When the 14-year-old Thai girl was hit by a train at Ang Mo Kio MRT station on 3 April 2011, SMRT was quick to absolve themselves by saying that the installation of the "half-height platform screen doors" (HHPSD) was hampered by working hours of just 2 to 3 hours each night, since it can only be carried out when trains are not in operation. The government brought in thousands of foreign workers to make sure the casinos were swiftly built, but public safety has to take a back seat.
Quite incredulously, SMRT is now arguing that Peneakchanasak Nitcharee, who lost both legs in the accident, "failed to ensure own safety". Their lawyer K Anparasan of KhattarWong said that the teenager "had fallen of her own accord". If she had stood behind the yellow safety line, the plaintiff would have been safe from falling onto the tracks at the MRT station, so claimed the expensive solicitor. Brilliant, just the very excuse for SMRT to scrap the S$126 million HHPSD project. Why spend more when yellow paint does the job just as well? The shareholders will be so happy with the cost savings. ST Electronics Ltd, however, will stand to lose millions from the juicy contract. You win some, you lose some.
SMRT also argued that the accident did not occur during a peak period, implying that MRT stations are deserted at off-peak hours. You can tell these people don't use the trains much. Surprising, they haven't broached the other possibility that pushy Hungry Ghosts could be at fault too. Especially those turned away from free food because of lack of card carrying credentials.
Singaporeans will have to be extra cautious in the event of being run down by a red Ferrari, especially if it's being driven by the CEO of a large public transportation company. They're liable to be sued for failing to ensure their own safety, and ruining the shiny sports job with messy blood stains and miscellaneous body parts. "I'll strive to make Singapore a more caring society", boasted the white haired guy moving into the Istana. Man, has he got a tough job ahead of him.