Photo of crowd during train breakdown from Twitter

In an internal circulation by SMRT Chairman Seah Moon Ming, the government-owned public transport operator told employees that the company will rush completion for all engineering works at North-South and East-West Lines 4 years earlier than the stipulated completion date of 2020. The announcement sparked worries among SMRT employees, who believe they are facing political pressure to meet the 2020 deadline when the Singapore’s next general election will be held.

In the email, SMRT Chairman did not explain how SMRT is going to complete the ongoing overhaul works 4 years ahead of schedule. It is unknown if resources are going to be multiplied above the current capacity to achieve the completion. Chairman Seah Moon Ming wrote that the company is adopting “world’s best standards” in system engineering but did not explain further. According to a source close with SMRT, the works include adding power supply lines. reconfiguration of the problematic signalling system, train replacements and railway upgrades.

Earlier in Sep, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan claimed that rail reliability is improving based off a lop-sided measurement created by the government. The “Mean Kilometre Between Failure” (MKBF) measurement omit train speed, delays less than 5 minutes, extensiveness of delay incidents, and the length of time of the delay. This allow SMRT to present a better report as most of it’s delays are major disruptions affecting the entire line and lasting for hours.