China-made Trains, NGNBN with Huawei and More
The news about Singapore having bought faulty, made-in-China trains surfaced last week – that was three years after the defects were discovered.
But to me, the real news is not the cover-up, as reported by the Hong Kong media, but the fact that Singapore chose cheap China trains for its rail network.
Why will quality-conscious Singapore go for a compromise and pick inferior products? I doubt cost alone will have made it close the deal.
Was Singapore trying to support China’s manufacturing firms? Has Singapore become a guinea pig for China products?
Huawei Powering NGNBN: This is not a new phenomenon. In 2009, Singapore awarded the NGNBN (Next-Generation National Broadband Network) project to StarHub/Nucleus Connect which selected China’s Huawei to deliver the solution.
I am not convinced Singapore’s network strength is ideal, particularly for a country pluming itself as an intelligent nation! With its vision of becoming the world’s first Smart Nation firmly in place, I doubt it can be realized with cheap, unproven technology.
Huawei-Creative Legal Tangle: Huawei has won several other projects in Singapore and has been caught in some controversies and legal tangles, including one with the country’s very-own Creative Technologies.
Huawei was also in the news a few years ago over the death of an American scientist in the country, Dr Shane Todd. The scientist was working for Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME).
The police classified the death as suicide but Shane’s parents believed it was murder and claimed their son was uncomfortable working on a project between IME and Huawei, involving transfer of sensitive military technology to China.
I am hoping Singapore will not lose its competitive edge through business decisions influenced by cost-centric or political considerations! Quality and fairness must prevail at all cost!
G Joslin Vethakumar