MRT system complete standstill inevitable, majority commuters should not KPKB

Major MRT disruptions in 2017 looks set to be a record. In terms of unreliability among developed countries, Singapore tops the list.

This week alone, hundreds of thousands of commuters were affected by major disruptions – all occurred during peak hours – on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

An online petition has even been created for SMRT to enter into the Guinness World Records for the highest number of delays and disruptions.

As usual, many took to ranting on social media. But to be fair to SMRT, the majority of commuters should not be KPKBing, ie they voted for a broken down system by voting for PAP.

Fact: Under the PAP system, any Tom, Dick and Desmond with no prior relevant experience could become the CEO of LTA and SMRT.

LTA CEO is former paper general (equivalent) Ngien Hoon Ping and his predecessor was a former navy general (equivalent) Chew Men Leong. SMRT CEO is another former paper general and multimillionaire Desmond Kuek. Are these guys suitable for the job?

When SMRT was listed on SGX, the government could not find any suitable CEO; somehow the most qualified candidate was Saw Paik Hwa. Saw had zero experience in public transportation and was focused on developing non core SMRT businesses. With minimum maintenance, the expected happened and she was forced to spend more time with her Ferrari after 2011.

MRT commuters had many opportunities to set our MRT system right. The appointment of a clueless paper general by PAP to replace Saw was clearly a step in the wrong direction. But the majority of commuters still voted for this.

In 2015, after 3 years into his job, CEO Desmond could only scratch his head and wonder why his pay had doubled to $2.31 million despite his poor performance. Yet, the majority of commuters still voted to support a useless PAP ‘parachute’ system.

Should the majority of commuters who voted to self screw be KPKBing now on social media?

The MRT system cannot be fixed with piecemeal measures because it was designed for a 4-million population by 2030 earliest – more than 3 decades ago.

If there had been a gradual population increase, the government would have ample time to troubleshoot and introduce incremental changes. But our leaders had already embarked on a grow-population-grow-GDP model since the early 1990s. With the 4-million population target hit 30 years ahead of time, how could any MRT system function without increasing major disruptions?

What will happen to our MRT system as our population heads towards PAP’s 10-million target? The answer requires no more than common sense and commuters would do well to reconsider voting to screw themselves – and their children – at the next GE. There is really no other means to resolve MRT issues once and for all.

As the LTA continues tweaking an unresponsive system, a complete standstill seems inevitable. Commuters should not expect anything less.

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