Desmond Kuek Resigning as SMRT CEO, to be Replaced by another Former Chief of Defence Force

SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek is reportedly resigning after 6 years of running the transport company.

The former Chief of Defence Force will reportedly be replaced by another CDF, Neo Kian Hong.

Neo is currently the permanent secretary for defence development.

Kuek will be remembered as the CEO who clocked several milestones for SMRT, achieving several “worst-ever” records in the company’s history.

On 7 July 2016, SMRT saw its worst-ever breakdown, affecting 250,000 commuters.

On 22 March 2016, two trainees died after being hit by a train while on the way to inspect a track fault.

The Transport Ministry reported in 2016 that train breakdowns had increased by 200 percent since 2011.

On 7 October 2017, SMRT experienced its first tunnel flooding incident, disrupting train services across 2 days.

Investigations led to the discovery that maintenance staff had falsified records and didn’t carry out checks on the pumps over almost a year.

To add one embarrassment to the feathers in Kuek’s beret – the death of a man on 24 March 2017 after he fell on the tracks and was run over twice by two different LRT trains.

Investigations turned up gross lapses in SMRT’s safety procedures.

Kuek has blamed “deep-seated cultural issues” for SMRT’s woes.



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