What do SMRT and NUS have in common? They rag on the little guys.
Parts of this rant are going to sound really offensive to some of you, especially the feminazis.
But if I keep this in any longer, I’d be letting an even worse crime go by me…
I’m talking about keeping silent while huge corporate entities like SMRT and NUS conveniently push all the blame to the little guys when things don’t go their way.
Case 1: SMRT maintenance staff deaths
Two SMRT maintenance staff, aged 24 and 26, were killed along the tracks near Pasir Ris MRT on 22 Mar this year. The accident panel that investigated the tragedy concluded that a safety mechanism that would have regulated the speed of any incoming trains when maintenance staff were on the track was no engaged, and there were no watchmen to look out for approaching trains to provide early warning to the workmen.
Although the driver spotted the work team on the track and applied the emergency brakes immediately, it was too little too late by then.
After a period of silence, SMRT finally responded this month by dismissing two of its staff, including the driver of the train and a staff on duty in the MRT station’s control station for the tragic accident. In a letter to defend its dismissals, SMRT wrote:
Two staff from SMRT Trains were dismissed on Tuesday (13 September) as a result of the disciplinary process that was centred on the 22 March tragedy. We lost two of our own — Nasrulhudin bin Najumudin and Muhammad Asyraf bin Ahmad Buhari — on the tracks near Pasir Ris MRT on 22 March and have pledged to tighten safety and accountability throughout SMRT.
The disciplinary process after 22 March was fair, thorough and comprehensive. Besides the two dismissals, verbal and written warning letters were issued to staff across several grades. In addition, individual performance grades were recalibrated downwards across various levels of the Trains team, including senior management and staff. As staff involved in safety breaches such as SPAD cases on our rail network have been dismissed for the safety lapse, it is untenable that the two staff dismissed on Tuesday are not treated consistently with our firm stance on safety. We did this in an all-out effort to never again repeat safety lapses.
The disciplinary process that led to the dismissal of two staff was carried out in strict accordance with our established Fact Finding framework which included the presence of Union representatives.
SMRT did not release any names of the staff who were dismissed. It has never been our practice to comment on staff disciplinary measures with the media or members of the public. The words used in media stories like “fired” and “sacked” were chosen by journalists who wrote these stories. Our response to the media who had queried SMRT about the dismissals stated: “We do not comment on staff disciplinary measures.”
I’m really not sure if re-calibrating the performance grading of the management involved in the incident is any real comfort to the families of the deceased, or to the driver and control station staff who just lost their livelihood.
You might say, what do you want them to do? Fire the management too?
No, no one’s asking them to. But would it kill them to make their disciplinary procedures more transparent and fairer?
Case 2: NUS raps “rape games” camp orgnanisers
Organisers for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences camp in NUS have been ragged on by the NUS disciplinary board for raunchy orientation games. This follows yet another hoo-ha after some students cried “rape”.
In truth, I’ve been through some of these camps and although the activities might gross some out, it’s all done in the name of sportiness and fun.
Yes, you read me right.
The objective of the games is not even close to sexually suggestive. While you are doing it, frankly, sex is the furthest thing from your mind because you are performing god-awful and awkward challenges with a bunch of strangers you’ve known for all of 5 minutes.
It’s only after the awkward games that the true bonding begins as we all have a good laugh about them afterwards.
But what happens when public pressure comes to bear on the school? They form a disciplinary committee, summon up students who organised those games (and most of them are probably first or second year students who INHERITED the games and format from their seniors before them) and punish them.
Wow, talk about overreactions.
Some friends have argued that someone might have really gone too far, or maybe it was a case of peer pressure. Yes, the games have the potential to go that far.
But these games were held out in the fricking open public! Just what did you think the students were doing? Holding satanic sex rituals in a dark, forboding classroom and coercing their peers into selling their souls?
The bottomline is that both organizations appear to have caved in to public pressure to put the blame on SOMEONE. It doesn’t matter who. There has to be someone to blame, and as long as I, the top manager with a long official sounding title am not affected, I couldn’t give a damn about what happens to the little guy.
The writer from NUS has requested to remain anonymous.
Originally published at singaporedaily.net on September 23, 2016.