Zit Seng's Blog

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Celebrate By Keeping Quiet

It’s funny how things can come back to bite us, and yes that also happens to me, so before I go on, I’m making sure that I’m touching lots of wood. Checked. Table is made of wood. This is about how Transport Minister Mr Khaw Boon Wan jinxed the MRT after celebrating his 100-days of no-break-down milestone.


On Tuesday, Mr Khaw proudly announced on his blog that the North-South Line (NSL) achieved 100 days without any major incident. Two days later, which is today, the MRT system was struck by two breakdowns.

The first breakdown happened on the NSL. The train operator, SMRT, announced via a tweet at 6:09am about the disruption. Full service was resumed at 6:57am.

The second incident occured on the North-East Line (NEL) at 11:11am. Service was restored at 11:46am.

It’s cool when the MRT system doesn’t break down. We don’t want them to breakdown. That’s how things are supposed to be. Let’s not forget that. I can appreciate that when you’re in such bad shape, you need to take small baby steps and set realistic goals that are reachable, just so that you can motivate yourself to improve. There’s no need to trumpet these achievements.

I don’t run trains. But in IT, we do things quite differently. When our servers are working fine, we just keep quiet. After 100 days of uneventful operation, we’re happy, but we pray that things will continue to stay that way. No need to celebrate. We just keep working. You could say we celebrate by keeping quiet. The servers are not supposed to breakdown. Sure, machines are not perfect, but we still treat breakdowns as exceptional, not business as normal.

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