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Monday, 14 June 2010

SMRT Security - Whose Job and Who to Bear Costs?

Based on the following report in ST Online, the SMRT will be engaging a professional security consultant to carry out a thorough audit of its systems. MRT depots - including the ones operated by SMRT in Changi,Ulu Pandan, and Bishan and SBS Transit's facility in Sengkang - will be looked at first.

The actual works now fall on the shoulder of the security consultant who will be appointed. I do not know, at whose costs? Will it result in higher fares for the commuters in the next fare review by the PTC?

Why had  the SMRT not taken such initiative more proactively and earlier? I agree with Blogger Mr. Tan Kin Lian that SMRT's management was too focussed on making profits, i.e. perhaps aiming for super-normal profit, rather than just looking at normal profit which is more cost-centred, and not totally profit-eccentric in its management strategy. Such a managment strategy tends to look at cutting costs which could explained the neglect of depot's physical security by SMRT, despite earlier waking calls that our MRT stations are targetted by terrorists. This could be probably be due to the alignment and setting of personal KPIs for the top executives who command million-dollar salaries, just like Ministers.

Despite the appointment of high level Ministers at SM and DPM level to focus on coordinating national security, there seems to be a lack of postive attention and actions at the top level.. What we had heard is warning sounded for the public to be wary, but the attention alone does not solved problems of the nature well illustrated by this incident.

Such high level complacency displayed by the incident is quite typical of our Government bureaucracy and related Authorities which surprising are rated the world's "best bureaucracy" by the  HK-based PERC in a recent survey. I always advise readers to appreciate such survey results in greater depth, due to the objectives of persons in publishing such results and data, and the inherent limitations with the data collection methods and techniques used in posing the survey questionaire.

The public (actually a student) perhaps should be commended this time for discovering the security breach and is no more in complacency. However, the feedback was surprisingly first to YouTube and not to our "complacent" Authorities. What does this illustrates?


Reference
Strats Times Online Jun 12, 2010
MRT depots first to be looked at; SMRT to get thorough audit of systems
By Melissa Kok

IN THE wake of the break-in at SMRT's Changi train depot, a comprehensive security review of the entire public transport network will be conducted over the next six months.

MRT depots - including the ones operated by SMRT in Changi, Ulu Pandan, and Bishan and SBS Transit's facility in Sengkang - will be looked at first.

This was announced by the Public Transport Security Committee (PTSC) last night. Alongside this review, SMRT will be engaging a professional security consultant to carry out a thorough audit of its systems.

In a statement last night, PTSC chairman Lim Bok Ngam said the council 'takes a very serious view of the security of our public transport system and will improve and enhance security in a risk-based and practical manner'.

Mr Lim added that public transport operators have already taken immediate steps to enhance security at their train depots.

The PTSC has begun a joint security review of the Changi depot with SMRT and several measures have already been implemented.

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