SMRT Chairman Seah Moon Ming Is Slowly Winning Over The Support Of Singaporeans
It is arguably one of the most stressful and thankless jobs in Singapore, but that did not stop Mr Seah Moon Ming from taking up the hot seat of being SMRT’s Chairman in May 2017.
And boy, did he pick the wrong time to join the company.
Although SMRT’s reputation as a world-class efficient train service has been eroded over the past few years, 2017 has been hell for the service provider. From numerous train disruptions to the Bishan Flooding to the Joo Koon train collision, Singaporean commuters have been through them all.
As such, it is unsurprising that they have taken to social media to voice their displeasure at SMRT’s management on social media. However, Mr Seah seems to be on a one-man mission to salvage SMRT’s reputation, and to be fair, he’s beginning to win us over.
Here are four reasons why.
1. Spotted on board train
One of the first few rebuttals netizens use on SMRT and transport bigwigs is that they do not know the true suffering of Singaporean commuters given that they do not take the public transport. Well, it seems that Mr Seah is making the effort to get to the know the issues on the ground and to gather feedback from commuters.
SMRT’s Chairman was spotted interacting with commuters on the East-West Line.
This gained the approval of a few Singaporeans who argued that at least Mr Seah was making the effort unlike “others”.
Wonder who this “other guy” could be?
2. Went down to inspect re-signalling works
The partial and complete closure of some stations over the 9-10 Dec weekend may have inconvenienced commuters who were heading out to enjoy their weekend. But Mr Seah braved the inconvenience, and got to work instead.
In a Facebook post by SMRT on 12 Dec, Mr Seah apparently spent his weekend visiting staff that were working hard to complete the re-signalling and maintenance at the closed stations. He was joined by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
Anyone that is willing to work over the weekend to serve Singaporeans must surely deserve commendation, however we can’t say that Singaporeans would feel that a certain hari-kiri master deserves some.
3. Left post as CEO
Just last week, Mr Seah stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Pavilion Energy in order to focus on solving the issues that have plagued SMRT.
This has been a commendable effort but what caught our attention was a comment made by Mr Ho, a senior adviser at the Centre for Strategic Futures.
Mr Ho told the Straits Times that Mr Seah was a real gentleman who felt “obliged to solve the problems” that SMRT faces. Mr Ho added that Mr Seah was not “being paid for any of this”.
To give up a cushy CEO position and concentrate on a job that he doesn’t receive a salary for? That seems pretty noble to us.
4. Bowed to apologise
Some might argue that saying sorry has little use but we would like to add a clause to that statement. Saying sorry is useless if you do nothing to change and improve things, but that has not been the case with Mr Seah.
After bowing to apologise for the Bishan Flooding incident, Mr Seah has been in overdrive and working hard to improve services and the reputation of SMRT.
While you may argue that it is his job to ensure that nothing goes wrong, we’ve got to him credit for his enthusiasm thus far.
Mr Seah’s efforts to improve train services has not gone unnoticed with several Singaporeans giving him words of encouragement on SMRT’s Facebook page.
This is definitely a good direction for Singaporeans and SMRT to head towards but we all know that if the results do not start to show soon, the hate and criticism directed towards SMRT would arrive right on cue.