Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Fall of a pseudo Iron Lady - Saw Phaik Hwa

The Fall of a pseudo Iron Lady

by Patrick Lee Song Juan on Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 1:39am

2002 (or 2001 ?) was the GE year and PAP maintained the majority with the same two opposition MPs in parliament! The political might perpetuate on yet again by the ruling party. 82 against 2.....Only two birds chirping to their heavy metal band!!...But life goes on hard and tough for many under our 'efficient and honest' government.

Last year, 2011 was a political renaissance. An emotional watershed . And WP won 6 seats against 87. Yet again PAP increased from the last GE another 5 MP seats..When will they stop putting more numbers (MPs) in a small island S'pore...Why do we need so many part time FAT paid MPs, ($192,000 a year) who just tag along with the flowing tide of the ruling PAP. Wayang here and there during CC and RC functions with grandeur!

Little did they ever dream that in 2011, a political awakening, not might of the voters forever changed the course of the formidable, impenetrable fortress of PAP's dominance.And it is that year of 2002, a 'tomboy' single lady by the name of Saw Phaik Hwa (SPH) joined SMRT as CEO albeit having no engineering background but a not so successful retailer from DFS..Why I said so?... SPH was retrenched from DFS and catapulted to CEO of SMRT. Is it her merit in meritocracy S'pore or by some powerful connection? one really knew!?

Many were surprised that she was chosen to head a big corporation without the relevant experience or degree! But within a short frame of time, she proved her worth by building not the core operations of the SMRT system but the retail sector of the vast space of SMRT in the underground stations into Retail Exchange Mall. And that saw the profit of retail rental of SMRT space accounted for 45% of total profit. But SMRT is a public service transportation of people not a retailer ??The board of Directors may have given SPH a free hand to 'manipulate' her expertise in the retail business...Nothing matters..only results!
She sailed in smooth sea....until the 'mighty ferocious tide' shattered her dreams with the first break-in of the depot followed by a second break-in in another depot.

We then had a taste of her public relations.when she started pushing the fault to the security company and acted so 'raw' in handling the incident which was, we can say a threat to national security...What happened if an explosive was planted in any train?? The consequence would have be disastrous ! She was adamant to push the blame to others! Not befitting a CEO.

Before that when commuters complained the trains were always crowded, she bluntly said 'people can choose not to take the MRT...' OMG! she failed miserably in public relationship as a CEO ! Even internally, her staff labelled her the Iron Lady and she used her power to bring in many ex-DFS staff into SMRT..and older and experience SMRT staff left in disgust..short of a mass exodus. How can such happening goes unnoticed to the Board? Is it just the bottomline that the Board of Directors are looking only to cover an eye on the bigger issue of staff resigning and replaced with inexperience cronies of hers ??A failure of operation on the highest level, so to speak of a public listed company. The Directors got to answer too..Chairman Koh Yong Guan would be one of them.

So, SMRT was running on 'casual internal maintenance'' until a total break down one after the other. The truth may be a negligence of expert and thorough maintenance check...It was impossible when in the aftermath of a serious breakdown..61 rail faults and 13 train faults were uncovered. Expert or even ordinary folks can form a picture of such unbelievable neglect !!
The public needed an answer. Public outcry of anger, incredibility and frustration. Demand for her resignation or sacked came fast a nd furious...And in the end (without elaboration on details, which all knows) ...The Iron Lady tendered her resignation on 6th January before Monday's parliament sitting with such precise coincidence.

She was 'most probably coerced to resign, to put less pressure on the sure debate and enquiry on the SMRT fiasco in parliament come Monday 6th.

Can Transport minister Lui Tuck Yew (Ah Tuck) save his skin to answer with transparency and accountability the truth on why such massive breakdown? And I know NCMP Gerald Giam will want an answer for the people come Monday. And with jubilation from the highly charged public, THE FALL OF THE IRON LADY which even the "solid structured of the system of the establishment's Who's who, cannot save her bruised soul...The uncovering of the 'covered truth' of high level inefficiency, yet covered up so efficiently.

It was Singapore's pure good luck or SMRT's shinning lucky star that no one was injured or died in that gigantic breakdown...or else whose head should rolled apart from fall iron lady CEO Saw Phaik Hwa.And we are waiting patiently for the Committee of Inquiry (COI) for the truth !!Monday's parliament will be very interesting..

We bid good bye to million$-coloured hair Iron Lady Saw (the Dowager of SMRT)..And another special position is waiting for her to fill ...You beg I will be right!! Heads I win , tail I win. Does that sound familiar in such setting?

The ruling system of S'pore works 'too well' now . We just cannot wait, come 2016 !!.
We need more transparency to see through her, oophs! (We men feel shy to see through her leh!)...I mean see through the system with accountability and answers.