In the wake of the massive MRT breakdown along the North-South (NS Line) and East-West (EW Line) MRT lines, netizens have taken to Lui Tuck Yew and SMRT Corporation’s Facebook pages to vent their anger at being trapped outside for hours with no means of transport to get them home.
On Lui Tuck Yew’s Facebook, the minister posted one statement expressing his “concern” about the breakdown, stating that he has ordered SMRT and LTA officers to work through the night to get the public MRT system working by the next morning.
His post however, was flooded with frustrated netizens who posted criticisms and calls for the minister and SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek to resign from their posts over what could possibly be the worst MRT breakdown in Singapore history.
“Mr Minister, don’t you feel tired of having to keep saying sorry? I am surprised that you are still sticking to your job even though you have to keep saying sorry all the time. Having said that, I think this time sorry is not enough. Fares keep rising because of operational cost. But the problem is still not solved. How much more do we need to pay for our fares for the system to be stable and resilient enough for a 6.9 million population?” one commuter, Shafiq, wrote.
“Going to increase transport fares again? I was stuck at Tiong Bahru. No announcements were given for pax to get off the train or to stop boarding. I got off as I didn’t want to get trapped in the tunnel,” wrote another commuter, Kanesh. “It was crazy outside, the bus stops were extremely crowded, there was nobody to guide people & drivers were still asking us to tap our cards even though SMRT said they were free. I had to walk to the next bus stop as it was too crowded & waited 30 mins for the bus to arrive. All the buses were too crowded & could not stop. At Bukit Merah interchange there were long lines as well & finally I managed to get a bus & reached home an hour later.”
One commuter Loh Jun Wei wrote about his disappointment with SMRT’s poor response to the breakdown. “MRT stations are in chaos, no signs or directions to where those free buses are, no staff to redirect or help, announcements on the monitor screens and PA system were utterly unhelpful, too little buses were sent to ease the situation. Dozens of buses were stuck along Orchard/Penang Road and not moving at all when there are hundreds of commuters waiting to board the empty buses. The power disruption was unfortunate and the blame cannot be put on the Authority nor the transport providers. However, the terrible response to this breakdown is unforgivable. World-class transport system indeed.”
There were some lighthearted comments though, with a few netizens calling for Lui to commit hara-kiri (samurai-style suicide) together with SMRT’s million dollar CEO Desmond Kuek.
“In Japan, the chairman and CEO would call a press conference, take a deep bow and, in the good old days, they may even commit hara-kiri,” wrote Leon Chow, recollecting a parliamentary speech given by Khaw Boon Wan, the current minister for national development.