Together let us call for a comprehensive review of transport system
Statement on the massive MRT breakdown on 15 Dec
Public transport has been the hallmark of Singapore’s success in the eyes of the government. They have always claimed that it is priced reasonably, is highly efficient, and has brought much convenience to Singaporeans.
Singaporeans have now woken up to know that last night’s catastrophic MRT train failure has shown this to be categorically untrue. Trains were stuck in the middle of the underground tunnel without ventilation; delays for hours during peak hours in the morning and the evening; SMRT posting messages of an “Income opportunity” to their taxis during the MRT break down are examples of how disappointing our public infrastructure can be.
Even if breakdowns are truly beyond SMRT’s control, the emergency contingency measures taken were absolutely appalling, such as leaving commuters to suffocate in trains.
Nothing should be more important than this as public transport can paralyze the entire nation from what we have seen a few days ago: -
- Taxi queues caused massive jams on the roads which could have posed a hindrance to emergency calls;
- Chaos in train stations and on the streets;
- National Service recall could have been obstructed.
I call for the top management of the relevant public transport company and authorities to be held to full account for these incidents, including the possibility for those responsible for serious security lapses to resign.
As of this afternoon, I note that the CEO of SMRT has apologised at a press conference and promised to do their best to prevent such an occurrence again.
However the problems of our transport system and policy are structural in nature, and goes beyond SMRT’s powers. Following other recent incidents of major concern like the taxi fare hike, I call for a comprehensive review of our transport system and policy by the government.
Here’s what we can do as Singaporeans.
- a. ‘Like’ this message and pass it on;
- Write letters of complaint and petition directly to the office of the Minister of Transport and the Prime Minister’s Office to raise the major issues that affect you every day;
- Seek the President’s guidance since he is our symbol of unity of how this can be dealt with.
In the following few days, I will be drafting a sample letter of complaint and petition so we can all use it to send.
On my part as an NCMP, I will present more comprehensive proposals on transport issues in Parliament during the budget debate in March next year. I will take the time until then to consult the opinions and feedback of Singaporeans from all walks of life through online media and in person, and I will discuss with my team in the Singapore People’s Party as to what proposals we can put forward. In this consultative manner, we will improve the transport infrastructure of our country together.
When Singaporeans complain about our transport infrastructure, it is not because they are spoiled. Singaporeans have the good sense to be able to tell when transport failures are the result of incompetence, sheer arrogance and complacency on the part of the transport authorities and service providers.
With concern and love,
Lina Chiam, NCMP
Singapore People’s Party