A quote from this Today report about the two SMRT workers killed on the job yesterday got my attention:
Speaking to TODAY on the condition of anonymity, an SMRT engineer said: “We are very angry and sad that such a thing has happened. It was an accident that could have been avoided. Safety should always come first and not be compromised, even when the management wants problems to be fixed fast to avoid delays to the train service.”
What this anonymous SMRT engineer seems to be implying is that safety has been compromised for the sake of avoiding train delays, resulting in the two deaths.
Can you blame "the management"?
Every time there's a train delay, the public want heads to roll. And there have been quite a few delays.
Since the Great Train MRT Breakdown of 2011, all the heads of SMRT, LTA and Ministry of Transport have "rolled".
At SMRT, Ms Saw Phaik Hwa was replaced by Mr Desmond Kuek in 2012.
At LTA, Mr Chew Hock Yong was replaced by Mr Chew Men Leong in 2014.
At the Transport Ministry, Mr Lui Tuck Yew was replaced by Mr Khaw Boon Wan last year.
So can you blame "the management" for feeling the pressure to avoid train delays?
Are we complaining too much about them?
Is it possible that our complaining has finally got someone killed?
Of course all this is based on one anonymous quote. We still don't know exactly what happened on the tracks yesterday.
All I know is that all those "We're working on it" ads from SMRT now have a new poignancy.
Keep them safe.
EARLIER: Why call for SMRT CEO to resign? Remember Saw Phaik Hwa