Thursday, 15 December 2011

SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa - draft resignation letter

Here is a draft for SMRT CEO's resignation letter.

"Dear Singaporeans,

I, Ms Saw Phaik Hwa, the soon-to-be-ex CEO of SMRT, hereby tender my resignation with effect. I offer my sincere apologies for my poor performance during my tenure as CEO. The Singapore's Circle Line has been plagued by diasters and disruption from the start. It exceeded its original budgeted cost of S$6.7 billion; saw a section of the tunnel collapse in 2004, killing four workers; and experienced a cave-in at one of its construction sites in 2008.

In 2010, when trains were packed and commuters were complaining, I as the CEO of SMRT, dismissed these concerns and defended the company. Instead, I insensitively said: "People can board the train, it is whether they choose to."

There have been disruptions in each of the last two months — on 20 September 2011, a faulty cable stalled train services for four hours, affecting more than 26, 500 commuters, and on 17 October 2011,"train faults" led to thousands of commuters being stranded.

There were two security breaches at SMRT's depots — the first in May 2010 at Tanah Merah depot, and the second at its Bishan depot in August 2011.

Despite all these, I was not asked to resign.

Singaporeans used to be proud to have a clean, efficient and world-class transportation system which included SMRT. The train system is the economic lifeline of Singapore. It is used by millions daily for their commute. While the public can and will accept the occasional hiccup, these disruptions are now more serious and more frequent.

Even as I now leave with a heavy heart and non-chalatant attitude, I am glad to be the highest-paid SMRT CEO ever, with a salary of S$1.67 million in 2009, and this increased to S$1.85 million in 2010. I am leaving now, not because of the recent 14 Dec 2011 and 15 Dec 2011 disruptions which left tens of thousands stranded, it is because my bank account is fat and I can retire comfortably overseas and ride in my expensive car, without the need to take MRT trains.

Good-bye and enjoy your ride. You have been taken for a ride."

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