Photo of SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek from Straits Times

According to preliminary investigation report released by SMRT, the government-owned train operator falsified maintenance records of the drainage pump system in three quarterly maintenance date of Dec 2016, Mar 2017 and Jun 2017. The pump system eventually broke down leading to serious flooding in the train tunnels between Bishan and Newton on Oct 7.

Maintenance records of the pump system were signed off and submitted, but no track access approvals were issued on the maintenance dates recorded. Pump records also show no access on the maintenance date.

SMRT faulted the manager in-charge and maintenance staffs for the falsification of the records, and said that they have been suspended pending an investigation. SMRT Chairman Seah Moon Ming told state media reporters:

“SMRT has zero tolerance for failures in supervision and diligence over maintenance tasks. We do not condone any acts of dishonesty and dereliction of responsibility, whether by management or staff. All who are accountable will be disciplined sternly, regardless of rank and position. Accordingly, the relevant management chain of command in SMRT must be held accountable.”

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said they are holding back judgment and still deciding on the appropriate punishments for SMRT:

“We are carrying out a full investigation into the incident and will make its recommendation on the penalties to the LTA Board in due time.”

SMRT’s two CEOs, former army generals Desmond Kuek and Lee Wee Ling, and Singapore’s two Transport Ministers, Khaw Boon Wan and former army general Ng Chee Meng, are unavailable for comment on the new finding.