Due to SMRT’s incompetence and inadequate maintenance, billions in tax dollars would have eventually gone down the drain to support its rectification works.
The use of tax dollars justifies transparency and accountability from SMRT and LTA. However, both have tried to conceal material information from the public. Thanks to social media, both have been caught with their pants down.
After almost a month of investigations, FactWire published a report on 5 July on safety issues affecting SMRT trains. The disclosure, after having gone viral, forced our MSM to report on this issue the same day.
According to the Factwire report, besides the issue of cracks on train bodies as reported by MSM:
– cracks have also been found in “key structural components”
– the trains are of poor quality
– the glass next to passenger seats has repeatedly shattered due to shoddy workmanship
– in 2011, one of the trains’ Chinese-made batteries exploded during repair
– all China-made batteries were replaced with German-made ones.
The issue of safety has been downplayed by LTA which claims that the defects “are not safety-critical and do not affect the train’s systems or performance”. LTA likens the “hairline cracks” on the car body to superficial cracks on walls of a new house. But walls are not a part of a system subject to daily stress and this is therefore not an apt comparison. Imagine the CEO of an airline issuing this statement: “Passengers should not worry about the hairline cracks found on the body of our planes are not safety-critical”.
There’s no doubt the recalls were being done “in secret” and the government has been aware of this issue since as early as 2013. SMRT: “Our engineers discovered that 26 of the 35 trains delivered by the manufacturer had cracks in the structure connecting the car body and the bogie after they were delivered in 2013.”
On 12 June, Factwire reporters “witnessed two train cars wrapped in green covering being moved out of the depot”. But this wasn’t news to our government mouthpieces then and has become news only when it has gone viral on social media.
Since this issue affects millions of commuters, why was it not raised in Parliament? Why was the issue of defective China-made trains kept a secret by the government?