Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday (Aug 29) posted on Facebook claiming that he believes rail reliability will improve with the new SMRT Chairman onboard:
“I have no doubt his chairing SMRT will speed up our efforts to raise rail reliability, to meet the new target of 1 million train-km before any delay exceeding 5 minutes.”
The new SMRT Chairman, Seah Moon Ming, has an engineering master degree, and promoted through the ranks in state-owned corporate Singapore Technologies Group.
However, one thing to note about Seah Moon Ming was that he served only 6 months between March and Sep 2013 with Temasek Holdings as a Senior Managing Director. It is unknown what was his reason for leaving the sovereign wealth fund company.
Barely a day after Minister Khaw Boon Wan made the announcement, SMRT saw another crippling service again during the peak hour morning today (Aug 30) due to a track fault at Redhill station. The fault saw train delays affecting the East-bound direction and last over 4 hours from 8am to 12.30pm.
Train delays in Singapore have been frequenting as much as weekly, but government officials are insistent that rail reliability has improved. According to Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan in July, rail reliability improved “three times” under his watch since he took office in 2015. The second Transport Minister Ng Chee Meng made similar claims by cherry-picking data on the first 5 months period of 2017 where there were lesser breakdowns as compared to a year ago.