SMRT lapses

Time to face up to reality

The revelations of ongoing critical and serious lapses in SMRT have clear and wide implications.

It has been more than five years since group chief executive officer Desmond Kuek took over the reins.

Granted, most of the blame was levelled at the previous CEO for instilling the "revenue at all cost" culture. The incoming CEO did not start with a blank sheet; there were serious gaps to address.

However, over the past two years, serious lapses continue to surface despite management promises of "implementing processes to prevent similar incidents from occurring".

Many corporations engage external human resources firms to conduct employee feedback, with questions crafted to target the various departments' employees and line managers.

Employees are also asked to give their feedback on their direct line manager, and the management team leading the company.

The results can be very shocking and serve as wake-up calls to senior management and line managers.

Sure, operating a transport company is not easy.

That is why the Government is allocating so much resources to support SMRT and SBS (including transport ministers having to explain themselves when things go wrong).

The latest findings of falsifying records are indeed shocking.

The burning question in public minds: What needs to happen before the ministry decides to have a leadership change?

Loh Wengmun

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'Time to face up to reality'. Print Edition | Subscribe