SMRT appoints former security director as new chief spokesman

SMRT appointed Mr Patrick Nathan (above) as vice-president of a newly formed corporate information and communications cluster. -- ST PHOTO: EDWIN KOO
SMRT appointed Mr Patrick Nathan (above) as vice-president of a newly formed corporate information and communications cluster. -- ST PHOTO: EDWIN KOO

SMRT has tapped its former security director to be its new chief spokesman.

The transport operator appointed Mr Patrick Nathan as vice-president of a newly formed corporate information and communications cluster last week.

He replaces Ms Kalai Natarajan, 41, who resigned in July after five months on the job. A former army officer and national security specialist, Mr Nathan, 51, joined SMRT in 2011 as its director for security operations and readiness.

Prior to that, he was deputy director at the National Security Coordination Centre (NSCC) where he covered various roles such as policy, risk assessment and corporate communication.

His career started in 1979 when he joined the Singapore Armed Forces. He was in charge of defence relations for the Republic of Singapore Air Force before the Ministry of Defence brought him into the National Security Secretariat in 2002.

In 2004, he was promoted to colonel and was seconded to the NSCC.

SMRT director for media and marketing communications Alina Boey said Mr Nathan will lead four units - media and marketing communications, corporate communications, the passenger service department and the information fusion centre.

The passenger service department is a new initiative set up earlier this year to focus on service and passenger experience, she said. The information fusion centre receives and analyses feedback from multiple sources, including public feedback.

Ms Boey said the new structure will enhance knowledge sharing, which is "critical to improving SMRT's ability to anticipate challenges, respond to crises, manage issues, and engage the public".

Mr Nathan's role as security director has been filled by Mr Anson Lim, former chief of staff for the Singapore 6th Division. Mr Lim joined SMRT in April, and served as deputy director to Mr Nathan previously.

roysim@sph.com.sg