Friday, April 8, 2011

Thai teen's tragedy: Will SMRT help her?

Apr 9, 2011

I AM saddened by the photograph of Thai student Peneakchanasak Nitcharee yesterday ('I want to see my family').

The 14-year-old's hopes and dreams have been shattered by a horrific accident, which should not have happened had appropriate safety measures been taken swiftly on the Ang Mo Kio train station's open-deck platform.

Her parents, whom I gather from yesterday's report are from a low-income background, have stated that they are not in a financial position to pay for the hospitalisation costs.

While I have no doubt that kind Singaporeans will rally to assist them financially, as they have so often done, I am curious to know whether SMRT will do likewise - if not from a point of legal liability, which has never surfaced in all the past fatalities, at least because of a strong tug at the heartstrings in this case.

Ralph S. Lesslar

[Good-hearted but stupid. Moral hazard. Recall the man who committed suicide at Clementi MRT Station (Oct 2006). His sob story tugged at heartstrings and his family received a lot of donations. Rumours was of about half a million. Some other rumours went as high as a million. In any case it was in the hundreds of thousands from verifiable sources.

Two weeks or so later. Another man killed himself in the same way. The media decided to play down this one. Or we would have a flood of suicide to invoke public sympathy.

While I have no doubts that this was a tragic accident. This accident can easily be recreated with unpredictable outcomes.

SMRT has no legal liability here. But paying compassionate compensation is a moral hazard.]

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