Photo of SMRT CEOs and Minister Khaw Boon Wan

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday (Oct 16) told state media reporters that he is considering to shut down the Bukit Panjang LRT stations for 3 years to rebuild the system because he has no solution to the persistent breakdowns.

“An extensive shutdown for major upgrading work is among the options the Government is evaluating for the beleaguered Bukit Panjang Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. It would be “hard put” to take this decision, as it could mean residents going without the LRT service for as much as three years. If we want to do serious upgrading — essentially to close it down so that we can re-do the whole tracks and so on, so that we don’t have these ups and downs. And we’re evaluating that proposition.”

After reporters fired him a number of questions on the LRT system, Minister Khaw Boon Wan angrily retorted telling them to put themselves in his position:

“If I put you in our position, I think you’ll be hard put to think whether ‘should we do it?’. Because how can we deny the residents three years (of) LRT service, so that we can re-do the LRT? With the time constraints rail workers already facing here in replacing various components during limited non-service hours, Singapore is not like London, Sydney and other cities which have had the luxury of alternatives and could close entire lines. In our case, do you think we can do that?”

The incompetent Transport Minister who absents himself whenever there is a train breakdown has previously faulted “political pressure” for the poor design of the Bukit Panjang LRT system.