New SMRT chief must explore radical changes

Mr Neo Kian Hong, the incoming chief executive officer of SMRT, brings with him - as all new CEOs do - fresh energy, perspectives and mandate, even to start from scratch if necessary (Next chief has work cut out for him; April 24).

Hopefully, he will be given the necessary support. The public expects no less, and does not want to be disappointed by problems of old again after a "fresh start".

Mr Neo should aim for SMRT to be No. 1 in the world in public transportation in the near future.

To succeed, he must be willing to look for structural defects in the current system and explore bold and radical moves.

He should do away with the culture of conservatism and the assumption that we can only "tinker" with an established system.

Since transport is a public good, perhaps the Ministry of Finance should be the sole shareholder of all our public transport companies.

The Government's injection of millions into the maintenance of MRT tracks has caused confusion, with taxpayers asking why their money should aid the bottom line of private companies. A massive study is needed on this matter.

Singapore has the wherewithal - money and a good civil service - and the motivation to create the best public transport system in the world.

With such factors in our favour, we have no excuse to lag behind anyone in this regard.

Wong Horng Ginn