MRT breakdown: security issues as well?

First, two guys breached SMRT depot and displayed their artistic talent by spray painting graffiti on the train carriages. 

It was a wake-up call to SMRT that its security set-up was lax. And that to me at the time I felt had wider implications on MRT’s general security. 

And now another SMRT train breakdown, affecting thousands of commuters. It exposed SMRT’s unpreparedness in dealing with the evacuation of thousands of commuters. 

In general, this also is reflective of the authorities’ complacency towards security in our transport system. In China, all bags are x-rayed at Metro stations and railway stations. In Bangkok, bags are individually checked.

In Singapore, a terrorist carrying a bag laden with explosives can easily walk into an MRT station without being challenged. Surveillance cameras cannot stop a terrorist. They may help recreate the chain of events leading to a tragedy or help arrest the perpetrator but when many commuters have been killed or critically injured is it of any comfort to their families?

The crucial thing to do is to deter and prevent crime from being committed in the first place. 

The latest MRT breakdown once again underscores the fragility of security in our transport system. 

It’s another wake-up call to the transport operators and authorities not only to minimise train breakdowns but also more importantly to beef up security in our transport system. 

When will they ever learn?

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