MRT: Mainstream media took 3 weeks to “breakdown”?

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Mainstream media took 3 weeks to state the obvious about MRT reliability!

MRT statistics won’t restore public confidence?

I refer to the article “Statistics alone won’t restore confidence in MRT” (thenewpaper, Aug 19).

It states that “Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) economist and senior lecturer Walter Theseira said it is quite difficult for the public to reconcile their train disruption experiences with the statistics provided by the Government, which claims that overall rail reliability has improved”.

Mainstream media was late by 23 days?

Why did it take about 23 days for the mainstream media to as I believe to the best of my knowledge – to write about how ridiculous the statistics announced by the Government on 27 July was – that “the MRT system’s reliability has improved by three times since Mr Khaw Boon Wan moved to the Transport Ministry in 2015, but the minister wants to raise the bar much higher”? (“Khaw Boon Wan sets new rail network reliability target as MRT becomes three times as dependable as in 2015” (Straits Times, Jul 27)

Social media vs mainstream media?

Social media was then all abuzz about how ridiculous such a claim was.

For example:

– “Ownself exclude ownself?

In the first half of this year (2017), “it has happily gone up to nearly 400,000 (393,000) train-km”. Mr Khaw said this was based on preliminary data, and had also excluded delays arising from the testing of a new signalling system on the North-South line.

Comment: To exclude the “delays arising from the testing of a new signalling system” – we have conveniently evaded all the frequent and extensive delays that have happened recently”.

151st Press Freedom Ranking

So, arguably – this may yet be another example of why our Press Freedom ranking is 151st in the world!

Better late than never?

Perhaps it was waiting for a major MRT breakdown during the examination period on 18 August to stir itself to action and report on the obvious, albeit about three weeks late!

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.