After exhausting all excuses to deflect responsibility over the slew of train faults, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan now point to Singapore politics for the breakdowns at Bukit Panjang LRT. Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday  (Sep 12) said that his government was facing “political pressure” and that led to a poor design of the railway tracks at Bukit Panjang LRT:

“The Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT), which opened in 1999, was an “after-thought” to a built-up town, and constructed because of political pressure. No LRT is designed that way, in such a masochistic manner, when you force yourself up and down with twists and turns. The disruption on the BPLRT last Saturday was caused by the system’s design, with rail support brackets being sheared off.”

Minister Khaw Boon Wan however did not clarify what “political pressure” the ruling party dictatorship was facing that led to the poor design of the LRT system. The ruling party PAP has always been in power since 1965 and dominates the Parliament with an overwhelming majority over 90%.

The Minister also promised that the BPLRT will “double its current Mean Kilometre Between Failure (MKBF) standard to hit 100,000 car-km”, but he also added that he has not met SMRT for a discussion yet.

The MKBF is a new standards measurement invented by the ruling party dictatorship that does not measure the downtime of breakdowns and focus only on the frequency of breakdowns. The new measurement will make the ruling party look better on paper as major breakdowns with lengthy downtime (e.g. 4 hours) are treated as a singular breakdown of more than 5 minutes.

Minister Khaw Boon Wan also said that the BPLRT is an uncomfortable ride but tells Singaporeans to accept “life”:

“Quipping that the BPLRT is like a roller-coaster. I’ve taken the BPLRT a few times as a commuter. I won’t say I enjoy the ride, it caused me dizziness also. But that is life.”