Tag Archives: smrt train officer

SMRT Staff’s Reaction to Seng Han Thong’s Remarks on Their English Standard

SMRT staff: One people, one nation, one Singapore; regardless of language, race or religion
SMRT staff: One people, one nation, one Singapore; regardless of language, race or religion

The Seng Han Thong saga has drawn mixed reactions from Singaporeans, with most expressing their disapproval. What about the SMRT staff themselves who were the subject of the whole controversy on English standard?

Find out via Singapore’s favourite Train Officer, Gin Tai’s blog:

I’m a Chinese Train Officer but my Malay and Indian colleagues just want to know how I feel.

Of course, bring a true blue Singaporean living amongst the Malay and Indian races, I told them SHT should not have mentioned races. As simple as that.

He should not pinpoint any race. He should just say in a general manner that our Train Officers should go for training to brush up their English so as to improve their communications skill. Better still if we could go to British Council for Effective Spoken English course! I am sure there will not be any issue if he did not mention race(s).

Having said that, I then mentioned that SHT has already apologised on his FB. Some of them being quite observant said that he was not sincere. He claimed that it is miscommunication. He tried to push his “mistake” to our SMRT PR whom denied categorically. Is it a case of miscommunication or him trying to wriggle out of it? Really langgar lah!

Some TOs have written to our union delegates to voice their indignation. The union has yet to reply or is it avoiding the matter cuz SHT was our ex-Secretary of NTWU. How could he be so daft to commit such a mistake?

On our TOs’ FB, the incessant rantings and flamings (figuratively lah!) continue unabated despite his apology on his FB. Those Train Officers demand that he apologise sincerely by coming down personally to the ground to our 3 crew stations. Do you think he will do that?

Do not forget that he has got “immunity” from “flaming” especially after his last traumatic encounter and the PM spoke so highly of him.

Don’t believe me?

Just stop and ask any Malay or Indian Train Officer and just mention SHT. I’ll bet with my last dollar – all kinds of “F” expletives will fly and hurl against him on your face! No joking here.

Diary (Public Blog) of A SMRT Train Officer

I am pretty sure this blog is not officially approved by the SMRT Corporate Communications department.

I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the blog author’s profession as a SMRT Train Officer, but from what I read, he seems pretty legit.

Blogging SMRT Train Officer
Blogging SMRT Train Officer

About the author, Gintai, via his own profile description:

I’m a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I work in SMRT as a Train Officer. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I also share interesting jokes, stories, anecdotes or observations on my blog. Pls give your valuable feedback and suggestions so that I could improve on them. Thanks for visiting my blog.

The blog contains an array of interesting quotes and anecdotes. Here are some of my favourites:

Do you think that my CEO is correct to describe us as “train drivers” instead of explaining to the whole world that we should be respectably addressed as “train officers?”  Our job description on the official appointment letter states clearly that we are Train Officers. Although we are paid only peanuts at a starting salary of $1,250 we are still more than a “train driver”.  Do you term aeroplane pilots as airplane drivers? Or ship captains as ship drivers?”

We face the wrath of irate public. Some of my colleagues have avoided walking about in uniform to avoid those accusing eyes and pointing fingers. A Train Officer from AMK had his tie pulled by an angry passenger and shouted at “You MRT Stupid!”. Some declared straightaway “I drive bus NOT train when neighbours questioned about our failures and inadequacy. There are many more horror stories where we are targets of irate and irrational public! We bear the brunt.”

The basic salary for Train Officer in SMRT ranges from $1,250 to $2,250. There are 3 grades for Train Officers. I joined in 1995. I have reached the maximum basic pay of $2,250. I will not have any more salary increment unless I am promoted to Crew Manager Train (CMT) which is a supervisor post. There are 2 grades for CMT. The maximum basic salary of CMT is $2,900.”

“For instance, every December is considered super peak for OT. We may work for the full month without off days. At times, we work 18 hours – no typo error here. 9 hours per shift including 1 hour meal break. We are exempted from the 12 hour working hours limit due to “exigency” of services.”

“The worst is “crew reformation” whenever there is train service disruption due to train breakdowns or delays during morning and evening peak hours. We call it “Train Reformation” where train numbers are changed at will to comply with the 3 minute headway on the train timetable! It seems that it is a daily routine to have train and crew reformations!”

“I was a police officer for 12 years before I joined SMRT in 1995. I was also an Investigation Officer for about 4 yrs. I had 35 days of annual leave but I took at least 10 days of leave to clear my Investigation Papers. No one believes me when I tell them. I can now sleep peacefully. I can apply leave anytime without the need to check my court dates. I can make full use of my current 21 days leave. As an IO, I had a hard time clearing my leave due to the many court cases on my calendar.  In short, the best part about my Train Officer job is that I work independently on my own and earn much more than my supervisors!