Parliament: Right culture starts from top, says Khaw Boon Wan

 Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed that the SMRT board will review the remuneration of its senior management, from the CEO through the relevant chain of command.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed that the SMRT board will review the remuneration of its senior management, from the CEO through the relevant chain of command.PHOTO: YOUTUBE/GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan says a positive corporate culture starts from the top, putting paid to SMRT chief executive Desmond Kuek's refrain about some workers in his company.

"At a media conference on Oct 16, the CEO of SMRT Desmond Kuek commented on some 'deep-seated cultural issues' within SMRT," Mr Khaw said in Parliament Tuesday. "Let me stress that growing the right culture is the responsibility of everyone - from the top leadership down to the workers."

Interspersing his words with frequent glances up at the gallery where Mr Kuek and other top SMRT and Land Transport Authority honchos were seated, the minister added: "I will look to the SMRT management to set the right tone of professionalism and excellence, to complement the audit systems that are being put in place. This is the Singapore way."

"When we speak of 'culture', we mean the culture of the whole organisation - the values and practices of management, as much as the values and practices of the workers," he went on.

More than once, Mr Khaw said he was confident new SMRT chairman Seah Moon Ming will transform SMRT's culture and turn the group around.

"He has turned around organisations before... but he needs some time," he said as the camera panned to Mr Seah nodding in agreement.

Mr Seah, who joined SMRT in July, is chief executive of Pavilion Energy, the Temasek-backed parent of Pavilion Gas.

Mr Khaw also revealed that the SMRT board will "review the remuneration of its senior management, from the CEO through the relevant chain of command".