Photo of Desmond Kuek from Facebook video

SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek today (Oct 16) blamed company culture for the numerous train disruptions and asked for “more time” to sort the matter out:

“Deep-seated cultural issues remain within the company that need more time to root out, despite some progress being made. Indeed, many of our major disruptions in the past have been attributed in some part, or all, to human error or failure. We regret that this is so…”

The former Brigadier General then blamed his employees for the flooded train tunnel on Oct 7:

“One area that needs to be strengthened is the level of accountability by supervisors. This includes the level of ownership and responsibility over what’s not working well. The openness in which some issues are reported… It is not just one person’s fault, but because he’s the head of this particular function we removed him from his responsibilities there … and put somebody else in charge for the time being. On behalf of all of us in SMRT, I apologise to members of the public who were affected by last weekend’s disruption. We are all deeply pained by what happened.”

The PAP government crony also said that SMRT has gone into “overdrive” in maintenance, but problems continue to persist:

“Since 2012, SMRT has gone into overdrive to address maintenance issues arising from age-related serviceability issues. The SMRT has increased the number of staff on its trains team to 5,300 from 3,500, and tripled the number of engineers to about 500… Within the three to four hours of engineering time each night, we prioritised our work so that we could meet the most pressing maintenance needs, yet allowing renewal projects to progress at best speed, and for commuter service to proceed uninterrupted the next day at dawn.”

There is no mention of resignation or a pay cut by the SMRT CEO.