Hong Kong MTR

MTR works scandals have hit public trust in the safety of Hong Kong rail system

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 June, 2018, 8:31pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 June, 2018, 8:30pm

I am writing in response to the article, “Pressure mounts on firm in rail link storm” (June 18).

Since the revelations broke about the cutting of steel reinforcement bars and other lapses on the Sha Tin-Central rail link, MTR Corp has faced a lot of criticism, both from government officials and the public. However, no stringent action appears to have been taken as yet by the MTR, which raises questions about its attitude towards these unacceptable wrongdoings, presumably involving work outsourced to contractors and subcontractors.

The intention of the MTR Rail Gen 2.0 project, including the Sha Tin to Central link, was to improve the quality of life in Hong Kong, but it is doing the complete opposite. Such a substantial project should have proper supervision, even if only advisory, as it is closely related to public safety.

Supervision as an afterthought cannot alter the fact that mistakes have already been made. It is a reminder of the necessity for close monitoring of a project this large, to prevent incidents that lead people to question the ability of the authorities to maintain public safety.

Even before the latest scandals, issues like signal failures and other technical problems inconvenienced tens of thousands of rush hour passengers and made people question maintenance standards at the MTR.

Watch: Signal failure shuts down MTR’s East Rail Line

With 5.8 million passengers travelling on the MTR daily on average, such scandals cause unnecessary worry. Being inside an MTR station building or commuting should not be fraught with tension. Needless to say, the MTR has a lot to do to win back credibility from the public.

Keith Li, Tseung Kwan O