Khaw Boon Wan addresses MPs about MRT tunnel flooding
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday addressed issues raised by MPs on the MRT tunnel flooding incident:
CHECKS AND BALANCES
Mr Low Thia Khiang (Aljunied GRC) asked how the Ministry of Transport, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT can each perform its functions well "when they work as a team and become good friends".
He added: "What about instituting a structural system of checks that should be embedded to ensure efficiency, honesty and integrity?"
Mr Khaw replied: "That doesn't mean that we blur the boundaries, and therefore forget about individual roles and checks and balances. It may sound to him as schizo(phrenic), but we are quite clear in our minds, and it can be done."
GET THE SMALL THINGS RIGHT
A faulty water pump was a seemingly small problem in the Bishan incident, but doctoring records and the conduct of the team point to an organisational issue, said Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan, who pointed out the importance of getting the "small things" right.
"How extensive will the internal audits or the review by the Taipei experts be?" he asked.
Mr Khaw said the audits and inspection will be "as extensive as needed".
On top of a tighter audit system in SMRT, Mr Khaw is also looking at cross-auditing.
"What we have in mind is also to cross-audit the other operator and make use of some of their staff to cross-audit the other side," he said.
Mr Sitoh Yih Pin (Potong Pasir) asked if LTA can work with SMRT to outsource "non-core" competencies such as maintenance, so SMRT can focus on its core businesses.
Mr Khaw agreed that outsourcing is the quickest solution when "we are so short of time" but said the selection of contractors would be important.
Noting that PUB would have a record of the good contractors, Mr Khaw said: "I am told the chairman is seriously thinking about working on this strategy." - FOO JIE YING