Monday, June 21, 2010

Security on MRT trains

Read this article by Yoong Siew Wah.

My observations
It is a Singaporean habit to point fingers at other people and to avoid responsibility. We learn from our leaders.


Anonymous said...

They also blame inanimate objects, eg clogged drains, inadequate building design to prevent floods etc.

Anonymous said...

I think in Singapore, no one takes resposibility and we also have the habit of explainng things away and move on. A unique culture. This is a result of scace skill manpower as if they are fired, there is no one to take over the job.

Anonymous said...

IMO the government should set the regulations for MRT security. MRT and SBS transit should then bare the cost of implementing it.

Anonymous said...

First we have HDB who was caught by surprise and unprepare for shortage of HDB flats resulting in a huge price hike.

Second we have the NEA who was caught by surprise and unprepare for the Orchard Road flood.

Who will be the third in line? Let's hope and pray hard that it wouldn't be the MHA to be caught by surprise and unprepare for what can happen.

If you demand to be paid by the millions then the least that we ask of you is to perform according to what you are getting. We don't need these expensive people to keep repeating "we are caught by surprise and was unprepared". I can train my parrot to say it and it only cost me peanut.

Anonymous said...

The CEO of BP has pointed the finger at others, and he will be on his wayout in due course... Now That is "Freemarket" salary working!

Anonymous said...

It is clear beyond a doubt. Today's PAP govt has degenerated to a dangerously pathetic, complacent and irresponsible state. All that money has corrupted their being.

Anonymous said...

What a bad example the leaders are showing us, like the Piper and the
Now whose responsibility is it of Mas Selamat dramatic escape right under the noses of the Govt?
Why WKS or Shanmugan did not comment?
When we lost money, we have to take responsibility for our own actions, we could say it is MAS
fault. This Regulator just brushes
off its responsibility. When GIC and Temasek lost money, whose fault is it? They put blame on world financial crisis. This Govt is ever ready to push its responsibilities to someone or something else.
It is ever not at fault. Always someone else's fault.

Anonymous said...

if u want to learn taichi, come to singapore

Anonymous said...

It is likely that the security system (hardware) in the MRT depot was designed, tested and commissioned by LTA and handed over to SMRT to operate and maintain. Obviously, the system is not adequate to prevent, detect and alert the intrusion. The poor SMRT now has to answer to this incident which I think is unfair.

It is also likely that the security requirements and arrangements are imposed by LTA. In turn, these are included in the contract to the SMRT security contractor (outsourced). Hence, it is also unfair for SMRT to take all the responsiblities. They already having problem to cope with the high daily traffic volume, security might not be their top priority and afterall SMRT is not an expert in security.


C H Yak said...

Part of my letetr sent to TODAY :-

As the Law Minister had slammed public listed companies over "security", he seemed to have clarified on two important issues :-

(a) Whether a "private sector organisation" like the SMRT is directly responsible for the security of the premises of a gazetted "Protected Place",

(b) Who should be paying for the security costs when the profits of a public listed transporter, such as SMRT, go to the shareholders ?

His answer to (a) is clearly SMRT has direct responsibility. The physical hardware for ensuring security protection, like the CCTVs; and its software for implementation of security measures such as the monitoring of security has to be the responsibility of the "private" company as well.

His answer to (b) above, which seemed to be aimed at appeasing public anger and concern over this security breach, is that costs should not be borne by the ordinary Singaporeans, but by the "public listed company" and its shareholders.

While the physical hardware and software for implementing security could be traced to that of SMRT, a basic question remains unanswerd, i.e., - Who should ensure the basic safety provided for the general public is adequate and what if there is a lapse of security provisions for a gazetted "Protected Place" by a "private" company? I am sure the current laws do not spelled these out clearly. However, the duty of care would certainly falls on the Government and the relevant Ministries.

This "safety and duty of care demanded" is not confined to the physical protection of the "Protected Place" itself as currently laid now in the Acts , but extended beyond to cover the general aspect of public safety which I am sure is still lacking in the Acts.

Why has the relevant Authorities not realised and communicated this vulnerability to the Government despite the setting up of a high level security "umbrella" with the appointment of high level Ministers at SM and DPM level to focus on coordinating and implementing national security measures since the 911 and Mas Selamat Escape events?

There seems to be a total lack of postive attention and actions at the top level. What we had heard is warning sounded for the public to be wary, but this act of public education alone does not solve problems of the nature well illustrated by this incident, if it had been a terrorist act.

This responsibility expected is not that from the top management of the SMRT or its shareholders alone, which perhaps ultimately falls on financing. Does our Government and / or the relevant Authorities claimed it could "washed" its hand off in this matter with the Law Minsiter's slamming clarifications?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that they need 3 months to check the culvert drain in Orchard Road?If you check it on a normal day,one will not expect that it will be flooded right?
And who check it,workers or Bangalah friends or young school leavers?This is a silly excuse.
I think it all boiled down to one word,complacency.

Worker in Orchard road

Anonymous said...

Someone should be made an example of, so that the overall standard for government services are maintained. A Minister must resign. Some senior management positions must be replaced.

Anonymous said...

The multi-million dollar elites in Singapore have shown us that it is cool not to accept responsibility and also cool not to say sorry.

They also show us that it is cool to fight & squirm for high-paying job, retain your high-paying job and scheme for big bonuses and increments (by whatever means necessary), drive ferrari & porsche, holidays in europe & exotic places, fine dining everyday at places like les amis, etc etc.

No wonder people are getting more & more self-centred and selfish in this forsaken place. It is you die your business. Our leaders have shown us the way & religion of S'pore.

Lye Khuen Way said...

I am not siding Ms Saw- CEO of SMRT, but Mr Shanmugan, as the 2nd Minister of Home Affairs should as, another pointed out, state if the State has any responsibilty for any
"Protected Area" or not.

What I can sense is that both the Minister & SMRT CEO are preparing the Not-so-Rich Tax Payers in Singapore for a huge MRT Fare increase soon !

Anonymous said...

The power of unglamorous drains finally unleashed to show the world what it can do if not given the due attention !

If not for the tens of thousands of cleaners who have been quietly taming the monsters without any fanfare, we would probably be swimming daily to work and school without having to wait for the full effect of global warming.

Kudos to all the cleaners !

LWL said...

For premises that have been government gazetted as a security-protected location, you will see along the fencing of all security-protected location, the silhouette of a rifle carrying amry personnel with a civilian having his hands raised. This gives the impression to anyone that the area is heavily fortified and protected by rifle-armed security personnel.

It looks like in the need to cut costs, the signage was the only and final deterrent, just like to signs in our HDB lifts that state a particular area is under video surveillance, almost all which are just dummy cameras.

All government gazetted security protected location should come under the responsibility of the Government. Individual companies may be responsible for footing the bill but the responsibility must be the government's.

There is no need for a separate list of installations that is the responsibility of government.

Anonymous said...

smrt should not be privatised in the first place...

affordable, safe public transport for the citizens should be provided by our elected govt..

the response by that minister sounded realli like my bank's rich taitai lady boss...always playing taichi while she cant even operate a computer

J said...

A proper privatization should allow for free market forces. MRT has no competition, so it really isn't privatization.

From TOC reports, I only hear the shirking of responsibility. I want to hear concrete plans of stepping up security. Someone should step up and take responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I think we need a balanced view. the security lapses should be the responsibility of both SMRT and relevant authority.

For example, what if there is security lapses for SingTel / Singapore Power / Singapore Airline / Singapore Press Holding etc. These are all commercial entities with shareholders. Do we want to allow security matter rests solely in the hands of commercial entities? I think we should be more forgiving; but also need to get the big picture correct. Do you agree?

From "Balanced View"

Anonymous said...

"All major canals to be reviewed: Yaacob," Sunday Times, 20 June, Front page

The following are real gems that are worth repeating, since we are paying a million dollars a year for such wisdom:

"Had there not been a blockage, it would have been a very good system"
- No kidding!! I guess blocked drains are very rare and cannot be forseen.

"the focus now is on learning from the episode and preventing such floods"
- So what was the previous focus?

"The two successive downpours were UNEXPECTED and NOT SEEN BEFORE"
- I'm speechless with astonishment

""Every new storm which is unique, that we have not seen, will throw up new challenges"
- So how? Plan by trial and error is it?

Anonymous said...

"Taxpayers should not pay for SMRT security"
Straits Times, 21 June, Front Page

- very popular sentiment
- but who is responsible for SMRT security?

"... security of places like MRT depots should be a partnership between Government, private corporations and the public."
- so I guess it's my fault that security is breached
- who pays me for helping out with security at SMRT depots?
- will I be allowed access to inspect SMRT depots?

"For the Government, a key task is to IDENTIFY the specific installations that the Government is directly responsible for, both operationally and and for the overall security system.
- Unbelievable
- Citizens may be responsible for security for some of these installations
- but it's a secret
- cannot tell you what these installations are

Old slogan:
Teach Less, Learn More.

New slogan:
Guard Less, Secure More.

For the Future
I'm waiting to see how "we" will handle security at any proposed future nuclear energy plants in Singapore.

In the meantime, let's hope our fast limping terrorist, Mas Selamat, continues to be safely locked up in a place which does not have urinals with locked doors.

Anonymous said...

SAF have for years been deploying soldiers and reservists to protect foreign interests like Mobil and those on Jurong Island.

Anonymous said...

If the government claim that smrt is a private company hence smrt should be responsible for the security of the stations, depots, etcs.

My question is why is it then the police actually has a unit called Transcom set up to patrol all the mrt stations? Why are all mrt depot gazetted as protect place since the government claim it is a private company? I am very confused!


Anonymous said...

Although I am a regular commuter with SMRT, I do not own any shares or even being offered any as far as I can recall.
I only look after my own interest.
paying whatever fares structured and expecting a "Safe & Pleasant Journey"

Therefore the Security should be in the hands of the Big Fat shareholders and those who have a stake with SMRT.

Learn from The BP oil spill saga and "No Dividents" declared for shareholders!......simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Me feels that there is an imperative to send all the Local Parliamentarians for tests before they take offices.


As a Law Professional, the Second Minister for Home Affairs should know better than anybody else about safety and security. It is truly unbecoming of him to try to absolve, even partially, of the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT!

Unless Minister Shanmugan stands in an uncontested ward, me like to say to Singaporeans, not to vote him at all. He is not fit to be a parliamentarian.


Anonymous said...

And me likes to ask what and why the hell are our armed forces doing duties oversea to secure other nations and their inhabitants, when our own land have proven to be so porous and vulnerable?

Acting like heroes abroad and deflecting and shifting responsibilities of safety and security for own land and citizens.


Anonymous said...

Hi Anon June 22, 2010 12:46 AM.

I sure wish He would change His "teach less, learn more" slogan into "earn less, do more" instead.

Or at the very least. "talk less, do more".

Anonymous said...

REX comments on anon poster June 22@10.13 am

Hey pal. Let me give you a wake up call.
You implicated, just as Shanmugam did, that the shareholders of SMRT should be responsible, not the goverhment.
Do you not know that Temasek Holdings (The Government) owns 54.5% of SMRT?
Do you not know that the current chairman Mr Koh Yong Guan is also Chairman of Central Provident Fund Board, a member of the Board of the Monetary Authority of Singapore"? Halimah Yacob a government minister is also on the Board of Directors and i think a few more people from the goverhment too. This is natural since Temasek has majority stake 54.5% in SMRT. It is different from BP case. Even then, Obama stood up and declared himself to help and appeared in public not to play taichi.

So do you think it is all right for the singapore goverhment to claim non-responsibilty in a serious case like this? All the top people take cover, just like the Great Orchard Road Flood.

Is this a goverhment or are we ruled by some cranks who have love for money but no love for Singapore?


Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

Not all Singaporeans are finger pointers and avoid responsibility.

Not all our leaders are finger pointers and avoid responsibility.

Please post my view.

Anonymous said...

With this kind of poor govt attitude of not owning up to mistakes and not taking any accountability.

It looks like for its people the only way out to save the nation is to vote PAP out of office through the ballot box.

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