Photo of Neo Kian Hong from CNA

Temasek Holdings-owned transport operator SMRT yesterday (Sep 14) announced the shutting down of its subsidiary, Railise Pte. Ltd, losing undisclosed tens of millions. The subsidiary company that provided rail engineering solutions had to shut down after years of losses since its opening in 2014 – no thanks to SMRT’s poor train maintenance record and increasing number of train breakdowns in Singapore over the past 8 years.

The company set up in 2014 was tasked to provide rail engineering solutions to other countries, but after seeing Singapore’s rail reliability record, no country wanted to engage the Singapore company. Living off nothing but contracts from Singapore government, the company went into massive losses.

Through cronyism, Railise Pte. Ltd was awarded a contract to upgrade 85 of SMRT’s older trains. Despite having boasted benefits like a 30% reduction in power consumption and reduced engine noises, the SMRT subsidiary failed to produce anything fruitful in the past 4 years that saw only worsening rail reliability.

SMRT decided to scrap the entire company to cut losses was made after the government decided not to upgrade the existing train carriages. An undisclosed number of employees were retrenched. SMRT CEO Neo Kian Hong, a former army general, went into hiding and refused to front the media address.

Losses incurred by companies under Temasek Holdings directly affect the returns of CPF funds and national reserves.