An online post which claims that SMRT had fired its night crew to save costs has been circulating online, originating from Goh Meng Seng’s FB (dated 11 Nov).
I have shared the post on social media as well as in my email to SCMP because the claim sounded credible.
SMRT has denied the claim, calling it “obviously fake”. CNA It is anything but.
Such allegation should have warranted action by LTA. Instead, LTA has remained silent and allowed SMRT to defend itself through PAP-controlled media instead of a proper investigation.
Why? Is LTA unable to take action because its CEO is a former subordinate of SMRT’s Desmond Kuek?
SMRT’s denial rings hollow because it is unsupported by facts: SMRT simply wants the public to accept its words at face value. SMRT’s denial seems more fake than what it claims to be fake.
“SMRT said the Permanent Way team, which is responsible for track and track-side infrastructure, almost doubled under Mr Kuek’s tenure, growing from 206 staff in Dec 2010 to 395 staff in September this year.”
This is totally irrelevant because Kuek only became CEO 2 years later in October 2012. What was SMRT’s permanent night-shift staff in October 2012?
According to the “fake” claim:
“Here lies the problem. Poly Grad = S$1600.
SMRT entrenched with 10-15years S$5400.
Yet Day in day out they’re doing the same thing ”
In all likelihood, Desmond could have first fired higher-paid older staff. Replacing, say, 100 experienced employees with fresh Poly grads would have reduced SMRT’s expenditure by almost $5 million yearly.
LTA should get to the bottom of this by disclosing these statistics:
1 – Profile of Permanent Way team members, ie years with the company.
2 – How many were recruited and fired every year since 2010.
SMRT should come clean and not hide behind half truths. This issue warrants an investigation by the regulator.