Plan needed to fix 'cultural issues'

I am astonished that after billions of dollars of taxpayer money has been spent to fix and upgrade the MRT's infrastructure and assets, SMRT group chief executive Desmond Kuek now says "many of our major disruptions in the past have been attributed in some part, or all, to human error or failure" (Flooding in MRT tunnel preventable, says Khaw; Oct 17).

Does this mean that even with the new lines and trains, we should continue to expect disruptions from human error?

I am also perplexed to read about the reference to "deep-seated cultural issues".

Mr Kuek has been the chief for a few years. Wouldn't he have had the chance to change things by now?

Almost $3 billion was spent to privatise SMRT, on the premise that this would allow it to better focus on its service delivery.

One year into that journey and we have yet to see much improvement.

SMRT cannot expect Singaporeans to have unlimited patience, when commuting is an important facet of daily life. This becomes even more critical when we are told that we are heading towards a car-lite society sooner rather than later.

So, what next after the apologies? Do we have the right people for the job? Are there plans to fix the "cultural issues" once and for all?

Yeo Yujin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2017, with the headline 'Plan needed to fix 'cultural issues''. Print Edition | Subscribe