After receiving feedback from Singaporeans who were penalized for being late to work numerous times due to train service disruptions, PAP MP Zainal Sapari called for employers to be “understanding”.
“Employers should be understanding about train delays, as the circumstances are out of their control. Trust is important in any employer and employee relationship. Most employers would not reprimand their employees if they are late due to train breakdowns because such incidents can be verified.”
Also the deputy chairman for the Government Parliamentary Committee for Manpower, MP Zainal Sapari said that it is hard for employees to change their travelling habit.
Train service disruptions cost as much as tens of millions in economic losses, depending on it’s scale and length of downtime. The statistic is however covered up by the government, to downplay the seriousness of service disruptions. Most Singapore employers are however unforgiving, and some even demanded their staff to leave from home earlier to compensate for the unreliability of public transport.
A tax practitioner state media CNA spoke to said that he was given a warning after he was late six times in the past 3 years due to train breakdowns. Other interviewees also gave feedback that they are not able to take alternate routes due to the lack of bus services to their workplace.
Despite the worsening state of train reliability, the Singapore government insists that services are improving based off government statistics. The CEO of SMRT, Desmond Kuek, remains unharmed despite being at helm of the company for over 5 years. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan is also not held responsible over the state of public transport.