SingTel fire: Telco forms committee of inquiry to investigate cause of fire

The aftermath of last Wednesday's fire at SingTel's Bukit Panjang Internet exchange. SingTel has formed an independent board committee of inquiry to look into the facts and circumstances leading to the fire that crippled essential services acros
The aftermath of last Wednesday's fire at SingTel's Bukit Panjang Internet exchange. SingTel has formed an independent board committee of inquiry to look into the facts and circumstances leading to the fire that crippled essential services across the island for more days. -- FILE PHOTO: SINGTEL

SingTel has formed an independent board committee of inquiry to look into the facts and circumstances leading to last Wednesday's fire at its Bukit Panjang Internet exchange that crippled essential services across the island for more days.

The board committee of inquiry (BOCI) - which SingTel had said it would create - will also review the effectiveness of the company's incident management and response and benchmark its current network design and contingency processes against international best practices, among other things. It will also recommend steps to prevent a similar reoccurance in future.

"We recognise the importance of resilient network infrastructure to Singapore's status as a leading financial and business hub. The Board's policy requires SingTel to adhere to the highest operational standards," said chairman of SingTel, Simon Israel, in a statement on Wednesday.

"The Board takes the recent fire incident extremely seriously. The establishment of the BCOI demonstrates our commitment to provide an objective and expert review of the incident and more importantly, to make recommendations to ensure that we learn from this experience and further enhance our network resilience. In the interest of transparency, the Board will make the BCOI findings and recommendations public," he added.

The BCOI is chaired by Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong, an independent director of SingTel and chairman of its risk committee. He was previously the managing partner of consultancy firm KPMG Singapore.

Mrs Fang Ai Lian, chairman of SingTel's audit committee, and Mr Low Check Kian, a member of SingTel's corporate governance and nominations committee, are also in the BCOI.

Mrs Fang was previously managing partner and then chairman of consultancy firm Ernst & Young, while Mr Low was one of the founding partners of venture capital firm NewSmith Capital Partners.