Learn from work culture of model rail system

Commuters at Sembawang MRT station on May 26.
Commuters at Sembawang MRT station on May 26.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

There is a significant physical difference between Singapore's rail system and that of Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and China ("Khaw urges SBS, SMRT to emulate Taipei metro"; May 31).

The overseas rail systems operate under harsher environments that change with the seasons - from chilling sub-zero temperatures to the heat of summer.

This results in more complex maintenance programmes, frequent servicing, repair and asset refreshment.

Operation and maintenance crews have a tougher job, as they have additional sets of procedures according to the different seasons of the year.

Singapore train operators may be able to copy the best practices of the Taipei metro, but the difference is in its working culture.

People, from top management to operation and maintenance crews, contribute to the efficiency and reliability of the rail operations.

They have to develop skills and knowledge, the right attitude, values, acumen, diligence, self-motivation, accountability, responsibility and passion.

Unfortunately, working culture and attributes are inherent to a particular place. It is not possible for another country to emulate and develop this culture overnight.

Perhaps the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth should work on people development to better support our rail operations as well as other industries.

Aaron Ang Chin Guan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2016, with the headline 'Learn from work culture of model rail system'. Print Edition | Subscribe