Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Security Complacency - MRT is an easy target

We are constantly reminded as individuals to be on the alert and to take security threats seriously. After the escape of our infamous terrorist, Mas Selamat from his detention centre and the recent case of SMRT train being vandalised, it makes one wonders who are the complacent ones?

It was the public who first notice the vandalised train, while SMRT staff do not even realise the train has been vandalised till days later! The MRT staff gave lame excuses for their incompetency by saying they thought it was advertiment bill board...sigh! Looks like it is those whose have the greatest impact on public safety are the not doing what they preached.

It did not take any high tech gadgets or elaborate scheming to execute the escape plan and train vandalism. This is worrying as in the Mas Selamat escape incident, it was due to basic security measures not even in place at the detention centre.

In SMRT case, the low level of security measures implemented at a high security risk target is unbelievable. Have they forgotten that there had been previous plot by terrorists targeted at trains just few years back? Do they audit the security management and system in place? How often is review done on staff security awareness and training?

In both cases, there is lack of accountability of those responsible. Perhaps this is the reason for recurrence of security breach at national level, as those top brass are not taking it seriously. After all there is little consequence even if they are not up to their mark.

Just observe those security personal at SMRT station and the police ‘patrolling’ the train. Do they project a sense of professionalism that gives ones a sense of security? Or are they put there for ‘show’?

I do not see how the police standing idly at the station platform waiting to broad the train and then standing listlessly by the train doors during the whole journey help to improve security. They normally broad the train in a group of 4 men and then all huddle around in the same carriage.

Should they not be actively patrolling the station platform from one end to another to look out for suspicious characters? While on board the train, should not they spread themselves out into different carriages? If the train is not pack like sardines, should they not proactively patrol the train from the front to back carriage?

With the current level of security at SMRT, public safety is not in good hand as the stations and trains are still easy target.

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