Vivian Balakrishnan takes Khaw Boon Wan’s place to show support for SMRT staff

Foreign affairs minister steps in for transport minister.

By Belmont Lay | October 12, 2017

Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan has taken the initiative to come out to replace Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan in showing support for SMRT staff.

This was after Khaw has not said a thing since this weekend’s North-South Line MRT flooding and breakdown, which saw SMRT at the receiving end of much public anger and a lot of media scrutiny.

In a Facebook post on Oct. 12, 2017, Balakrishnan is seen hosting bus and train staff from SBS Transit and SMRT to a morale-lifting breakfast:

Transport minister silent

Since last weekend’s MRT breakdown on the North-South Line that affected tens of thousands of Singaporeans due to flooded train tracks, transport minister Khaw has not addressed the public regarding what happened.

Khaw made three Facebook posts since the weekend but did not mention the flooded train tracks at all.

One senior SMRT person has been held responsible

Lianhe Zaobao reported on Oct. 12 that inadequate maintenance is believed to be the cause of the malfunctioning of the water-pumping system that caused the flooding in the train tunnel to reach waist-high levels.

In an internal circular on the same day as this report, SMRT said it has replaced a senior executive in charge of maintenance and systems.

According to The Straits Times, Ng Tek Poo is replaced by Siu Yow Wee, who will be appointed director of Building & Services with effect from Oct. 12.

Ng has been redeployed to another role.

Siu will manage the entire Building & Services Division, and report to the senior vice-president of Maintenance and Engineering, the circular read.

Ng is the only senior person held accountable for the Saturday, Oct. 7 incident, which rendered a large stretch of the North-South Line inoperable for about 20 hours.

Straits Times forum letter lays smackdown on SMRT & LTA for not accepting blame for MRT faults

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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