The beginning of decline in Singapore?

On March 15, 2013, the Shibuya Station Toyoko Line above-ground train quietly shut down for good, to be replaced with a new section of subway track connecting Shibuya Station and the nearby Daikanyama Station. Converting the line from above-ground to underground was a massive operation, requiring a grand total of 1,200 engineers and countless man-hours.

But, even if you’d been living in Tokyo at the time, you probably wouldn’t have noticed the construction, because it all occurred during the train line’s off-hours… over the course of one single night.

In just one night, Tokyu Railways put their proprietary, somewhat clunkily named STRUM (Shifting Track Right Under Method) tech to the test, mobilizing all 1,200 engineers at once to slowly lower the existing tracks along a pre-built incline to connect it with the subway tracks below.

Building the incline required holding the tracks up on temporary scaffolding as the company dug out the earth below, which kind of makes us doubly glad the method held up.

In all, with the Tokyu railway’s last train arriving at the Shibuya Station at 1:00 am, and the first train the following morning departing at around 5:00 am, the army of engineers had a vanishingly short four hours to put everything in place and send a few trains on a test run before morning commuters arrived.

さよなら地上駅舎_東横線渋谷駅-2013_3_15−3_16 相直までの1日を振り返るドキュメント_-_YouTube

It’s almost a miracle that everything went smoothly, as with so many boots on the ground and such a short time to accomplish the task, it must have been a logistical nightmare; each engineer required to know exactly which bolt they were in charge of turning.

Thanks to Tokyu’s incredible organization and the commendable teamwork of the engineers, the new section of track from Shibuya to Daikanyama was ready to roll overnight, giving us a renewed respect for Japanese engineering.


When I forwarded the above news article to my friends, they were impressed with a chorus of “incredible”, “fantastic” etc.. Click the above link to watch the video.

My friend “Ape” had this to say “I’m always amazed by the engineers of Japan. Such feat demands more than just workers’ commitment. It requires management commitment and direct involvement in what’s going on on the ground… sorely lacking here in SG. I’ve seen lots of paper pushers, the likes of “staffers” and “eunuchs” suggested by Philip Yeo. We’ll never get anywhere near the Japanese until management roll up their sleeves and sweat it out with their workers.”

Like I said before on my blog, Japan being a developed country is always No:1. We may console ourselves that there is nothing to be ashamed about if we can’t match them. Link

Let’s look at another video clip below. This time it’s from China which is a 3rd world developing country.

Not too long ago, China’s paramount leader visited Singapore to learn from us. In the early 1980s, they were so poor and backwards then. Our own paramount leader told Deng that the Singapore Chinese were descendants of illiterate landless peasants from Guangdong and Fujian, whereas the scholars, mandarins and literati had stayed and left their progeny in China.

“There was nothing that Singapore had done which China could not do, and do better,” Lee wrote. “He stayed silent then. When I read that he had told the Chinese people to do better than Singapore, I knew he had taken up the challenge I quietly tossed to him that night 14 years earlier.”

Fast forward, the predication came through within one generation.

Let us hear what our potential PM had to say.

“Whole-of-government efforts mean every agency chipping in to make the impossible possible. It is not every agency having its own vested interest and a veto to make the possible impossible,” he said.

Public servants can get in the way of innovation, by coming up with new rules to regulate activities instead of looking for ways to cut red tape and enable new activities, he noted. Common reasons given are a lack of time and resources, and unsupportive bosses, said Mr Ong, who was a senior public servant before he joined politics. But public servants must set aside the time, he said, adding that the best ideas are always born out of a desperate need.

Why take the risk when you are drawing big paycheck you being a maverick? Why go against your bosses by going against the flow and kena marked? I’ve lived long enough to know what I’m talking here. Duduk diam diam dapat duit. Jangan cari penyakit!

My brother, a school teacher for more than 25 yrs migrated to Vancouver to do menial work working as plumber starting from scratch yet he’s still surviving bringing home the bacon.

Just like other European countries, Japan or Korean, they do not have cheap foreign workers in the construction and maintenance industries churning defective or lousy products resulting in so much complaints.

Instead of looking into the root causes of locals not willing to take up jobs in the construction and maintenance industries, they blame our young not able to take hardship. Frankly, with that kind of pay who wants to work in that industry. With so much available cheap foreign workers, it makes much more sense to employ them. With so much revenue generated from foreign worker levy, no one is complaining. Why upset the status quo?

That is the obvious reality of the ground situation in our country. But who cares as long as the trains move?

But then of late, it doesn’t seem to be the case. You have seen and read the news. I’ll just leave it to your imagination and I’ll rest my case.

‘Bad luck’ that DTL disruption happened during open house, says Transport Minister Khaw


MRT tunnel flooding: ‘Commuter safety was never compromised’, says SMRT Trains chief executive

Click here to read Why communism fails?


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.
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