Netizens slam SMRT for refuting 'fake' post alleging previous cuts in rail staff

Hannah Teoh
Senior Content Producer
The East West Line of the MRT. (Photo: AFP)

A Facebook post by rail operator SMRT refuting online allegations has drawn flak from its readers for the timing of the post and how it was worded.

On Thursday night (16 November), SMRT put up a Facebook post referring to a report circulating online alleging that the previous CEO Saw Phaik Hwa and current CEO Desmond Kuek drastically reduced the night shift workforce of the rail operations.

“This is obviously fake! How would SMRT have been able to complete the change out of all the power rails and 188,000 sleepers if staff count had indeed been cut so drastically?” said the post.

The post came a day after three disruptions affected MRT commuters on the Circle Line, East-West Line and North-South Line on Wednesday, while a collision between two trains at Joo Koon MRT station left 36 injured. Tuas West Extension train services remain suspended until Sunday for further checks.

SMRT’s post has drawn over 300 comments from users, most of which were critical of the company. Many said its tone was not professional. Facebook user Chee Eng said, “This line ‘This is obviously fake!’ is very unprofessional of an official page. SMRT media team throwing tantrum?”

Other users questioned the rail operator’s priorities. A Reginald Ashton wrote, “Have the time to refute fake news but no time to provide timely updates on your own train service? Clearly your priorities are extremely skewed.”

Another by the name of Yuxuan Wu said, “So fast to respond to fake news but so slow to solve true problems. This is obviously wrong! We don’t care how many staff you added, face the issues and get it fixed asap!”

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