Photo of Khaw Boon Wan from TodayOnline

In the Land Transport Authority press conference held yesterday (Oct 16), Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the government should not punish SMRT for train disruptions because “it is old system”:

“If you ask me, my preference is not to go back to this old system of penalties and fines because it created a very adversarial relationship between the regulator and the operator.”

The corrupted Transport Minister then came out with a twisted logic and defended his government cronies and ex-army generals SMRT CEOs Desmond Kuek and Lee Ling Wee saying that punishments impede excellence:

“The acrimonious relationship between both parties was a stumbling block to achieving excellence.”

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan also said Singaporeans should stop finding who to blame for the train disruptions:

“Two years ago, the immediate reaction was — who’s to blame?… In such a relationship, it’s always, ‘I’m not responsible, it’s not me, it’s a design problem.’ Then design says, ‘No, this is maintenance problem.’ And everything just ding-dongs.”

As for the punishments for the Oct 7 train tunnel flooding due to SMRT’s lack of maintenance of the pump system, Minister Khaw Boon Wan said he will decide later:

“The LTA will mull over the facts of the case and the mitigating factors to mete out penalties for the flooding incident between Bishan and Braddell MRT station on Oct 7. For this particular issue, that’s for the LTA board to decide.”