Shame on SMRT, people say. But this is judgment after the fact. It is always easy to pass judgment in hindsight. But when SMRT was caught with its pants down, you can't stop people from commenting and generally giving their 2 cents' worth. Neither can I, as this blog post shows. But then, we are not alone. Government MPs have sounded their displeasure and unease over the fact that a vital and critical installation (the train system) has been compromised in broad daylight, though in this instance, no harm has befallen anyone. Now the SMRT is also being lambasted for not alerting the authorities of the act of vandalism until 2 days later. I suppose SMRT wanted to cover its behind and pull up its pants without anyone noticing so that they can quietly resolve the matter themselves. But alas for SMRT, it is not to be, no thanks to an observant boy whose curiously got the better of him by taking a video of the train in all its vandalized glory and putting it up on Youtube to boot.
But true to its reputation, the police has been swift in its action and has apprehended the alleged vandal, one Oliver Fricker, though through no fault of theirs, his alleged collaborator, Mr Lloyd Dane Alexander, has flown the coop, apparently to Hong Kong. I think both of these alleged perpetrators must be well aware of the consequences of their actions if they are caught, as the Michael Fay incident many years ago has shown. Now Mr Fricker will get a taste of the rotan - caning on the behind. Once canned, the person would not be able to sit down for a time, so painful is the punishment, so I have been told. But them Michael Fay survived it and went on to commit crime again. Mr Fricker will perhaps be comforted by this fact should he face the executioner who will administer three of the best (or however many the judge decides is fair punishment).
More importantly, as many have pointed out, is the ease with which a vital installation has been compromised. How did this happen since Singapore has heightened its security around the island after 911? Well, the answer probably can lie with the person(s) who is now in the middle of the whole thing - Mr Fricker himself. The authorities might want to tap on his expertise to review the security set up of all vital installations around the island. They say that a hacker knows best how to prevent the act of hacking, so Mr Fricker should be engaged as a security consultant in order to effectively tighten points of weakness. Given that he didn't cause significant damage - he was probably practicing his art, canning should be just about enough punishment. He can then be sentenced additionally to be a consultant on Corrective Work Order. This will be a win-win for everyone. We give him 3 of the best, and he advise us on never having to give another 3 to some copycat later.
But of course I am not the judge, so don't take my word for it.