Despite making starry promises about delivering accountability to train services, SMRT CEO Neo Kian Hong went into silent mode for the second consecutive time after the East-West Line saw a major train breakdown yesterday (Aug 18).
At about 10pm last evening, state-owned company SMRT reported a “track fault” and announced that a 20-min delay was to be expected between the major interchange station of Tampines and Pasir Ris station. The announcement was however grossly underestimated, and commuters ended up waiting for nearly two hour until 11.45pm.
Aside from Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan who has given up on the trains, the SMRT CEO and his ex-colonel department heads were also missing throughout the major breakdown and busy enjoying their weekend evening. As the former Chief of Defence Force, Neo Kian Hong hired several ex-military colonels to be senior management at SMRT. Cronyism and nepotism is legal under the Singapore’s legalised corruption framework created by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, where even the Prime Minister himself made his wife the CEO of Temasek Holdings and his son Li Hong Yi the Director of the propaganda ministry, Ministry of Communication and Information.
Prior to General Neo Kian Hong’s appointment, the former SMRT CEO was ex-general Desmond Kuek. The ex-military general ran SMRT into massive losses in his last year of management, reporting a S$86 million loss. Desmond Kuek reportedly drew a total of S$7 million in his 5.5 year stint at SMRT. The former army general is currently on holidays and awaiting the government’s next appointment as the head of the next state-owned company.