'Happy to be part of the team': Neo Kian Hong writes to staff on his first day as SMRT CEO

'Happy to be part of the team': Neo Kian Hong writes to staff on his first day as SMRT CEO

Neo Kian Hong
SMRT CEO Neo Kian Hong (left, in white) with SMRT chairman Seah Moon Ming (second from left) and Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan (second from right). (Photo: Facebook/SMRT)

SINGAPORE: SMRT's new chief executive officer Neo Kian Hong began his first day on the job on Wednesday (Aug 1) with a note to his staff. 

The former chief of defence force began his short note by thanking his predecessor Desmond Kuek for his dedication and service to the transport company over the past six years and wished him and his family the best in their future endeavours. 

It was announced in April that Mr Neo would replace former CEO Desmond Kuek. 

READ: SMRT defends Neo Kian Hong's appointment, cites new chief's 'personal values' and 'leadership qualities'

Mr Neo said he has met some SMRT staff at the stations, depots, interchanges, workshops and offices in the past few weeks, adding that he hopes to meet the rest of the staff in the coming months. 

He said people have come forward since the announcement of the leadership change to share their views and aspirations for SMRT. 

"Many expressed support, others noted improvement, some cautioned against complacency, but all hoped for train services that are reliable, safe and comfortable," he said. "We must continue to work hard to deliver this."

He added: "Let us work together as a company, and with all our stakeholders, to provide a public service that Singaporeans are proud of. I am happy to be part of the team!"

National Transport Workers' Union executive secretary Melvin Yong said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that the union will work closely with Mr Neo and his management team. 

Mr Neo made his first public appearance on Apr 29 following the announcement of his appointment. He visited the ground staff on the East-West Line together with SMRT chairman Seah Moon Ming and Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan. 

Mr Neo also succeeded Mr Kuek as the chief of defence force in 2010. After leaving the military in 2013, Mr Neo was appointed Permanent Secretary for Education Development at the Ministry of Education before joining the Defence Ministry last year. 

He was also appointed a non-executive director of Singapore Technologies Engineering last June. 

Source: CNA/na(cy)

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