The Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday (Oct 27) announced that 12 made-in-China trains have arrived at Jurong Port in Singapore. The trains to be deployed in the existing North-South and East-West Lines were manufactured and assembled in China by China railway company CCRC Qingdao Sifang, with only some parts manufactured by Japan-based Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
In July 2015, the China trains which arrived in Singapore were ordered to be sent back to China due to severe manufacturer’s defects like exploding batteries, cracked seats and shattered glass. The Singapore government failed to cover up the incident as a Hongkong independent news media used drones to capture footage of the train return in Singapore. The LTA however continued to award new train tenders including an order for 99 trains for S$1.1 billion to the same consortium company, claiming that the China company is “top quality”.
Singapore has been seeing worsening rail reliability in recent years due to corruption. The two CEOs of government-owned transport operator SMRT are former army generals who have no knowledge on railway system. The dictatorship also protects the two Transport Ministers, Khaw Boon Wan and Ng Chee Meng, and no punishment was meted out for their incompetency.