In an announcement by the People’s Association (PA), the S$1 billion-a-year budget government stat board said it will provide 1,800 free manpower to SMRT to help as traffic marshals during major train breakdowns and weekend station closures. The move will help SMRT save an estimated S$3 million each day, but at an undisclosed cost off government taxes.
The PA spokesperson told state media Straits Times that people should stop “bemoaning” about train breakdowns and volunteer to help:
“However, there cannot be enough ‘paid staff’ to manage large crowds affected by an unplanned major disruption, especially in the initial period. We believe that instead of bemoaning the situation, it would be more positive and constructive for us to do what we can to help people in need. We do not intend to, nor can we replace SMRT’s mitigation measures.”
The Defence Ministry previously sent out NSFs to help SMRT a few years ago, but when contacted by state media reporters yesterday, they said they have no plan to do so.
Some PA grassroots members however questioned the government if public resources like themselves should be deployed to help out the private sector without payment. A few Straits Times spoke to disagreed saying that SMRT should simply hire and pay for more contractors instead.