Photo of Khaw Boon Wan from Straits Times

In an announcement on his Facebook page yesterday (Mar 11), Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that he will use live passengers for train testing on the East-West Line. Commuters will still have to pay full train fares and bear the risk of train collision during testing:

“We plan to extend testing to revenue hours, i.e. with passengers on board. Expect glitches and delays. I urge commuters to bear with us and thank them for their patience.”

In a train collision in Oct last year, a glitch happened in the signalling software causing a collision at Joo Koon station and causing 26 to be hospitalised. Two were seriously injured with fractures and broken tooth. The signalling test was then terminated indefinitely, until yesterday’s announcement to resume testing.

Earlier in Parliament last week, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the “bad news” is to use passengers as guinea pigs for signalling testing, while the “good news” is that the North-South Line “crossed its 150th consecutive day of no disruptions on March 7”. Unfortunately, the “good news” turned out to be fake news as the Minister omitted the counting of a 4-hour delay on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14).

Unlike States Times Review, Singapore Ministers and the state media enjoy immunity from fabricating fake news and half truth misleading the country.

Minister Khaw also reported in Parliament that more major breakdowns happened in 2017 but “reliability” has improved. In 2017, there were 36 delays lasting more than half an hour. The Minister however omitted 20 incidents as “glitches” and hence not counted as a “breakdown” to improve his statistical reliability measurement.