Khaw: Train system is complicated, “it will fail sometimes, hopefully rarely. But it will fail.”

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Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan acknowledged that the Oct 7 MRT tunnel flooding incident was caused by a failure of organisation management at SMRT, and not a failure of engineering, yesterday.

Speaking at the 5th Joint Forum on Infrastructure Maintenance at the Environment Building on Scotts Road, Khaw asserted: “SMRT will learn from it and emerge stronger. I have full confidence in Chairman Seah Moon Ming and his team.”

Khaw further requested that the public understand and support SMRT and its employees:

“Not just for Seah Moon Ming, but also for his management, and the rank and file at SMRT. That would make his job much easier, and raise the morale of everyone down the line. Remember Seah Moon Ming is not Superman; none of us are.”

The Minister also acknowledged that the authorities are working on “what could and should have been done years ago” and that the least members of the public can do is offer moral support:

“Out of six major renewals, two are done, four more to go, and they are also major ones, especially power supply.
“Beware too that SMRT may experience other incidents along the way as we try to catch up in short order on what could and should have been done years ago. The hardest role is always the men and officers fighting in the trenches. The burden on their shoulders is the heaviest. And their families are also affected if they see that their loved ones are being screamed at, or castigated.
“The least that we can do is to provide moral support.
“Fortunately, the pride in SMRT still lurks among the rank and file. And we can build on that. They need our full support above all else, so that they have the time and the space, and the encouragement, for them to put in their very best.”

The Minister also took the opportunity to announce that the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) – a statutory board under the Transport Ministry – have formed a joint Standing Committee to regularly review tunnel flood prevention works.

Comparing the North-South line – the oldest Singapore train network built 30 years ago – to the latest MRT line, Khaw asserted that the design of train lines have improved over time. In spite of this, there is a need to plan for contingencies since the complicated train system is bound to inevitably fail at times:

“And if you pay some attention, you know that people design for all kinds of contingencies – backups – because you know this is a complicated engineering piece of work, and it will fail sometimes, hopefully rarely. But it will fail.”

He added: “We’re not gods.”

LTA, PUB to set up committee on tunnel flood prevention

"The pride in SMRT still lurks among the rank and file. We should build on that," says Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Posted by Channel NewsAsia on Monday, 4 December 2017

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266 COMMENTS

    • 3

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      Khaw has always been like that… …

      AT LEAST Lui had the decency to resign.

      Khaw will hardly be expected to resign. Besides… it is not only the transport kena fail…

      Heng is getting stuck cos economic management has failed… …

      So… how much more do sinkies like to pay and pay?

      Next PM… Loong is not retarded… u wanna play politics, at least the ship must float.

      But what can parasites do besides what they did to his regime…?

      Is this Lee Kuan Yew politics of pragmatism?

    • 0

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      At least now u can be warded in carparks and corridors… …

      So many years I nagged… …

      Things have to become this ugly.

      Even MSF… still as fucked up as before.

      Succession is near.

      Harry passed down a good job to Chok Tong… but now… what will be inherited by a next pathetic PM stuck with another era of parasites… … as Singapore becomes a failed state?

      Loong… is this what u really want for the modern history of Singapore?

    • 0

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      这个国家选择了这条路,没有药救了。

      不会治国,CV再大张有个屁用。李显龙可惜了……李光耀的爱子,却就这样于历史文被拖垮。

      下一个总理更惨了……

      小国无人可治理,病已入膏肓……李公子明白这样下去会是什么情况?

      中国棋步大乱,战争必也。

      内忧外患,已不是昔日人事胡闹可以了。

      小人国……自找的。

  1. 1

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    I think it’s not God that we are looking for – look at Hong Kong’s MTR, they too have a “complicated system” and yet they do not rely on God for running an efficient subway BUT employed appropriately qualified ENGINEERS. The fact that our train system is COMPLICATED we should NEVER employ volunteers or appoint a Chairman that is also a CEO in another company.

  2. 0

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    Yes we know things will fail. For the record we are alsonot angry bcos things fail. It is the failure of DUE DELIGENCE in this case we are angry about. If smrt had done adequate maintenance and proper due deligence, then its too bad and we can probably forgive and forget.

  3. 0

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    All that had happened in our MRT system are due to human Errors ..Human mistakes…Human Negligence. .Human shotcomings. If that particular human cannot solve, remedy or correct such problems, he can be replaced. God cannot be replaced. ..so don’t ever dare you compare you with God. You are not indispensable…

  4. 0

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    All the people want you to do is to acknowledge and embrace with the fact that you take the blame for what has happened with our overall rail system. Kindly stop talking about the G word God. It’s a well known fact for the longest time now that the only G word we the people of Singapore are looking at and talking about daily is “Government”, a big part of which you belong in. The Government has your back Khaw and as such you do have God status in our first world Singapore. Please “God”, be a man first and we may just accept what you say about “we’re not Gods”.

  5. 0

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    “The Minister also acknowledged that the authorities are working on “what could and should have been done years ago” Can explain why nothing done since years ago while collecting fat salaries and bonuses years ago? Are you going to pay God to do what you should have done years ago?

  6. 0

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    This guy is playing Chinese commie style propaganda. You fell into the Tacitus Trap and are causing it to widen further. You are causing people to distrust the PAP and the government, no matter what good they have done elsewhere. If we have to vote for the Champion of Distrust, or the King of Lies, it will be ….. Better to come clean and admit fault and ask for forgiveness. Than to try to weave a veil of darkness thinking the people can’t see in the dark.

  7. 0

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    Lee Kuang Yew once said, it it is failing, he demand to know why. And if it is not fixed after sometime, someone should be fixed/ fired. Why is this type of minister still in the cabinet? This is Singapore, not some 3rd world that trying their luck! All Singaporean worked and contributed so much to make our country success since the 90’s, why are we allowing such low level to encourage backwards? Are we learning from our neighbour country, using Bomoh with 2 coconuts to predict our future?

  8. 0

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    The SMRT power room are like messy shits of fried bee hoon.
    Even the engineers don’t know what cables connects to what for what. They fired higher salary staff and replace with young cheaper ones… that’s what happens now after years of making earlier profits.

  9. 0

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    This guy is really fos. Everyone knows that anything does not last forever but with a good maintenance regime, you minimize failure and breakdowns. The people managing smrt has left the rail system in neglect for many years and the frequent breakdowns we currently face is a culmination of that. Even god can’t save you from poor management oversight so this moron should just stop spewing crap out of his mouth and treating us like a bunch of pre-schoolers.

  10. 0

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    System is managed by Human.

    So human should be responsible if human choose to manage a system or choose to use machine.

    Not managing the system or machine properly is definitely the fault of the human. The people managing the system should be ultimately responsible for the system to be in order.

    How easy and convenient for some people to blame the system and machine for human failure to manage the system properly?

    Having give ownselves supernormal salary, should have supernormal performance, and yet instead still perform less than counterpart that draw only average salary? How can this be considered justifiable?

    One’s blunder and incompetency, is another’s suffering?

  11. 0

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    No worries . All craps will be forgiven by next GE. Most Sg ppl can’t think beyond their town in every GE. Who cares ship sinking … As Long their Pap town has all the basic necessities , they are more than happy to forget n forgive all BS.

  12. 0

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    In his post, khaw said he will assembled 200 engineers to tackle the flood incident,but the real cause is lack of management, poor control that eventually lead to the flooding..you assembled a team of experts also no use..the rot starts at the top

  13. 0

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    If the train system is complicated then why, Mr.Khaw, why why employ so many generals who only knows how to take and give commands, and may be knows something about armour vehicles, fighter planes and warships but do they know about the train and rail network systems?
    Go employ the experienced ” superman” of the train and rail systems and pay them the Superman salaries that you pay your ” volunteered generals”

  14. 0

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    Thank God , you are not gods , the way Khaw talk is just like those who has little or no education , but at least they take responsibility .

    I really is taken aback by our million dollar minister , now we all know we are screw by this type of minister , who would not take responsibility but push it to others now no one to push the blame , and now trying to blame God by saying they are not gods , how can singapore progress with this type of person take charge .

    Like I said before LKY and his teams of people , doing all the hard works and within 5 years all is gone.

    I hope LHL please wake up and do something for once , fire that guy . He is making Singapore a laughing stock in international stage , please LHL do something .

  15. 0

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    For a minister paid $$$ millions, this is utter ‘shit’ spewing from his mouth again. HK, London, Tokyo move lots more than Singapore n for decades more than Singapore. Their performance records are testimonials of how reliable n dependable public transport is or must be. Bad leadership eventuate to bad performance then blames the tools for bad outcomes. Shocking!

  16. 0

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    “we try to catch up in short order on what could and should have been done years ago. ..so the LHL government screwed up big time! And no accountability.

    “The hardest role is always the men and officers fighting in the trenches”..yes you are right about those in the trenches..they are the ones that get sacked when things go wrong and top dogs and generals get away with murder! WTF!

    “MRT tunnel flooding incident was caused by a failure of organisation management at SMRT” .. how many more failures of the LHL government will surface?

    “We’re not gods.”.. right u are.. so stop playing with our lives!

    Worst government in the history of SINGAPORE..thanks to a brain dead 70%!

  17. 0

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    Uncle Khaw, Yes things will get spoil and system will fail. We understand. But what we do not understand is why it fail almost every day. Just like why it jam at the immgration every day. Why increase ERP in KPE when the jam is only at Airport Road exit and the rest of he tunnel is mnoving traffice. Why cant adjust the traffic light at Airport road so more car can clear and not cause so much congestion, why , why and why you alway give reason. why give give the speed rail to SMRt when it is clear they cannot even manage the system in Singapore. Why need to send SMRT to outside of Singapore and make us malu in front of our neighbour.

  18. 0

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    this is the kind of mentality that is not needed at the highest managing level. I think he has a mindset that does not jive with top leadership. What has he gained by saying such irresponsible and negative talk ? I suspect he is a goner and we will not see him in the next election.

  19. 1

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    You are not gods? Then how come you all are paid like gods? Enough excuses and enough hiding behind your low level SMRT staff. Come up front on national TV and do your infamous harakiri! Your million dollars of salaries and bonuses are worth this harakiri act! So speak and so act. Don’t behave like a penang cow