Thursday, December 20, 2012

Broken Promises

Remember the falling e-clip, last detected at the Clementi station? The clip was found on the ground on the centre road divider below the MRT track along Commonwealth Avenue West, near the junction of Clementi Avenue 3. Manufacturer PANDROL introduced their e-PLUS System for locations with very high lateral forces, such as the curving section at Clementi. Instead of replacing the old ‘e’ clips, SMRT simply put up temporary safety netting to catch falling hardware. The flimsy green barriers are still at the Clementi tracks.

When Lieutenant General Demond Kuek took over from Saw Phaik Hwa as the new CEO of SMRT in October 2012, he proclaimed with great fanfare, “What is certain is that we are first and foremost a public transport operator. This is the core business that we are responsible for and must excel in.” He also paid lip service to putting priority on engineering ("strengthen our operations, engineering and maintenance capabilities") and safety ("instill a strong customer service and safety culture in all our people”).

So how do engineering and safety on the tracks come into play with his plan to lease and operate more than 40,000 sq m of retail space inside the new Sports Hub? Make no mistake, SMRT is taking the lead in 70% of the new venture called SMRT Alpha. NTUC is roped in only for the FairPrice Xtra hypermarket share of the pie. The range of indoor and outdoor dining outlets, stores, entertainment options in the retail mall will be taking up the general's full attention. The train merely serves as the conduit to the retail outlets.

Maybe Kuek thought he had the industrial relation issues licked, palming it off to the other general in the Ministry of Manpower. More likely, he has taken cognizance that the other ex-armed forces staff given free rein at SMRT, Boey Tak Hap (Chief of Army) and Kwek Siew Jin (Rear Admiral), were paid in the region of $570,000 before share options. Saw Phaik Hwa, retrenched from Duty Free Shops (DFS), was paid $1.43 million in 2009. Her total package including share options came up tp $1.67 million, making her the highest-grossing chief executive that public transport operator SMRT Corp has ever employed. Elementary, my dear Watson, the money is in the shops, not on the trains or buses.

Suddenly, the lieutenant-general "is proud to be involved in promoting a sports and lifestyle destination for the Singapore community." The sweat and stink of smelly armpits in the trains is now celebrated on the running tracks. The smell of money is the perfume of profit mania.

24 comments:

  1. This is shocking. When one could not performed well in the core business, what right they have to venture into non related businesses? SMRT is given the responsible to provide good and safe transport. Please do not forget, WE pumped in $1.1b albeit without our consent.

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  2. what is your point?

    that public transport is the least concern of the govt?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey there
      you made yourself look like someone who would kiss anything that remotely look like an ass

      Delete
    2. "what is your point?

      that public transport is the least concern of the govt?"

      What do you think ?

      Delete
  3. The point must be that after 1.1 billion dollars state money had been given to transport operators, the public(commuters) must be taken care of.
    Commuters safety, comfort and travelling convenience must be optimized before the transport operators consider any other matters.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hear! Hear! Until the trains are safe and running without any more engineering failures, this general CEO should set aside his money making plans. Did any of the $1.1 billion "subsidy" go into the retail business?

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  5. So if the retail business @Sports Hub loses money affecting SMRT costs of doing business directly, does it mean they can still run to Papa's son via PTC asking for fare hikes ? When is this crap going to end, LHL?

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    Replies
    1. When more opposition MP elected.

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    2. Sports hub sure make money one lah.. zero competition, how not to lose.

      Delete
  6. Is it c clip or e clip?? I thought it is c for corruption...

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  7. i'll like to view this differently.

    firstly, smrt is like any other large corporations. in all fairness, i think this venture would have highly likely started before the general was appointed. its not like he is physically attending to each and every aspect of smrt's biz and operations.. he has many many other ppl to drive other initiatives..i believe he is just the messenger of the news..

    secondly, this move is great! it means that smrt will have another source of revenue which then gives them lesser and lesser excuse to raise fares... like the saying goes, if you give them enough rope, they'll hang themselves...

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    Replies
    1. I think the appropriate expression is give them enough tracks for the trains to run over them.

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    2. "secondly, this move is great! it means that smrt will have another source of revenue which then gives them lesser and lesser excuse to raise fares..."

      Don't be naive.

      Their history has shown that they will still raise price regardless. You are talking about PAP's money greed character permeating all GLC ...

      Delete
  8. The pussy action party is made up of a bunch of mafia with military training ready to shoot down any civilians who dare to oppose them. Civilians can voice out their unhappiness but they will still increase prices, pay themselves astronomic pay and continue to live like a king.

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  9. You want an accountable SMRT?
    Vote Opposition.

    Otherwise they may sell the trains to a $2 paid up capital company.
    And then lease back the trains.

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  10. Providing general solutions...

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  11. Thanks for pointing out that poor stop gap measures of netting!
    What will happen should someone get injured or your carls roof / bonnet get cratered?

    They sure do not learn. Not even the new CEO.
    Still chasing after the money making......

    Maybe, it is my mind playing triucks, but I did mentioned to my family, that the MRT track seem to sounds louder, again.

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    Replies
    1. Not only SMRT makes you late for work, they are potential killer 'litters' as well!!!

      Delete
  12. Wow!

    Seems like few Singaporeans are trusting the
    People in Whites.
    Oh, should say many are cynical of them.

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    Replies
    1. They are only good at pussy licking.

      Delete
  13. Many years ago, LKY only want to see core competence being developed and thus many stated owned companies sold off the property units to focus on their main products. I am not sure if this move from this rooky CEO is consistent with LKY vision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as money is made ....
      whether by SMRT or whoever ....
      there will be a PAPig's finger in the pie somewhere along the trail of money.

      Delete
  14. there is no difference between the ruling party and the ruling parties in the 3rd world....the latter, when caught, they are thrown in the limelight...in Singapore, when caught, they get lime juice..let's celebrate "general's" day!!!

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