SMRT board of directors says sorry

A WEEK after the first of two massive train breakdowns that left thousands stranded, SMRT’s board of directors broke their silence and apologised to commuters.

The board, headed by chairman Koh Yong Guan, said that it took the disruptions very seriously and was setting up its own internal investigating team.

Independent board director Ong Ye Kung will head the team, which will comprise external experts, and have in-house staff as resource members.

Said Koh, who has been chairman since 2009: “We will spare no effort and resources to ensure that SMRT earns back the confidence of the commuters and public. We apologise to the travelling public for the disruptions and inconveniences in the last week.”

In a separate statement, the regulator, the Land Transport Authority (LTA), said it too had launched its investigations into the five-hour breakdown on Thursday and the seven-hour disruption on Saturday.

Both the SMRT team and the LTA will give their findings to the Committee of Inquiry that the Government is convening to investigate the breakdowns.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew last Friday said that he held the board and management accountable, adding that he had told Koh that they were “responsible for making it right”.

On his role, Ong said that his close ties with the SMRT union will be helpful when he gets feedback from SMRT staff.

“We will look at a set of recommendations to correct any faults if there are, and restore public confidence,” he said.

He added that the board members had been in constant contact over e-mail and via phone calls, even with some members overseas. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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