Singapore

SMRT sacks eight over falsification of maintenance records

Rail operator also disciplines three others over falsification of maintenance records

Rail operator SMRT has sacked eight employees in relation to the falsification of maintenance records pertaining to an anti-flooding system and demoted others in the wake of an unprecedented flooding incident last month.

A total of 13 employees, several holding senior managerial posts, have been held responsible, the company said yesterday.

Other than the eight who have been dismissed, two resigned, while three others were subject to undisclosed disciplinary actions.

Those sacked comprised members of the work team who had falsified pump maintenance records, and the managers and senior executive who were in charge of ensuring that pump maintenance was duly carried out during the period.

They are made up of one senior executive, two managers and five technical staff.

The two men who quit did so soon after the flooding of train tunnels, which crippled a large section of the North-South Line on Oct 7 and 8.

Investigations found that vice-president Tay Tien Seng and senior manager Ivan Kok had failed to exercise sufficient supervision during the period when the falsification of the pump maintenance records occurred.

"As they are no longer with the company, SMRT reserves its right to pursue legal action against them as may be appropriate," the company said.

Although investigators have not found out why the pumps and related switches failed - individual components were in proper working order immediately after the incident - they concluded that the crew tasked with maintaining the system had not done so for nearly a year.

The system is supposed to be serviced once every quarter.

SMRT said three other management staff, including a vice-president, have also been disciplined "according to our internal disciplinary framework for failing to exercise the due care and diligence expected of them in relation to the maintenance of the pumps".

The Straits Times understands that the vice-president is Mr Ng Tek Poo, who has been demoted. The other two are believed to be members of senior management.

In response to SMRT's actions, the National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU) said yesterday that it "does not condone any action or inaction by workers that could cause harm to fellow workers and commuters or damage the operations of our public transport system".

Transport