Terrorists could have had 3 shots in 4 years to strike our train network, which carries 2.5 million people every day. Singapore’s Transport Ministry and the SMRT management must be taken to task, especially when all it takes to bring our transport system and economy to a standstill apparently is a wire cutter.
Trains are housed for maintenance and deployed at these depots, which makes them key areas which would be of particular interest to terrorists. We must not put up with our train operators time and again disappointing us with their lax security measures, and the government fining them paltry sums of money (a total of $250,000 for 2 previous incident), especially when lives are at stake.
We’ve been hounded by repetitive video messages in stations that we, the public, must be on guard for suspicious articles and people (apparently, men with moustaches who wear caps). We’ve been inconvenienced by the lack of rubbish bins in MRT train stations because terrorists could plant bombs in them and blow up the building. But the real problem of security remains unaddressed.
Let’s look at the 3 breaches in brief:
(1) Bishan MRT Depot, May 2014
A 3-metre long red scrawl was found on the middle carriage of on of the trains. SMRT has yet to confirm any security breach, leading to suggestions of an inside job.
(2) Bishan MRT Depot, May 2011
In August 2011, a vandal cut a hole in the fence at the depot, and spray-painted the words “Jet Setter’s” on one of the trains.
(3) Changi MRT Depot, May 2010
Two vandals, a Swiss national and a Briton, cut through the fence of the depot and spray-painted graffiti on one side of a train.
That’s all it takes to bring Singapore’s transport system and economy to a standstill – a wire cutter. The word is still out on the modus operandi for the latest breach. But whatever the case, the SMRT must be held accountable for its lax security measures, and the Transport Ministry must answer for how it allowed SMRT to carry on with such lax measures. $250,000 in fines for the lives of some 2.5 million Singaporeans?
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