Saturday, December 1, 2012

All Aboard The SMRT Gravy Train

According to Bloomberg, SMRT Corporation Ltd has seen their bottom line shrink from $161.1M to $119.9M despite an increase in revenues from $969.7M to $1.1B in 2012. An increase in the percentage of sales devoted to cost of goods sold from 53.00% to 55.93% was reported to be a key component of the falling profits in spite of the rise in ridership and revenues. The familiar looking "Other Operating Expenses" book keeping entry (shades of YOG accounting) also jumped from $161.1M to $188.0M. Is this where they post the compensation for the board of directors?

And exactly what kind of board has oversight of the business at SMRT? Well, it appears 9 board members have a total of 234 "relationships" with other companies. Between the 9, board members average 26 "relationships" with other organisations. Why are these board members so exceptionally "hard-working"?

Going by the example of Ong Ye Kung, the Executive Secretary of the National Transport Workers Union (NTWU), the largest transport union in Singapore, who wears another hat as a member of the Board of Directors of SMRT, collecting directorships can be quite lucrative. Based on SMRT’s 2011-2012 Annual Report, Ong's annual director fee was $80,000. Now imagine multiplying that by 26.

A study of 3,816 directors by National University of Singapore's Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting Centre (CGFRC) in 2008 found that some 84 per cent of directors in Singapore-listed companies hold just 1 seat. Some 14.5 per cent of directors hold between 2 and 5 positions in listed companies. This leaves less than 2 per cent of directors - 51 individuals in all - who sit on least 6 company boards. Most of the "popular candidates" have either government links or have accounting backgrounds. For example, among the 16 directors who have 8 or more posts, 10 are former or current members of Parliament (MPs), or former civil servants. Ex-PAP MP Wang Kai Yuen used to top the list with 12 directorships, but still he wasn't a happy man, grumbling to all who cared to hear, "some of the companies pay me as little as $10,000". Move over, Wong, your record has been broken several times over.

Professor Mak Yuen Teen, co-director of CGFRC, said that having "super busy" directors is a concern, "With due respect, I do wonder if they are there because of the good reputation of our government and civil service, and companies wanting to capitalise on this, than because of their perceived independence, personal competencies or commitment."

Meanwhile former chief of defence CEO Desmond Kuek, fresh from holidaying in the United States while turmoil reigned at the bus depot, told the press that SMRT has "deep-seated issues". Makes you wonder how many of those are seated on the board.

31 comments:

  1. The CEO said their contract with the bus drivers has been fair. But no matter how you look at it, the bus drivers can still be considered "expatriates" however demeaning it may be.

    So you tell me, is their accommodation (no better than for those construction workers) something worthy for "expatriate" living ?

    Somemore if one consider that the starting salary is only slightly above S$1,000 among some of the lowest paid jobs in Singapore, which "expatriate" in their right sense of mind would tie themselves to a 2-year contract with these type of conditions ?

    In the olden days, many of our forefathers from China were tricked into coming to Nanyang by selling their whole lives away to work as coolies. So is SMRT with our Singapore Govt's backing not doing something in the same manner ?

    Is it not a joke that for they even have the conscience to offer 2-year contract for these kind of low paying jobs ? Cold blooded suckers, aren't they ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One fair question

      The CEO said the contract is fair. Can we equally say it will be fair that the CEO will equally responsible for any accidental deaths caused by the state of mind of these PRC bus drivers as a result of such 'fair' living conditions.

      If CEO of SMRT cannot be held responsible, can the wife of our PM as CEO of Temasek Holdings be ultimately held responsible then ?

      冤有头,债有主 So if someone gets knocked down accidentally by PRC bus driver, we know who to look for, is it CEO ?

      Delete
  2. Poor Singapore12/01/2012 10:14 AM

    hmm, kena blood suckers in the day and some more get bitten by bed bugs at night. poor bus drivers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "hmm, kena blood suckers in the day and some more get bitten by bed bugs at night. poor bus drivers."
      Hahaha! Good one! If its bitten by mosquitoes we can understand.

      Delete
  3. Conflict of interest is a fundamental problem that must be resoived or the country will go to the dogs. Particularly egregious are those who hold positions of power in the executive.For example, how can Lim Swee Say reconcile his position as a Minister with his position as Secretary General of NTUC? It is untenable to argue that such people will not be biased as one should not allow oneself to be put in a conflict situation in the first place. Your example of Ong Ye Kung wearing two hats proves the point.The country ia replete with conflict of interest situations at the highest levels. This should be part of the National Conversation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The country has already gone to the dogs.

      Delete
  4. It's all too obvious Desmond Kuek never read this (or is he can't?):

    致全体在新加坡(SMRT)的中国籍车长的公开信:

    我尊敬的同胞们,来新加坡这段时间里(不管时间长的还是时间短的) 大家内心有何感受,是否有种自已的尊严被践踏的感觉,所在的企业或公司管理层把我们看低一等。

    甚至于连马来华人都为我们鸣不平,而我们自身却只能沉默无助的面对(这是我们自已的选择),凭什么????凭什么????啊!大家同为外国来新劳动力,凭什么马来西亚公民要比中国公民高一等(撇开新加坡本地人不讲)。马来籍车长工资1400多,中国籍车长1000多点,基本工资相差几百块;马来籍有分红,中国籍没有分红。难道我们做的工作内容不一样吗?干得不如人家好吗?我们没有更好的服从公司的管理吗?马来籍车长下雨天说不来就不来,包括平时也一样,这一点大家应该都知道吧,造成的人手空缺由谁来补,还不是我们中国籍车长。而平时大家打电话问配工部要加班的时候,情况是怎样的呢?大家心里想想?如果换做中国籍车长你不拿MC,累计两天不上班(请个事假都难吧)?算你旷工,还有权利给你警告和处罚。我就弄不懂了那么多马来人在那么多个下雨天不来上班是什么理由?同样是人SMRT的领导处理结果的差距咋就那么大呢?我们这些人是在给你们当苦力当劳力啊!你们的良心何在,有一点人情味吗?不要说你们也是华人了,他娘的连洋人对中国人的态度好都没有。大家说是不是,还有我确定新加坡有一部分其它公司的中国人的待遇比印度人和马来人要好,人家的老板认为中国人听话好管理,做工认真没那么破事,这就足够了。说起分红的事,不得不说SBS的中国籍车长也都有分红,不管马来人中国人一视同仁。为什么你SMRT就要看扁中国人,他娘的这是为什么?到底是为了什么了啊!

    我的兄弟姐妹们啊,我们真的伤不起啊,SMRT领导的“良心有没有,你们的良心狗叼走”。而我们呢不能算来算去算来去总是算到彻底放弃吧!我们是不是应该做点什么啊?我肯定他们内心想法只有一种可能,就是SMRT的领导根本不知道我们这些中国籍车长的诉求(也可能知道装糊涂),但是他们可以肯定的是确实没有看到我们为了达到自已的诉求所持有的信心和决心,因为中国人没反应啊,想怎么捏就怎么捏,无所谓啦,所以他们对我们所做出的决定也就不分错与对了。

    很显然,他们认为他妈的中国人真多,去一趟就能招来几百号人,用完了,不听话了就滚蛋,这种模式挺受用。就算有几个人出尖的,不听话的让他滚蛋走人,这点大家是不是也这么想的所以都会选择沉默了。但我们为什么不反过想一下,如果几百号中国人一起出尖,恐怕滚蛋走人的就是SMRT的领导了,新加坡的交通状况我们又不是不知道,弄几天几百号巴士司机不上班,新加坡全城沸腾,什么《联合早报》《我报》英文报——通通的都给我伺候着,登呗、评论呗是什么原因造成的,陆交局立马得出面调查,问询SMRT。

    我泱泱中华大地,孕育出来的都是峥峥硬骨,今日是之新中国非往昔之旧中国。就连“韬光养晦”一向保守、隐忍的中国政府现在对外都忍无可忍了,姿态越来越强硬;何况我们这些堂堂五尺之躯,血气方刚的男儿,更应该挺起腰板做人,活出我们身为中国人的精神面貌和尊严。自已不给自已尊严,何来让别人给你尊严。中国人的尊严是要靠我们自已争取来的,不需别人给,更不需别人施舍,彻底让那些瞧不起中国人的人丢掉那些老套的观念。见他娘的鬼的了,凭什么中国人就应该处处受气,老子也没那样的基因呀!有什么了不起的。老子也没干什么违法的事,所有的一切无非是些再合理不过的要求,追求和其它人一样平等的权利总该有吧。没什么好怕的,没那么邪乎!醒醒吧兄弟姐妹们,人心齐、泰山移。行动成就梦想,没有行动别只望别人会可怜我们,帮助我们。我们自已的事情永远只能靠我们自已,自已不去做、不参与,你在等谁替你做。我就不明白了做人的差距有那么大吗????真的有那么大吗????????

    发生在眼前的事情大家应该都还没忘记吧,几个月前SBS涨工资,新加坡人、马来人、印度人都有份,唯独中国人不涨。上百号SBS的中国籍司机集体**,文礼转换站陷入瘫痪,SBS立马将中国籍司机工资涨了75.虽说涨的不多,但是总算是人家自已争取来的吧。换句话说要不是SBS的中国同胞,SMRT的中国人恐怕也不会涨75,可能要更少都说不准。再近一点时间讲新加坡、马来人又涨50,各转换站都贴出来了,大家都看到了吧。中国籍车长又他娘的除外了,我怎么听着新加坡人讲“中国人除外”这几个字—**就疵挠!!!!!?????全身不得劲!!!!

    现在的班次大家也应该都看在眼里,超时OD越来越少了,REST是不是这几个月也没得做了,车是越加越多,班也加了,但整体班次时间被这帮人改得太缺得了。很多人现在上的班可能还有些超时,但提醒你不要庆幸过早,现在配工部里已经有近七八十个只有几分钟的超时班在等着你,不排除继续增加的可能(这个想都不用想,那是肯定的)。对我们不利的事情正在发生着,我们感觉到了,但都没有认识到其真正的严重性。五天工作制可以随便改成六天工作制,这下倒好了,很多人认为是好事,接下来把你每天的超时OD都炸干,让你白白多工作一天,到时你就不说是好事了。工作天数可以随便改更不用说工作时间了,做后备STANDBY的人说,没事反正我是做后备的还可以赚到超时(宏贸桥车厂的后备天天喝药水赚个屁,有个班大家是不是都抢着做);你怎么就知道他接下来会不会改变后备的上班时间呢。事情一直都是在变化的,看到你这么好捏好糊弄,多糊弄多捏几下也无所谓。这一切都是谁造成的,都是SMRT,怎么管理的,用不了这么多人为什么招这么多,把人都糊弄过来,让我们自已起哄。我们的工资水平对他们来说是很低的营业成本,他们情愿多准备些司机,也不能够承受没有司机之痛啊!!最关键的问题是什么?他们已经把中国人特点看死了,不团结、好糊弄、成本低?大家想一下是不是?

    后半夜睡不着越想越憋气,坐起来啰嗦了一大堆,敲键盘的声音可能都影响到室友休息了(这就是SMRT提供给我们的住宿条件,怎么和SBS比,唉!)。天亮了,太阳也出来了,不知大家想白没有。不管你做与不做,晚上睡与不睡,早上太阳照常向往常一样正常升起,天塌不下来,兄弟姐妹们路见不平一声吼,该出手时就出手,人活着总得有点血**。

    诉求(个人拙见,我想不了那么多那么全,只是个引导作用,就看大家的了):

    1、基本工资。(起码与马来人看齐)
    2、分红。(该给的总要给吧)
    3、上班时间,包括超时OD、REST。(不能你让我做的时候一句话,我们要的时候也一句话“没有”。应做到合理安排,分配均匀。)
    4、工资结算的周期要明确。(每次开资时的超时统计周期是哪天到哪天的。不要给我们留下疑问。打电话咨询,总是打不通,打通了又说不明白。)
    5、100服务奖、130安全奖。(凭什么你们说扣就扣了,之前的钱箱钱制度就还可以多劳多得,公平分配,可以保障。你为什么乱改明目,说扣就扣,太随便了吧。说白了这个钱到底是谁的还不一定呢?去掉钱箱钱,公司觉得是不是可以更好的提高车长的服务水平,你们怎样想的都。光想着怎样扣司机的钱了,没想着怎样给车长提高满意度,以便更好的为搭客服务,最起码心情会不一样。只罚不奖,这就是新加坡企业的管理之道啊)
    6、住宿条件。(改善住的环境,不想信差的话,我想请公司几位人事部同事或领导来体验一下。早班和夜班的同事们到底怎样能休息好。)

    理性并有血性的同胞们要行动起来啊!吁明天26号星期一、27号星期二集体MC,自已的尊严、自已的利益只能靠自已,MC(有薪无薪没有区别)对你自已的利益来说损失什么了,不就是几十块吗?而对我们争取自已的尊严来说那可不是几十块钱可以衡量得的。请相互转告,广而告之,不怕汉奸走狗。对于不知道的星期一早上宏贸桥和兀兰宿舍门口大家再次互想转告,坚决不上工人班车,对于那些无动于衷的人坚决抵制和鄙视,其良心也会受到谴责的。关系到每个人的利益,所有人都应该参加。大家一起加进QQ群:185268576,不要怕汉奸,怕事就不做了,永远成不了事。

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read English translation here.

      http://m.therealsingapore.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftherealsingapore.com%2Fcontent%2Fbaidu-posting-alleged-prc-instigator-smrt-labour-strike#2719

      Delete
  5. with so many directorships, no wonder some of our MPs have no time to attend parliament. Why do we need them? Muddy Waters should launch an investigation into Temasek Holdings. For all we know, it could be a mother of all black holes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Desmond Choo remarked that the bus drivers could have approached MOM.

    Does he not know that MOM will not entertain when a contract has been signed ? So is he not simply talking cock, trying to capitalise on someone's grievances ?

    ReplyDelete
  7. The number of "relationships" cited is scandalous. One word describes it all - GREED.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another higher level of Meritocracy:- Moneytocrazy

      Delete
    2. Correction: Moneytalkcrazy

      Delete
    3. Previously the ministers (or lky?) demanded high pay because they don't have lucrative deals waiting for them after their term. But they now have these relationship$ lining up after them, there is no justification for the exorbitant minister pay. You mean you want to have your cake and eat it too?! GREED.

      Delete
    4. Wrong. Shld be "GREEDCROTACY!" New word only in SinCity!

      Delete
  8. To be fair, this new CEO was brought in to handle the sad state of maintaince of the trains and the tracks.
    He was never briefed about the other sorry state of the bus sector. Wonder, if the taxi part of the business are in good shape or not.

    I personally have poor opinion of SMRT cabs just by observation. Their drivers believe that the roads are their grandfathers'.

    So he is coming round to it. Deep seated problelms abounds. He needs to Marshall in all the good people to correct the sad situation.

    Maybe, he can propose the Nationalization of SMRT along with SBS and split the running of Trains from buses nation wide ?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just look at the table of the CCAs of the SMRT Directors. Ong Ye Kung was Lee Hsien Loong's Principal Private Secretary (PPS), while Lee Seow Hiang was LKY's PPS. Looks like they take really good care of these Secretaries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Oral sex can also be considered as bribe for corruption, can all these kinds of promotions & directorships not an indirect form of corruption say unquestioned loyalty to PAP ?

      Now how CPIB calling all these directors to prove they are not corrupted cryonies of PAP ? See how the same LKY logic of argument can also be used on PAP cronies, isn't it ?

      Delete
  10. Union chief double as company director collecting hundreds of thousand in director fees and share options from the company whose workers he represents as union chief.
    Union chief double as minister in the govt collecting millions in salary from the govt.
    Whose interest would they really serve??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Their own personal interest!

      Delete
  11. Translation of "Deep seated problems".
    Not my fault hor.
    These are long standing problems.
    I just joined SMRT hor.

    But Mr CEO sir!
    Many of your board members have been around for a long time.
    You mean they are not aware?
    Or are you saying it's their fault they never tell you?
    What benefit does SMRT get out of maintaining this current board of directors?

    Why have a Board of Directors at all?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A friendly board of directors means the CEO can get away with murder. Has the lesson of TT Durai and his compliant board of directors at NKF been forgotten so easily?

      Delete
    2. It's not been forgotten.
      The lessons were learnt and reapplied to other organizations.

      Delete
  12. Knuckle Duster is alive and well...12/01/2012 7:31 PM

    There is absolutely nothing you or anyone else can make us leave the board(s). We were invited, we accepted and the shareholders did not object.

    Everything perfectly legal. You could even take this to the International Court of Justice.

    We own the damn island, roads, ships, military, police and all land and business.

    Elections? what about it? Parliament will always be ours. Not one party can replace the system that we have created.

    Arrogance? what about it? Once isolated, you will come to your senses. Arrogance indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Now you know why those western MSM on both sides of the aisle admire old Yoda so much they dare not criticize him anymore - he has created something truly world class - officially approved crony capitalism totally within the ambit of law which the snobbish brits. bureaucratic eurocrats and pork barrel yankees can only salivate at.

    ReplyDelete
  14. lhl was also on holiday when the mrt stopped working last dec. how come these people got so many holidays?

    lazy fuck

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey,
    You forgot to mention Guiness Stout record holder MP in Pinky ward with 64 directorships! That joker was a former school teacher. Obviously membership has its privileges! You try to multiply the directorship fees by 64 times and see how much he is getting? Only stupid politicians will go against "the flow!" Follow the "flow" and 荣华富贵 awaits you! Got it? Now you see the sorry state our beloved country has become? Sad! Here is the proof. http://singaporeelection.blogspot.sg/2011/07/ang-mo-kio-pap-mp-yeo-guat-kwang-holds.html?m=1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the benefit of non-Chinese readers. Here is the English translation. http://www.nciku.com/search/all/荣华富贵

      Delete
  16. "Still, I think it’s good that we import more foreign talent like Coach Liu to teach a new generation of Singaporeans to challenge social injustice and draconism."
    http://www.newagedentists.com/kaypoh-news/david-goliath/

    ReplyDelete
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