20160708 PAP town councils compromise safety of 2 million residents with China-made lifts

Now that the LTA has been caught flip flopping after helping SMRT to conceal issues with China-made trains, the next question to ask is whether there are also issues with thousands of China-made lifts.

That Chinese products are inferior and lacking in QC is a fact: China has been competing on the basis of lower prices. As with lower prices, there are tradeoffs.

Unknown to HDB residents for years, PAP town councils have been replacing our Japan-made lifts with cheaper China ones. Although they had initially worked without glitches, malfunctioning as frequently as our China-made trains is now a permanent feature. And no need to take years of abuse for lifts to start malfunctioning: a 1-year old HDB block in Woodlands recently experienced simultaneous breakdown of all 3 lifts.

To confirm HDB residents have been shortchanged big time, all 4 lifts in a 40-storey block also broke down simultaneously just 3 days after the above incident. Thanks to social media, we now understand HDB lifts did not malfunction for no rhyme or reason.

After the lift issue came into focus, Today published a letter highlighting their unreliability and safety concerns. The Independent (TI) followed up on this with some interesting research, ie the last 3 cases of lift malfunctioning were in estates managed by EM Services**. EMS is a joint venture between HDB and Keppel Land Limited.,

Own self praise own self EMS claims to have an “excellent track record” because they were awarded a number of contracts by HDB for upgrading 2,200 lifts to China-made ones. But how could HDB not award EMS the projects when HDB itself is a joint shareholder of EMS? What is there to shout about when there was really no meaningful competition but HDB awarding itself projects after projects?

EMS is also the “sole agent for the sale and installation” of lifts manufactured by Chinese company Brilliant Elevators. Instead of using the more reliable non made-in-China lifts, EMS is only concerned about its own bottom line.

Are the 2,200 lifts installed and maintained by EMS safe? This issue deserves attention in Parliament. Based on EMS’ track record, two million HDB residents living in the following 9 estates managed by EMS should be prepared for more inconvenience akan datang.

  • East Coast-Fengshan
  • Holland-Bukit Panjang
  • Jalan Besar
  • Marsiling-Yew Tee
  • Nee Soon
  • Pasir Ris-Punggol
  • Sembawang
  • Tanjong Pagar
  • West Coast.

Feels like SMRT all over again?

Point to note is our upgraded lifts may be cheaper but they are definitely no better than other lifts made in the same country. And faster, yes – they have started to malfunction damned fast and not only are HDB residents increasingly inconvenienced, their malfunctioning has even killed a Pasir Ris resident in the process.

Let me digress a bit to highlight this fact: EMS manages 400,000, mostly HDB, vehicle parking lots. When HDB increases parking charges, it is effectively transferring wealth from HDB residents’ pockets to EMS and Keppel Land.

Without transparency, HDB residents will always be screwed by PAP town councils. The recent case of LTA working in secrecy with SMRT is testament to the fact that Singaporeans’ interests have been compromised. Any thinking HDB resident should not even dream of the government taking the initiative to come clean on China-made lifts.

For residents whose estate manager happened to be EMS, we are living in dangerous times.

Should the 2,200 substandard lifts also be sent back to China, replaced by more established brands?

In 2013, I highlighted the issue of non-disclosure of EMS’ key executives to PM Lee, copied to MPs and the press. EMS has still not disclosed its CEO and directors on its website.

EMS is not our neighbourhood provision shop. It receives hundreds of millions in tax dollars every year and is obligated to act in a transparent manner. Are there many PAP grassroots leaders/ex civil servants/MPs/ministers linked to EMS? The public deserves nothing less than total disclosure. Or the government should cease all business dealings with such a secretive company.

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6 Responses to 20160708 PAP town councils compromise safety of 2 million residents with China-made lifts

  1. dexterchanyj says:

    Talk so much now complain. Wow you all vote for it ask for it. So who to blame. Not PAP to be blame ok.

    • Princess Typi says:

      Yah I agree I hate those people complain Ling then vote those people they complain about smiling tigers

  2. Francis Ang says:

    Our values of life is getting worthless as the safety of lives are not a concern anymore but money-making is more important to satisfy the payout to the directors n shareholders if any. Well done, statutory company and government.

    • Phillip Ang says:

      All stat boards are now profit centres and run as corporations. If not, the word ‘loss’ should not even be used by govt. HDB and URA now demand higher profits through higher parking charges. LTA is of course the cash cow. And I don’t mean Khaw.

  3. Princess Typi says:

    Last month I and an old Aunty around 70yrs old ran out of lift in 7th floor as loud explosion. Reported to TC a lift china techie came he said we were on upper floor and heard the door banging sound which happens in around level 24. He clearly did not believe me so I went to find Aunty with him and his face was shocked to hear Hee story of how loud explosion sound. He told me 1FE is china made lift this was installed just less than 2 years during improvement in estate. Recently met TC officer and followed up about it. He repeated that the china techie told home the explosion was because of door banging Ng that we had heard it on 24th floor. So where is the proper statement gathering and relaying. All twisted to save whose back and what about residents paying conservancy fees and if something does happen since they obviously let it slide. So worried for our safety how like this play ping pong between TC and lift techie we spent so much time bringing this up? So sad lah and yet very scary look the attitude of sloping shoulders. Even the cctv monitor not working and it not yet even 2 years Wat lah

    • Phillip Ang says:

      I have engaged my town council for more than 15 years. A politicised town council serves only PAP and residents like us have been shortchanged.
      You should document your feedback to your TC and if nothing is done, write to social media sites such as ASS. At least the incident is documented and should any accident related to the lift happens in future, your town council will not be able to evade responsibility.
      Better still, write to the minister/perm sec as I have done in many instances. You can read my emails on my blog and there is really nothing to fear.

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