Saturday, January 7, 2012

SMRT's Saw Resigns

I received an SOS to help out MIHRM Toastmasters Club which was in desperate need of a Timekeeper – the original role player couldn’t make it. And so I went.

The club was having their International Speech and Table Topics Contests last evening. Again, to my chagrin, we didn’t start on time. I was already anxious, flustered and even agitated. Thirty minutes lapsed before the club event finally took off. Then the announcement came that the International Speech contest will not proceed because one of two contestants couldn’t make it. Only the Table Topics contest went ahead. Oh well…

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SMRT chief executive officer Saw Phaik Hwa stepped down from her post on Friday afternoon following public outrage over train disruptions that inconvenienced thousands of commuters in Singapore. She finally took this step because as the CEO, she must take full responsibility for the December chaos – read my blog posting dated December 29, 2011 titled ‘Train Stories”. Besides, there were also disruptions in each of the last two months — on September 20, a faulty cable stalled train services for four hours, affecting more than 26,500 commuters, and on October 17, "train faults" led to commuters being grounded.

In 2010, when trains were packed and commuters were complaining, Saw dismissed these concerns and defended the company. Instead, she pointed the finger at commuters and said: "People can board the train, it is whether they choose to."

Her remarks, besides upping the level of anger of the public by a few notches, also showed a CEO completely out of touch with reality. Saw later apologized for her comment. But commuters cannot keep being offered apologies while service keeps getting disrupted. So it is right that she resigns!

Oldham gave Liverpool a fright, but the Reds fought back to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 5-1 win. Robbie Simpson struck from 30 yards (28) to evoke hopes of a giantkilling act. Liverpool were level within two minutes when Craig Bellamy deflected in Jonjo Shelvey's shot and Steven Gerrard put the Reds into the lead from the spot (45+1). Shelvey stroked home a third (68), Andy Carroll's long-range effort (89) made it four and Stewart Downing fired in a rebound (90+5) to end the game on a high for the Reds.

1 comment:

Vincent Chow said...

huh? International Speech is not on? You know who got the free pass to Area? Stephen Fernando?