonus for you will be more ideal.

    If there is a need to blame,everyone who uses the transport services are to be blame.We want to be no. 1 in everything,we expect best transport,we want best salary,we sacrifice nature to built rails etc. so there is no reason pointing finger when there are lapses.

    Be a happy citizen.

    • Agongkia,
      Are you sure best salary? The trains affect most ppl. More than 200,000 pax affected. Can it be small matter? The need to investigate and look deeper the issues is necessary to ensure that it won’t happen again.

  6. Darling says:

    Just wonder how LTA relates itself to the transport operators and
    the commuters.
    Does LTA oversee the technical aspects of maintenance,
    sourcing of train/rail materials, purchase of buses and maintenance
    tools etc.
    Or,
    it is only involve in the service quality and safety of commuters and
    control of fare pricing?

    Is it right to say that if and when transport operator failed to maintain
    their vehicle, vessel and plane to ensure maximum performance
    in service and safety to commuters , the Regulator is just as negligent
    for failing to
    make the operator comply or conform to the standard required and
    expected?

    Darling

    • Hi Darling,
      Prices or fares are under PTC – Public Transport Council. They decide the fares not LTA.

      • Anonymous says:

        Gintai;

        Thank U for the Correction, my silly mistake. Me has forgotten there is yet another Public Transport Regulator.

        Now, have to
        wonder if this One can play any role in improving the Public Transport System in terms of service reliability and safety.

        Darling

  7. Pingback: Daily SG: 6 July 2012 | The Singapore Daily

  8. The says:

    The MRT serves many stakeholders – shareholders, commuting public, employees, authorities, etc. Unfortunately, the last CEO, having been appointed by you know who, focuses her energy largely, (dare I say, solely?) on one stakeholder – the majority shareholder.

    Despite what SMRT claims, maintenance has not keep pace. It was flat, and even dip in recent years. This despite the fact that commuters have increased tremendously over the years and the system is aging.

    • If you look at the stmt issued by SMRT, the picture is clear. For 23 over yrs, it was smooth sailing until that fateful two days. Whose fault? Entirely SMRT? You still think so?

      • mahbok tan says:

        Allow me to reply with a question ,
        Does increase in passengers have any effect to the well being of the train system?
        Mechanically speaking if more load means more wear and tear so the maintenance of the train should have double up as prevention is better then cure.
        Increase in passenger = more money , but maintenance remain flat…!!!!
        Sorry I am just an ordinary laymen …. !!!!

        • Not necessarily so. Just imagine your own car. If your car is always driven with one pax or five pax, does it affect the maintenance schedule? Still you just go for your regular maintenance regime irrespective of your number of pax load right? Same logic here. However, if your car is running 18 hrs a day non stop eg Taxi then your maintenance schedule has to be shorten meaning more frequent engine change, brakes change etc due to obvious reasons. This is irrespective of number of pax load. I think it shld be like that.

      • The says:

        Well, for 158 years, Lehman Brothers were smooth sailing until 2008.

        Precisely because SMRT has been skimping on maintenance for 23 years that the chicken have come home to roost. Just look at the money spent per unit of travel – it stayed the same and even came down in recent years. And this at a time when the whole infrastructure is aging and nearing its first-cycle life.

        And what do you expect from SMRT’s statement — mea culpa???

        • If you read to the Transport Ministerial stmt in parliament, it’s clearly stated that SMRT is solely to be blamed. Check it out.

          • The says:

            That’s not what I see and hear. Both on TV and in the papers, Minister Lui said both MOT and LTA should also share the blame – they are not doing their job properly.

          • That’s what I was saying before he said that.

  9. Why should the anyone volunteer to accept blame? If you were not charged as station sergeant, would you volunteer to take the blame for your men who fell asleep? Of course, that is what we expect from an officer and a gentleman.

    Your punishment for failing to supervise your men is what? Extra duty? Or even 7 days’ detention barrascks? That is nothing compared to what will happen to the one who says, I accept the responsibility for the MRT failures.

    Anyone who accepts this blame know that their careers are gone, and they will go down in infamy in history, they will never work as regulators or in any position of responsibility again.

    Why would they not fight it tooth and nail?

    • Exactly. Our culture is totally different from the Japs. They took pride in their work. The bushido mentality. When they fail, they felt shameful to the extent of taking their own life. Imagine the CEO of Toyota crying in public over their company’s failure? We are different from them. It’s due to our socio political set up. We only know how to CYA.

  10. Expensive price says:

    G got charged because his name was not Wolffus – otherwise just discuss over Kopi

  11. Roaring Lion says:

    Suffice to say both corporations are in the state of denial of responsibilities. Back to basic human psychology, it seems clearly that both cultures of corporations suffer from a serious form of mental condition called “Character Disorder” in which the system is designed to cast away responsibilities to others for quality and service.

    Inevitably, the core question to ask is “Are we having the right people with integrity and to serve with a conscious?”

    • I did not furnish the links to Japanese corporate culture for nothing. Just look at their corporate chiefs. Really admire them.

  12. Lohcifer says:

    Japanese corporate culture? Come on, don’t believe in myths please. The chairman of an investigation ordered by Japan’s parliament into last year’s failure of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has declared that it was a crisis “Made in Japan” resulting from the “ingrained conventions of Japanese culture.” In a message prefacing the English language summary of the commission’s final report, Kiyoshi Kurokawa blamed the plant’s failure on “our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with programme’; our groupism; and our insularity”.

    • Granted. The are still a great ppl in many areas even though they got their weaknesses. They are not infallible but they have achieved much. Most importantly they felt ashamed of what happened. In all honesty, do we? I do not wish to elaborate further. The facts are out there.

  13. george says:

    Both are guilty of complacency and staffed by managers who could not see the implication of the phenomenal wear, tear and stress arising from the million or so additional ridership imposed by the flood of immigrants, no thanks to the equally blinkered and myopic govt policy that give rise to this.

    If there are true professionals in the ranks of the SMRT, the overload should be obvious, – IF they have been doing their jobs and pulling their weights, not drawing ‘gargi buta’, they would have picked up the tell tale signs of the dropping ‘claws’ for instance and stress and strain on the hardware- the rolling stocks. If the professionals have been pulling their weight and had been providing the nec feedback to management, then it is the management that has a case to answer. For if management has acting professionally, it should have sounded the alarm bells at LTA HQ. Apparently nothing like this did happened. If SMRT management has been pulling its weight and sounded the alarm to the LTA, then part of the buck stops at the LTA office door steps. No matter how, the SMRT cannot shed responsibility as it is the very ones running the whole show daily. SMRT cannot give the excuse that as long as it has fulfilled the letter of the requirement – ie to report it upwards to the LTA- than it can be absolve of responsibility.

    But, based on your quote from SMRT that it “has operated a comprehensive maintenance regime in the past, regularly validated by LTA, which has served us well and placed SMRT among the top performing metro operators.” this seems to be the case. One very simple question to deflate this statement of claim by SMRT is this: If so, can it account for the dropped claws which surely would not have happened all of a sudden. This instantly suggests that the ‘comprehensive maintenance’ was only in theory or it was just going through the motion. To my mind a ‘top performing metro’s’ maintenance dept would have quickly pick up the tell tale signs and symptoms when the ‘artefacts’ of a system under undue stress and strain started to appear. But apparently not, it seems. All would be well because uncle SAM says so or did not pass down the nec instructions.

    I would say they were ‘gob blocks’ up and own the line from the top of the SMRT to the top of the LTA!

    If I am the COI chairman, which I am not, I would sum up the state of affairs in both SMRT and the LTA as A SERIOUS LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM and COMMITMENT TO THEIR RESPECTIVE RESPONSIBILITIES.

    If their respective roles have not be properly defined by whoever is responsible to do it, it is a classic example of ‘everybody thinks that somebody would do it, and in the end nobody actually did it because everybody thought somebody is doing it’! SAD.

    IMO, the COI chairman had a hard task not because it was difficult to determine and assign responsibilities, but because everybody is in the same family – the chairman himself whose rice bowl depends on the PMO and between the LTA and SMRT there is little to choose as in the Chinese saying ‘it is still flesh, whether it be the back of the hand or the front of the hand’. That’s why in spite of the govt controlled mass media’s attempt at ‘lionizing’ the COI Chairman, as someone who is sharp and not to be trifled with, it is actually all make believe, wayang, momentarily playing to pacify the gallery (the Singapore public). The COI chairman towards the end is like a toothless tiger whose bark (roar?) is worse than his bite. (Interesting mix of metaphor.) Doubly SAD.

    • George,
      Good analysis. Just one question. Don’t you think it’s quite weird that after more than 23 years, symptoms such as drop claws surface? Before that, all those years there was no problem. The system was well and good. Why this sudden explosion of problems? Surely there must be an explanation? Do you expect more than the required “maintenance regime” given that the model is a profit driven enterprise just like any commercial entity? Why shld one do the extra when it already complied to the letter? You are asking for more with less in a real business environment. Will it work? That is the question.

      • george says:

        Gin,
        Good point. The million and more additional pax have very simply aggravated the issue of maintenance of an already aging system and ACCELERATED its falling apart.

        Take the analogy of another public vehicle – the bus. For the sake of argument, let’s say it is expected to have a service life of X years given a certain level of daily, weekly, monthly and annual maintenance service including a complete overhaul say once during its X years of service life before it is permanently retired to that big graveyard for buses in the sky that all old buses, like old elephants eventually go to die.

        However, if the workload was suddenly increased by 40%, because of higher demand – there are now more people than normal waiting to catch a bus ride home at the bus stop every service hour of every working day. If you are the person in charge of maintaining the bus and you are aware of the increased demand, do you think you should continue to, for example, change the engine oil based on the original schedule when demand for buses were ‘normal’ or would you now think, heck, I need to change the oil more frequently in line with the increased usage? Do I need to be told to increase the oil change frequency being the competent and PROFESSIONAL mechanic or technician that I am? Or, should I not only increase the frequency of oil change but also make sure the other parts (eg tyres, brake fluids etc) are also checked, serviced and replaced if necessary more frequently to keep the bus on the road? And if I find that the increased demand is going to shorten the service life of the bus from X years to X-n years, should I not holler to the men or women at the top about this, to apprise them of the situation – that perhaps they have to bring in a new bus sooner than originally planned or something similar?

        Profit driven. Exactly, if it is profit driven than it is only right to expect to use the addition revenue earned from the increased ridership for buying more service and replacements and not just keep the extra earned as more profit to fatten the kitty without returning part of it to run the system which is now running at a higher level to meet higher demand. This is what separates MEN from BOYS. But if this idea had not occurred to anybody in SMRT, LTA or the board, then they all deserved to be sacked like a pack of rank amateurs for not knowing their business.

      • The says:

        Everything has a useful economic life. My car has no problems for the first 7 years. After that, one problem after another keeps cropping up.

        • It depends on what cars you are talking about. Cars from China, Korea, Japan or Germany cost differently? There must be a reason for it. Some discerning ppl willing to pay tons of money for a set if wheels. Why? If it’s from Germany, I’m sure it will last more than 10 yrs.

          We have trains from Japan, Germany, France and lastly China. You are an intelligent person, you shld know where the recent problems are coming from?

          • The says:

            Since you seems to be not getting the point, let me be clearer. My point is – if one were to skimp on maintenance, one can get away with it for many years until it finally catches up. Whether it is 7 years for a Japanese car, or 23 years for a German car, the point is – the initial years of problem-free motoring does not mean maintenance is adequate. The fact that SMRT has few problems in the first 20 over years does not mean maintenance has kept pace with increased loads and age. The result is that when things go wrong, it goes wrong quite frequently because the problems have been stored up and accumulated.

          • Look at my story at the beginning of the article. I did not put that real anecdote for entertainment. Do you see the woods from the forest now? Have you separated the wheat from the chaff? Still confused? Things may appear like you say. Look deeper and try to see thru the mists to get a clearer picture.

    • agongkia says:

      This one I must agree with you Mr George but since someone need to answer,just choose one enuf.

    • Darling says:

      Could it be that there were insufficient preventive and routine maintenance.
      The Rail, Bus Operators and LTA, even PTC should send their staff to SIA
      for training in maintenance, safety and customer service.
      Maybe because train and bus are terrestrial vehicles, maintenance and safety
      are not taken as seriously as aircraft.

      Darling

  14. Third-Rail Engineer. says:

    The 3rd rail is wrongly illustrated in the article. It should be a bottom-contact one instead of the top-contact as printed, making the insulation cover meaningless. THe shoe collects electricity from the bottom of the 3rd rail suspended by contacts and not from the top of a 3rd rail supported by the yellow-coloured area as printed. How sad that the wrong illustration is used & printed. It just breaks the heart of railway power-supply engineers!

    • 3rd Rail Engineer,
      You are absolutely correct. I didn’t realize it until you pointed it out here. Basically, it’s made of high grade aluminium subject to wear n tear (it will take a long time). It is being suspended by claws from the galvanized steel support stands. Just imagine our home curtain railings suspended with wall brackets. It gives some degree of flexibility for the shoe collector to move into contact with the 750 DC. Yes you are correct to say that it shld tap the current of the 3rd rail from the bottom and not from the top as illustrated in the picture since its covered with hard PVC to insulate the 3rd rail. If the claws give way, the 3rd rail will sag. That will lead to lots of problems. Thank you for pointing it out.

  15. SMRT Commuter says:

    Dear Sir,

    Allow me to related my own experiene.I made one comment twice on Ms Saw blog,twice it was deleted.
    Her blog .basically was to defend herself.
    ‘isaw-isphy.com/
    Taking a stand: My experience with the COI
    Posted on 1 June 2012
    I as a SMRT commuter,made a point that my main complaint against her was the fact that she appointed her crony from DFS as Cheif Train Officer,the most important engineering/technical position in SMRT.
    She deleted it twice.

    • If it is her blog, she has the right to del whatever comments on her blog.
      Is there such a post as ‘Chief Train Officer?’ I would like to apply.

      • SMRT Commuter says:

        Yes,I agree,in fact I apologised to her.Thanks you for letting me post.

  16. To: SMRT, LTA and MOT says:

    Please watch this video:

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