Category: Current Affairs
Published on Monday, 11 July 2016 16:54
Written by Shawn Danker
The following is a conversation overheard at a coffee shop. The names have been changed to protect the conversationalists' identity but here's the gist of their conversation.
Johnny: Eh Lup Cheong...Did you hear the news about SMRT?
Lup Cheong: The one about their train manufacturer recalling 26 out of 35 trains for "repairs due to cracks"?
Johnny: Ah so you did hear about it...
Lup Cheong: How can I not hear about it? Everyone is talking about it on my facebook feed!
Johnny: So what's your take on this?
Lup Cheong: I can't get over the fact that the train manufacturer recalled 26 out of 35 trains. That's a defective rate of 74%! What kind of quality control does CSR Sifang practice sia?!
Johnny: Aren't you a SMRT stock holder too?
Lup Cheong: Ya. Why?
Johnny: They just had their AGM a few days before the news dropped. My mother was at the AGM. I asked her if they mentioned anything about defective trains being recalled. She said no...
Lup Cheong: Why would SMRT bring up the issue to its stockholders?
Johnny: Because SMRT is a publicly traded company on the Singapore Stock Exchange!
The mothballing of the 26 PRC trains and their systemic manufacturing issues is a development that has major implications on SMRT's operations! Therefore, SMRT is obliged to report this to their shareholders at the very least! How can the public trust any annual report by the SMRT?!
Lup Cheong: That's true.
Johnny: LTA's totally lost credibility thanks to this matter. You know, I initially couldn't believe the Factwire piece when I first read it.
Lup Cheong: Oh? Why's that?
Johnny: Because the article felt a little off.
It had very few direct quotes and no attributions within the piece, so it made me wonder if Factwire was making everything up. The fact that no one had heard of Factwire before this story dropped also made me question the authenticity of the entire report.
I also found it utterly incredulous that Factwire managed to obtain drone footage of the affected trains being loaded at Jurong Port. Jurong Port is supposed to be a protected area under the Unmanned Aircraft Act! How the hell did a bunch of Hong Kong journalists manage to pull off their surveillance operation without getting caught? The security hole the journalists exploited has huge implications on our own security protocols. Someone at MHA better be losing sleep over this!
Lup Cheong: You know that one of the local news sites also tried to question the legality of how this piece of news was unearthed?
Johnny: Yeah. That's typical of the local how journalism works here: Undermine your competitor's scoop in a desperate bid to make it look like yourself are not a bad journalist.
But my God. The way LTA has been trying to spin this entire mess. First they tried to downplay the number of trains that were sent back. Now they're also claiming that the cracks on the trains were only superficial and wouldn't affect safety. Come on la who are you trying to kid? If the cracks were non critical why would you need to send the trains in question back to the manufacturer?!
Lup Cheong: I think the more infuriating part is how the G apologists are trying to spin this matter.
Johnny: What do you mean?
Lup Cheong: I've seen some people on Facebook say that people are overreacting. They said that "SMRT or LTA has no obligation to announce that they are shipping off trains parts for repairs."
Lup Cheong: Yeah. It's ridiculous!
These G apologists seem to have conveniently forgotten that LTA paid for the trains using taxpayer money.
Therefore, the G HAS an obligation to disclose to the public that the trains LTA bought are defective but steps are being taken to rectify them.
The G and its supporters don't seem to understand that people are angry because we found out about all this through a third party, i.e. the HK press, and not from the G itself.
The G only started to release information about this entire fiasco after Factwire put them in damage control mode! The massive irony about the entire situation is that it's pretty obvious that Factwire didn't set out to embarrass LTA and SMRT.
Factwire's target was CSR Sifang; SMRT and LTA's humiliation was just a happy coincidence for us Singaporeans.
You know bro this is making me miss the old man...
Johnny: Why? I thought you hated the way he did things?
Lup Cheong: Because I know if Lee Kwan Yew was still in charge, someone at LTA would have lost their job over this massive cock up!