Wednesday, June 30, 2010

People can board the train, it is whether they choose to


Ah Tan and Ah Lim walked in and joined Ms Saw at the pantry. She was having a cup of Starbucks while reading the newspapers.

AH LIM: Eh? Here got Starbucks meh?
MS SAW: Ah, I bought it at the mall on the way here.
AH LIM: Oh... but there is coffee in our pantry! You didn't know?
MS SAW: Er... Ah Lim, no offense, but these dark colored water aren't exactly coffee, you know?

Ah Lim stared at Ms Saw with eyes and mouth wide opened. He muttered half a "what" and stopped abruptly, then picked up his cup of pantry coffee and drink silently. Ms Saw continued to sip her Starbucks coffee.

AH TAN: So... what brings you here? I would have imagined you to be pretty busy these days with the recent security lapse incident.
AH LIM (interrupted): Yah! I thought you should be busy fixing your depot fence?

Ms Saw put down her coffee and stared at Ah Lim this time.

MS SAW: I know that was a serious security lapse in our depot, so I've already instructed my men to work on it ASAP. But this incident also reaffirms the importance of the public’s participation and support in reporting any suspicious sightings in our system. The public needs to do their work as well, you know?
AH LIM: Wah! You're the highest-grossing CEO that your company has ever employed and after receiving $1.67 million last year, you still need the public to do your job ah?

Ms Saw slammed her right palm on the table and stood up from her chair. Her face was as red as a tomato and her eyes as big as fishballs. Ah Tan immediately stood up and tapped her shoulder lightly.

AH TAN: Hey Saw, don't mind him. He has just lost lotsa money because of France, Italy and England.
AH LIM (stood up and bowed slightly to Ms Saw): Er... yah... sorry lah, didn't mean to be rude lah...

Ms Saw let out a sigh and sat down slowly.

MS SAW: I didn't get all those money for nothing you know? I have a whole transport company to take care of, I've gotta make sure my shareholders are happy with our profit, and I've got a whole country of commuters to please! It's not a very pleasant job you know?

Both men nodded in agreement obediently.

AH TAN: Anyway, is your company planning to procure any more new trains?
MS SAW: Erm... not that I heard of... why do you ask?
AH TAN: Er... because the trains are already overcapacity?
MS SAW: I don't understand.
AH LIM: He's meaning to say, the trains are already overcrowded!
MS SAW (made a "tsk" sound at Ah Lim): I can understand the word "overcapacity"! What I meant was, why do you guys, or even the whole country, have the impression that the trains are overcapacity?
AH LIM (eyes wide opened): You mean, you didn't know your trains are overcrowded?

Ms Saw shook her hand at Ah Lim, shook her head, and took a sip from her coffee before continuing.

MS SAW: Trains will be crowded during peak hours. The question is, how crowded? Have you ever seen seen the trains in Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai? That is what you call overcrowded. Our trains? They are not!
AH TAN: But from the pictures posted on the Internet and the letters submitted to forums, it appears that the people do feel that our trains are overcrowded. Maybe not as bad as Hong Kong, Taipei or Shanghai, but still overcrowded.
MS SAW: Look, Ah Tan, even at its most crowded, our train carries 1,400 passengers. This is not crush load! Our train is not carrying more passengers than the standing load it is designed to carry under normal circumstances! You don't find people sitting at the top of the train like India right? You don't find people squeezing themselves into the train through the windows like China right? Look, people can board the train, it is whether they choose to.

Ms Saw gave a "tell me I'm right" face to the men and took another sip from her coffee.

AH LIM (rubbing his chin): But then hor... seriously, have you ever taken your train before?
MS SAW (exclaiming in shock): Are you crazy? Then what's my Merz for?



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sinha Shekhar rents out his HDB flat and complains about high property tax

YPAP leader and new citizen from India Sinha Shekhar owns a private property and rents out his HDB resale flat, while complaining about the high property tax he is paying.

According to HDB, you are allowed to sublet your whole flat if you have occupied your:
  • Non-subsidised flat (flat purchased from the open market without a CPF housing grant) for at least 3 years, or

  • Subsidised flat (flat purchased directly from HDB or from the open market with a CPF housing grant) for at least 5 years

Which means to say that, even if Sinha Shekhar is rich enough to own a private property, it does not mean he can just rent out his whole flat. Well, unless of course, he has actually stayed in that flat for the required years.

While Ms Neo Saw Kian, the Executive Estates Officer from HDB, promised that HDB will look into the matters, a Facebook page has been set up by furious locals.

Do drop by the page We want HDB to COMPULSORILY ACQUIRE Sinha Shekhar's flat! to see the members number climbing up.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We need a safer way to transport foreign workers? Wait for another 2 years!

In August 2009, we heard the news of a foreign worker who fell off a lorry. It was quite a news at that time, partly because he was compensated $50k, but mostly because the people finally felt that enough was enough. We were dropping too many foreign workers off the road. Literally.

Foreign worker who fell off lorry gets $50k

A FOREIGN worker, who fell off the back of a lorry two years ago when it went over a road hump, will receive $50,000 in a settlement with his former employer.

Mr Mohd Showket Ali Abul Hossain Moral, 38, filed a claim against the company and the lorry driver in the civil courts after the fall. He needed two weeks' stay in hospital and more than a month of medical leave.

Yesterday, in a hearing in chambers, the parties agreed to settle.

The Bangladesh national, who flew here for the case, is expected to return to his country this weekend. He now oversees crop workers on a piece of farmland.

Mr Showket was a construction worker for Nature Landscapes, according to court documents detailing how the incident happened.

On July 27, 2007, he and a co-worker loaded trash bags of dead leaves onto the cargo deck of a lorry at a condominium in Bukit Timah.

The next afternoon, they were tasked to go with the driver to Changi to dump the leaves. While his co-worker sat with the driver in the cabin, Mr Showket clambered up the rear of the lorry and sat on the trash bags.

Midway through the journey, it began to pour, drenching Mr Showket, but worse was to follow. Near their destination, along Simei Rise, the lorry went over a hump, and Mr Showket fell off the cargo deck onto the road.

He lay there unconscious. His colleagues had no idea he had fallen off.

It was only when they got down from the lorry moments later, at the gate to their destination, that they saw him lying on the road.

Mr Showket was taken to Changi General Hospital in an ambulance. He had head, neck and back injuries, according to his statement of claim.

It then took the ministry nearly 18 months of consultation and study to discover the measures to enhance the safety of workers being transported in the open back carriages of lorries. So many months were needed for meetings after meetings of brainstorming, probably because some of the elites have no idea how lorries look like. After all, the only open-top vehicles they are familiar with are the Mercedes-Benz Roadsters and BMW Convertibles.

Anyway, finally the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Mr Teo Ser Luck, announced happily in the Parliament that revolutionary measures have been created to ensure safer rides for those who sit in the back of lorries.

And the two measures that the group took 18 months to come up with?

A worker cannot be seated any higher than 1.1m from the cargo deck. Those who breach this rule will be fined $200. A lorry cannot ferry more workers than allowed by the space on the cargo deck. Those who breach this rule will be fined $500 for the first offence.

Yes, it took them 18 months to figure out who to fine and how much.

Of course, as usual, the minister will tell you a long-term plan is in place as well. And it will be another three years for the full slate of measures — which include installing canopies and higher side railings on the back of lorries — to roll out, implemented in phases, slowly and steadily.

Fortunately, someone was not sleeping in the Parliament and asked a sensible question. Jurong MP Mdm Halimah Yacob asked, why three years.

And unfortunately the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Teo Ser Luck had a callous yet economically sensitive reason for why a three-year period is necessary.

Source: Parliament Debates Official Report

Mdm Halimah Yacob (Jurong): Sir, I thank the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the reply. I have a number of supplementary questions to ask.

My first question is that the Senior Parliamentary Secretary said that the safety and enforcement measures currently in force are effective. I would like to ask the Senior Parliamentary Secretary whether he is aware of an accident that occurred on 2nd August this year reported in the Straits Times which talks about a lorry carrying foreign workers which crashed and 16 people were hurt. That was barely two weeks ago.

Second, the Senior Parliamentary Secretary also referred to the existence of laws to prosecute those who jeopardise the life and safety of workers by carrying them on the back of lorries. How many convictions of such employers have there been in order to ensure the safety of these workers?

Third, I would like to ask the Senior Parliamentary Secretary why does it take three years to introduce these measures? Can it not be a much shorter period? Because we are talking about the lives and limbs of people who come and work in our country. I do not see many Singaporeans being carried in this way; in fact, hardly any. If Singaporeans are carried in this way, they would probably not want to work for the company. So, why do we need three years? What are the interim measures the Ministry has in mind to prevent the occurrence of the accident which happened only two weeks ago?

Mr Teo Ser Luck: Sir, I would like to assure the Member that safety is paramount. That is our main consideration, and that of the Workgroup. And that is the objective of the measures that they are recommending.

It is a very complex issue. We have to address not only safety concerns but also the concerns of the business sector and other stakeholders, and find a point of balance, given how these measures might potentially impact the different stakeholders.

Nevertheless, they have come up with both immediate measures and measures for the medium term, after three years, eg, the canopies, the side railings, as well as not to expose the workers above the height that will increase the risk of them falling off. We are enhancing the enforcement measures as well. So, with all these measures coming in, we hope that we can continue to enhance the safety of the workers, and we will continue to monitor the situation.

For some probably political reasons, Mr Teo's reasoning was not questioned further and so it was accepted that we could wait till 2012.

Fast-forward to 2010 now, less than one year later, we see another two accidents involving throwing workers off their lorries.

Three dead as lorry overturns on PIE

SINGAPORE - Three men were killed in a traffic accident after the lorry they were in overturned on the Pan-Island Expressway at the Thomson Road exit, towards Changi this morning.

Two men died on the spot while the third died in hospital.

Fourteen others who were in the same vehicle were also sent to the hospital.

Of the 14, eight have been discharged while the remaining six were warded for minor trauma injuries.

All 17 men are believed to be China nationals from Crec Construction. A representative from the company said most of the men are from Jiangsu province.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said they rushed five ambulances, a fire engine and a Red Rhino to the scene soon after receiving a call at around 7.39am.

The accident caused a massive rush-hour traffic jam on the PIE.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident. It is not known if the lorry was carrying more workers than what is allowed.

Truck with 35 hits tree

A 24-footer truck carrying 35 workers crashed into a tree along Jurong Port Road on Wednesday morning, a day after three Chinese nationals were killed when the lorry they were riding in skidded and overturned just off the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE).

Fourteen others were injured in Tuesday's horrific accident.

In the latest Jurong Port accident, there were no serious casualties, according to the company's boss Simon Subra.

Two of the 35 workers from Fining Engineers and Contractors were sent to the National University Hospital for head injuries and treated as outpatients. Another four escaped with scrapes and bruises and have since been discharged.

So what's next? About time for someone to come out and tell these foreign workers "Just bear with another 2 more years of accidents, and you will be safe!"!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Singapore can be in the next World Cup

In his 1998 National Day Rally speech, PM Goh was so inspired by the French victory in World Cup 1996 with a group of players led by Zinedine Zidane who is of Algerian extraction, said:

“Last year I told you Singapore would never have a chance in the World Cup, because the rules require all players to be citizens. But after watching the French victory, I have changed my mind. Maybe if we change our immigration criteria to bring in top football talent and make them citizens, then one day we too can get into the finals. In fact we intend to do just this, to bring in sports talent.”

Of course, by now in 2010, we all know that we did get a world championship, just that of a smaller ball called ping pong. Perhaps it is not as easy to attract Brazilians/French/Italians/Spanish/Argentinians soccer players into the country as it has been for the Chinese table tennis players. Perhaps we are not paying enough.

However not all hope is lost. It might actually be possible for Singapore to be participating in the next World Cup! And thanks to China again, for their great ideas!

In the World Cup 2010 held in South Africa this year, we have seen a match of Brazil vs North Korea. Hundreds of North Korean fans were in the stadium to cheer for their country, dressed in red and white, and waving their DPRK flags ever so proudly.

But hang on... since when are the North Koreans so filthy rich, and free? No they are not. And this explains all...

Chinese 'volunteer army' arrive to back North Korea
Source: Reuters Africa

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Hundreds of Chinese soccer fans, including artists and well known singers, have arrived in South Africa to lend their support to North Korea in their opening World Cup match against Brazil on Tuesday.

Dubbed the 'fans volunteer army' back home, many stayed in Pretoria overnight and will meet up with fellow Chinese supporters in Johannesburg to back isolated North Korea in their mouthwatering first game at Ellis Park (1830 GMT).

The North Korean sports ministry authorised a Chinese sports PR agency to sell tickets for the game as few North Koreans could afford the journey or receive visas to leave the country.

"When it comes to support in worldwide competitions, Chinese fans will stand for the Asia teams," Bi Fujian, one of the most popular television anchors in China, told Reuters TV before leaving for the trip.

"Not to mention that 60 years ago, China's military forces valiantly crossed the Yalu River to fight alongside the North Koreans against their enemies.

"Sixty years on, we cheer for their football team and hope they will go far."

I hope all the elites reading this post are still with me so far, because here comes my suggestion. The Lion team might still not be good enough for the next World Cup, hell they might not even be good enough for the next Asean games. But wait! The Lion fans can be in the next World Cup!

It might sound silly to send loads of Singaporeans to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil when the Lion team is not there, but the Lion fans can cheer for another country! Yes! They can pick one of the country's favorite ally, dressed up in their country colors, pretend to be their countrymen and cheer for them! I'm sure our allies do not mind more fans turning up to cheer for their teams! In that way, we are sending Singaporeans to the World Cup! Literally!

What we have are foreign talented hookers, not sex trafficking victims!


Mr Teo entered the room holding an opened notebook in his right hand. Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali stood up to greet him. Mr Teo signaled all to be seated.

AH TAN: Er... Sir, you're holding a... notebook?
MR TEO (grinning): Yes! From now on, I'll come into meetings with my notebook instead of the usual email printouts! We need to move together with time, you know? Even Khaw is meeting his people on Skype!

The three men nodded to show agreement and support.

MR TEO (turned his notebook to face the men): Gentlemen, the boorish America has done something terrible to us! They placed us on the Tier Two Watch List in their 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report! Alongside those third world countries like Bangladesh, China and India!
ALI: This is bad, man...
MR TEO (heatedly): This is not bad! This is outrageous!
AH TAN (reading from the notebook screen): There were no labour trafficking prosecutions or convictions during the reporting period. The Singapore Government showed an inadequate response to the sex trafficking problem in Singapore...
AH LIM: Oh... so it's because of sex trafficking?

The three men looked at each other in silent. Mr Teo turned the notebook back to face him then closed it.

MR TEO (sternly): Yes. I was puzzled when I read the report for the first time, I mean... how can Singapore be even be suspected of trafficking? Then like you, Lim, I realised that they are making the accusation because of sex trafficking. They are blaming us that women from China, the Philippines and Thailand had been tricked into coming to Singapore with promises of legitimate employment and coerced into the sex trade.
AH LIM: Oh... so the US officials have been to Geylang?

Mr Teo slammed his right palm on the table hard and stood up, while staring at Ah Lim irately.

MR TEO (berating): That is not the point! The point is, who are they to accuse us? Who are they to rank us so low? Singapore is always number one! This is an insult to us! And in the first place, can the US rank itself in Tier One when it is well known that the US has been unable to stem a flood of illegal workers, many of whom are trafficked by organised criminal gangs? They have not been able to cope adequately with this problem and that is among the reasons why immigration is such a hot political issue in the US! Maybe they should examine its own record more carefully before presuming to pronounce on other countries!

The three men nodded in agreement anxiously and waited for Mr Teo to calm down.

MR TEO: I tell you, this is more of a political ritual than an objective study. The whole report is a joke!
AH TAN: Actually I too think that the report is incorrect. If a woman entered Singapore legally but was abused, we will classify her as an immigration offender, nothing to do with sex trafficking.
MR TEO: Exactly!
AH LIM: Mmm... so the US officials have not been to Geylang...

All turned to look at Ah Lim stunningly.

ALI: Ah Lim, really, what has the report got to do with Geylang?
AH LIM: You see... first of all, those women from China, the Philippines and Thailand did not enter the country illegally. We give them work permits and invited them to come into the country as foreign talents! Yes we're giving away work permits freely, but that is not considered trafficking right?
MR TEO (rubbing his chin): You can say that...

Ah Lim grinned with satisfaction at Mr Teo's agreement with him. He then cleared his throat and continued.

AH LIM: Yes, we have more prostitutes than we used to have, but this is unavoidable right? As the population grows, these so-called low class jobs are shunned by the locals, so we have to bring in more foreign prostitutes! And then, these women are not abused what! Just take a stroll down the alleys in Geylang and you can see how happy they look! Just by sleeping with the generous Singaporean men, they earn so much more than what they make in their countries! They love us okay! Where got abuse?
ALI: Er... Ah Lim, you seems to know a lot about those women at Geylang...

Ah Lim froze in his seat and suddenly, blood rushed to his face.



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Creation Church pastor makes fun of Taoist rituals

New Creation Church pastor Mark Ng, who heads the church's Chinese ministry, joked about Chinese rituals and compared praying to Taoist deities to 'seeking protection from secret society gangsters'.

"You know, the police, they like to worship which idol? Guan-Gong! You know, the beard one and the face very red red one and the Guan-do very big big one? The police force Hong Kong worship, then everytime they go out har to catch the thief or robbers they always pray first. But do you know that the gangsters, the secret societies, they also pray to the same Guan-Gong!"

Church pastor apologises

THE Internal Security Department (ISD) has looked into an incident involving the New Creation Church over a 2008 sermon being circulated online that mocks Taoist beliefs.

The 10-minute audio clip was posted on YouTube last Friday. In it, a church pastor, Mr Mark Ng, can be heard joking with the congregation about Chinese rituals; in one instance, he compared praying to Taoist deities to 'seeking protection from secret society gangsters'.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said yesterday in a response to queries from The Straits Times that the church had, on its own accord, contacted YouTube to remove the clip. It has also apologised.

'We are aware of the case. ISD has looked into it and taken up the matter with the New Creation Church.'

In a six-paragraph letter posted on its website on Sunday, New Creation said that Mr Ng, who heads the church's Chinese ministry, did not intend for his comments to be disrespectful to other faiths.

It added that earlier this year, the church had reviewed its archive of sermons and had stopped reproducing that particular sermon and other insensitive content that had been previously sold in the church bookstore.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

School tracks down a student just to ask her to remove her vulgar tweet

Just when you thought those old-fashioned discipline masters in your schools have no idea what is Twitter...

School tracks down student's vulgar tweet, tells her to remove it

SINGAPORE - Unhappy with her school's dress code, she whipped out her mobile phone, logged into her Twitter account, and tweeted a furious message, containing a vulgarity, criticising her school.

A few weeks later, the 20-something student got a call from her school. They had tracked her down and told her to remove the vulgar tweet.

MediaCorp is not naming the school at her request.

The student said she was shocked and impressed they actually bothered to track her down. Her Twitter account does not have her full name, so she thinks the school may have scrolled through previous tweets where she had talked about the course she was taking. And uncovered her identity.

Social media specialist Paul Charles, chief operating officer of Lewis PR, said a school going to such lengths to locate a student is saying: "We're not prepared to accept such criticism on social media".

Just like Paul Charles, I'm impressed and amazed by the length the school actually went to track down a teenager's tweets.

Apparently, though Twitter is not banned in Singapore (though I'm very sure the gahmen is very envious of China's Great Firewall, and very tempted), one does not have the freedom of just tweeting anything and everything. Now we know that besides the gahmen and statboards, you can't bad-mouth schools in this country as well.

So you might ask, if we're not allowed to rant even on the Internet, where else is safe? No, not the Speakers' Corner, you silly! Did you count the number of CCTVs installed there? These are the safe places where no elites, MPs and school discipline masters will step their precious foot on...
  • Adults (40s and above): non-airconditioned kopitiams

  • Adults (below 40s): clubs

  • Teenagers: fastfood restaurants

See! You do can use vulgarities after all! And with the vast number of kopitiams, clubs and fastfood restaurants in the country, who dare say there is no freedom of speech in Singapore! As long as you don't do it on the Social Media!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We believe you have someone in your country who belongs to us


Ah Tan and Ah Lim found George having coffee and frowning on a piece of paper as they walked into the pantry. Both walked over to join the lonely George.

AH LIM: Wah George, what bad news are you reading early in the morning?
GEORGE (looked up and stared blankly at both men): Oh Lim! Tan! You guys here for coffee break already?
AH TAN: Yap, had a morning conf call and had to skip breakfast, so decided to have an early coffee break. What are you reading anyway?
GEORGE: Oh, I'm drafting a letter.

George smiled and nodded, then got back to his reading.

GEORGE (mumbling to himself): Dear Sir, we believe you have someone in your country who belongs to us...
AH LIM: You writing to Romania again to ask for that hit-and-run driver ah?

George stopped reading abruptly, looked up and frowned at Ah Lim.

GEORGE: No, I'm not writing to Romania again.
AH LIM (stared at George in shock): Har? So we're going to let that Romanian guy go? Got people dead leh!
AH TAN (interrupted): Lim! Aiyo, didn't you read the newspapers? That guy is already in the custody of Romanian authorities and they'll look into the case!
AH LIM (frowning): Sure or not? They're all Romanians leh! Scali the judge and that ex-diplomat kawan kawan then how?
GEORGE: Lim, don't worry. We'll keep track of the progress.

George smiled and got back to his reading again.

GEORGE (mumbling to himself): Dear Sir, we believe you have someone in your country who belongs to us...
AH LIM: Oh I know! You're writing to Malaysia to ask them for that Selamat guy!

George stopped reading abruptly again, looked up and stared at Ah Lim, amazed.

GEORGE: No, I'm not writing to Malaysia... and why will we want to have that Selamat back?
AH LIM (stared at George in shock): Har? You don't want him back meh? After all the effort we took to locate him?!
GEORGE: Precisely! What if after we've got him back, we lose him again?
AH TAN: That's true, Lim. We used to lose him and had to bother Indonesia to return him to us, then now it's Malaysia. If we don't own him, then we won't have the danger of losing him again right?
AH LIM (scratching his head): That sounds kind of right...
GEORGE (patting Lim on his shoulder): Lim, don't worry. We'll keep track of him.

George sat up, adjusted his glasses and got back to his reading again.

GEORGE (mumbling to himself): Dear Sir, we believe you have someone in your country who belongs to us...
AH LIM: Oh I get it already lah! This time my guess sure correct one! You're writing to Hong Kong to ask them for that Briton guy who drew all that graffiti on the MRT train with another Swiss guy!

George stopped reading abruptly again. This time, he put down the paper and sighed.

GEORGE: Lim, no! I'm writing to China to ask them for that table tennis woman who came here to play for us but now resigned and gone back to China!



Didn't you read the memo on the new train ad?

On the platform...

Staff A: Hey, what's that drawing on the train?
Staff B: Is that some new ad?
Staff A: Did you read any memo?
Staff B: Was there a memo?
Staff A: Damn! Think it's time to clear my emails!

At the depot...

Staff C: Hey, is that a hole?
Staff D: Must be wear and tear.
Staff C: Do you think we should report it?
Staff D: Nah, someone must have already reported it. Must be waiting for the vendor to come and repair.
Staff C: Yah, those vendors are usually quite slow. So what's for lunch today?

And finally when it was all over the newspapers...

Mr Choy: The public must have seen it right? But we didn't receive any report! Come'on! The public should have more initiative!

And so folks, in future, please report any and all weird things to SMRT. If not, they won't know.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Train blast, derailment kills at least 65 in Singapore

Bomb derailed a MRT train on a busy Monday morning in Singapore, triggering a crash onto Paya Lebar station platform that killed at least 65 people and injured 200 more, officials said.

Yes, this sounds horrific and also yes, I lied. I must apologise for making you believe this horrible lie for a moment, but it is a disaster that could have happened. On May 17 to be precise.

By now most of you must have heard of the famous duo, the Swiss and the British, who have cut through the fence of the SMRT Changi depot (opposite the Singapore Expo) and spray-painted graffiti on one side of a train. That happened on May 16. For the next two days, the train was business as usual with its new graffiti till someone reported the mischief.

One month later now, the news of this redecorated train is reported extensively over major newspapers, with headlines like: Swiss national charged for vandalising SMRT train, Briton may have left for HK, Swiss man charged with vandalising train released on bail. Apparently these two foreigners are at fault. But are they the only one at fault? What happened to the headline "What happened to our security?"? We have heard enough about these two guys. Isn't it about time that we hear from SMRT?

  • Why is it so easy to sneak into a SMRT depot?
    The duo is believed to have cut through the fences topped with barbed wire. Is that all there is to stop trespassers into the SMRT depot? I am not expecting the SMRT to install touch-and-be-electrocuted kind of fences (though sometimes it does feel that way, our gahmen is still not as bad as the Nazis). Nor am I expecting SMRT to have the kind of budget to install pressure sensitive floors and security laser beams. But shouldn't there be more barriers before they reach the SMRT trains, like some gates with locks?

  • Where were the security guards?
    I do like to assume that SMRT did employ some security guards to look after those empty trains. So where were they when the duo took their own sweet time to redecorate the train? If the duos are stupid enough to be doing graffiti in a country where vandalism is punishable by caning, just like rapists, I do not think that they are smart enough to monitor the security guards' work shift for months before planning their "attack". So what were the security guards doing then? Having coffee breaks? Sleeping on their jobs? Or were they busy making rounds at other areas of the depot because only two poor security guards were left to petrol the whole depot after restructuring to cut cost?

  • Why didn't any SMRT employee notice the graffiti?
    The drivers were not aware because they are not required to check the trains before driving them out of the depot, and their role and responsibility is just to drive from station A to station Z? All staff on the platforms were not aware because they are not required to check the trains coming into their stations, and their role and responsibility is just to keep an eye on suspicious terrorist-look-alikes and to ensure that passengers stand behind the yellow line? All staff in the station controls did not see the graffiti because their security monitors are in black and white?

And why are we not seeing these questions raised on any of the newspapers? No matter how good looking the Swiss guy is, sooner or later the readers will get sick of his photograph (which by the way looks oddly well-taken unlike the usual criminal photos because that photograph comes from his Facebook profile, thanks to Mr Wang's observation). So when are the newspapers going to interview the spokesperson for SMRT on the security gap?

Oh, no, I'm not going to question why didn't the public notice or report the graffiti until two days later. They might have mistaken that as SMRT's Marketing gimmicks, just like how SingPost vandalised their own postboxes to promote YOG.