MTRC accused of incompetence while Leighton denounced for arrogance

MTRC accused of incompetence while Leighton denounced for arrogance

A lawyer for the government has accused the MTR Corporation of incompetency and a construction firm of corporate arrogance, as final submissions are made to an inquiry looking into a safety scare at Hung Hom MTR Station, RTHK reports.

Senior Counsel Richard Khaw said today that the railway company ought to have provided “the skills and care reasonably expected of a competent project manager,” but had “disappointingly” failed to deliver.

Khaw went on to say that it was startling that construction firm Leighton has been reluctant to accept its deficiencies even when faced with clear and concrete evidence of its failure in supervision, inspection and record-keeping.

He said Leighton’s belief that it has done nothing wrong and can shift the burden to other parties has demonstrated its complete lack of a sense of responsibility, and “a considerable degree of corporate arrogance.”

The barrister noted that both the MTR Corporation and Leighton had failed to investigate the reason for reinforcement bars at station platforms being cut short, and had failed to introduce remedial measures despite knowing this had happened.

Meanwhile, Khaw said the government – the corporation’s majority shareholder – will review its own monitoring role and make improvements.

As the inquiry draws to a close, tests are currently being carried out on steel bars at two platforms at Hung Hom Station that have been built for when the Shatin-Central Link opens. The checks have found numerous flaws so far and some experts have called for the platforms to be demolished.

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