Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Coordinating nothing

Where was the Coordinating Minister when you needed him? He was not to be found anywhere near the NE Line train stations. To be fair, he did blog about it, albeit from afar. But the real question is: as the Transport Minister, why did he allow SBS Transit (SBST) to put into place a new train on a Monday morning? Clearly, there was no risk assessment conducted, or if it was done, it was slipshod work. Any astute engineer or manager, or transport minister worth his salt will know that, as the saying goes, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. And it went horribly wrong on the first day of school and work after the weekend. 41,000 commuters were reportedly affected, yours truly being one of them. The risk would have been considerably reduced if the introduction of the new train was done on a Saturday morning or better still, a Sunday morning.

It would have turned out to be a big mistake if students, who have studied so hard for the last ten years, missed their national exam papers. As it was, students were left scrambling to get to their exam venues. According to reports, many managed to do so, though some only in the nick of time while others went to other exam centres, Any right thinking person with a sense of the risk involved in commuting would have delayed any change to the MRT line in this period. And the risks have proven to be quite significant over the last couple of years. Mr Khaw is the Coordinating Minister. He is the Transport Minister, and he has Mr Ng Chee Meng, Second Minister of Education in charge of Secondary Schools, working for him. Clearly, he has failed to join the dots. Mr Fixit nearly dropped his pants for all to see.

We expect more, Mr Coordinating Minister. Not just making appearances here and there and everywhere like a movie star or some celebrity. This just won't do. I hesitate to think of the ire of parents should their children have missed their exam papers yesterday morning because somebody did not do his job by coordinating well.

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