9 Dec 2016

Critical Reflection

As soon as I found out that I had an 'Effective Communications' module, I predicted a very boring and unnecessary module that I had to attend. I figured the lessons would just be writing essays and handing them in.

However, the lessons were totally different from the start. We were encouraged positively to communicate with each other. Mistakes were addressed and corrected together. We were also praised when we did things right or when we improved.

Through the positive and interactive environment, I was able to learn quickly. I was able to learn the suitable structure of a report, citations, sentence structures and more. Most importantly, it has improved my knowledge on communication.

The project assignment was a very valuable and enjoyable experience. My team mates from Team Train, Ruz and Mingkang, were very supportive and helpful. The positive group atmosphere really made the project easier.

The Effective Communications module is a very necessary module to have. I am now able to communicate better through writing even though I still need to improve on my speaking skills. A thing that I found out through this module is that having an open and positive environment would make everything feel better.

Hopefully in the future, I will be able to influence a positive atmosphere whereever I am.

And thank you Brad for the great and entertaining lessons!

26 Nov 2016

Analytical Reflection


A presentation, to me, involves being easily understood and engaging the audience. While preparing for the presentation, I focussed on displaying confidence, offering eye contact, and improving my speech. The group practiced presenting to each other and helped each other to ensure everyone was confident of themselves. Due to my tendency to stutter when I'm nervous, I am thankful that the group was willing enough to practice several more times to ensure I was able to present properly and confidently.

During the presentation, I was very nervous to present to the audience, and I did forget some of the parts that I had to present. This was one of the things I was very disappointed about.
However, there were also positives to Team Train's presentation. The strengths of Team Train's presentation was that the content was easily understood and presented in an easily understandable manner. The pictures and colours used in the slides were engaging. The other speakers presented their parts well too.

There were several things that I felt I could learn from my classmates. Most of them were very fluent and confident speakers. Being fluent and confident is the first step to effectively engage the audience. I need to overcome being nervous infront of a crowd and I feel that this can be done by controlling how my mind thinks. Instead of thinking of the negatives that could happen while presenting, I should just clear my mind and just focus on the task at hand. Also, presenting the information in terms which the audience can easily understand is also something I would like to take note of. I can improve on this by forming complete sentences while I speak. In a way, I can try applying how I form complete sentences in writing to speech.

Overall, the process from the report writing to the presentation was very fulfilling. I feel that I have improved on my report writing and also on my presenting skills. Even though there are still many things to improve on, the experience was a kickstart for me to become a better presenter.

Commented on:
Ruzaini's post (28/11/16)
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23 Oct 2016

Draft 4 (Summary + Reader Response)

In the news release “Trains on the North-South and East-West Lines Safe for Service” (2016) from The Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) website, LTA explains the faults it has  encountered in its trains on the North-South and East-West lines and announces that the trains are safe for operations. It all started when Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang were contracted to supply LTA with 35 trains. Cracks were found on the draughtscreen of five trains caused by errors during the installation process. LTA also discovered hairline cracks on 26 of the trains. After rigorous assessment by LTA, the cracks, which were caused by an impurity in the car-body bolster material, were found to not have any impact on the operational safety of the trains. An “independent third-party assessor, TUV Rheinland,” agreed (Land Transport Authority, 2016). LTA then decided that the most practical way to rectify the defect was by substituting the whole “car-body shell” (Land Transport Authority, 2016). Thus, the affected trains are being shipped back to their manufacturer for repair works gradually. Out of 26 trains, the car-bodies of five trains have been changed and the sixth one will be completed soon. In accordance with the safety guidelines, LTA and TUV Rheinland will conduct continual inspection to ensure all trains are safe for operation.

The article addresses the faults that are found by LTA and the actions taken to ensure that the trains are safe for operations. However, the lack of information regarding the suppliers and elaboration of the defects makes the article ineffective in enhancing public confidence.

One reason why the news release is ineffective is because the defects were not fully explained. LTA’s news release mentions an impurity in the car-body bolster material but not the severity of it. Tan, a senior transport correspondent, mentions that the impurities may deteriorate the structural stability of the trains over time (Tan, 2016). An engineer concurred with Tan by saying that “impurities in aluminium-alloy is a catastrophic problem – in any industry” (Tan, 2016). Even though the results of the tests conducted by LTA show that the trains are operationally safe, an engineer’s opinion says otherwise. According to an article by FactWire, a former SMRT worker mentions that the train’s life span is halved. (FactWire, 2016) Thus, not fully explaining the extent of the defect may affect the public’s judgement of the situation. In this case, the engineer’s opinion may cause the article to lose credibility among the public.

Another reason why the news release is ineffective is because of the lack of justification of contracting the suppliers. In LTA’s news release, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang are only introduced as the suppliers of the trains and are not mentioned much after. Information such as the background of the suppliers is not seen in the news release. An article in The Online Citizen mentions that Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang were not the lowest bid and would end up providing 26 defective trains in 2013 (Onlinecitizen, 2016). Also, according to Vasagar, Mitchell, and Whipp of the Financial Times, CSR Sifang’s bid to supply for Boston’s subway was eliminated (Vasagar, Mitchell, & Whipp, 2016). This was due to Massachusetts transport officials finding that the “technical, manufacturing and quality” of CSR Sifang’s components cannot be guaranteed (Vasagar, Mitchell, & Whipp, 2016). An article from The Independent states that CSR Sifang has a history of issues, such as traction motor issues, problems with bearings, break failures and more (The Independent, 2016). However, the article only mentions the rectifications done by LTA even though the problem stems from the suppliers of the trains. There is a lack of justification of the continued supply from the contractors and may not enhance public confidence.

In conclusion, even though the article shows the competency of LTA in the presence of train faults, it does not acknowledge the root of the problem. As a publicly listed company, LTA should be transparent on why the contractors were awarded the contract, given their history, and also the first batch of faulty trains. Being transparent then may enhance the trust and confidence of the public.

References:
China manufacturer for MTR secretly recalls 35 SMRT subway trains after cracks found. (2016, July 5). FactWire. Retrieved from https://www.factwire.news/en/MTR-securetly-recall.html

Even China’s own railway operator condemns CSR Sifang. (2016, July 9). The Independent. Retrieved from http://theindependent.sg/even-chinas-own-railway-operator-condemns-csr-sifang/

People’s Power Party’s statement on defective trains from China. (2016, July 7). The Online Citizen. Retrieved from http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/07/07/peoples-power-partys-statement-on-defective-trains-from-china/

Tan, C. (2016, July 14). Nothing routine about MRT cracks. The Straits Times. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/nothing-routine-about-mrt-cracks

Trains on the North-South and East-West Lines Safe for Service. (2016, July 6). Land Transport Authority. Retrieved from https://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=2&id=0f8b1220-0289-4bef-99c9-b2455f17a66c#_ftn1

Vasagar, J., Mitchell, T., & Whipp, L. (2016). Singapore returns faulty trains to China for repair. Financial Times. Retrieved from https://www.ft.com/content/3a618d42-4350-11e6-9b66-0712b3873ae1

13 Oct 2016

Technical Proposal Project: Problem and Purpose Statements

Problem Statement:
At present, numerous blocks of older flats have a three-step stairway at the unit's door. Majority of the residents in these buildings are the elderly and the stairway would pose an issue for their mobility. Wheelchair bound residents will have difficulty as well. More can be done on the current design of the stairway to facilitate their convenience.

Purpose Statement:
The aim of this report is to propose to the Housing Development Board (HDB) the use of a mechanical hydraulic ramp which converts a three-step stairway into a ramp under the weight of the user. This two-in-one concept not only saves space but also retains the original integrity of the infrastructure.

12 Oct 2016

Draft 3 (Summary + Reader Response)


In the news release “Trains on the North-South and East-West Lines Safe for Service” (2016) from The Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) website, LTA explains the faults it has  encountered in its trains on the North-South and East-West lines and announces that the trains are safe for operations. It all started when Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang were contracted to supply LTA with 35 trains. Cracks were found on the draughtscreen of five trains caused by errors during the installation process. LTA also discovered hairline cracks on 26 of the trains. After rigorous assessment by LTA, the cracks, which were caused by an impurity in the car-body bolster material, were found to not have any impact on the operational safety of the trains. An “independent third-party assessor, TUV Rheinland,” agreed (Land Transport Authority, 2016). LTA then decided that the most practical way to rectify the defect was by substituting the whole “car-body shell” (Land Transport Authority, 2016). Thus, the affected trains are being shipped back to their manufacturer for repair works gradually. Out of 26 trains, the car-bodies of five trains have been changed and the sixth one will be completed soon. In accordance with the safety guidelines, LTA and TUV Rheinland will conduct continual inspection to ensure all trains are safe for operation.

However, the lack of information regarding the suppliers and the defects makes the purpose of the article ineffective in enhancing public confidence.

One reason why the news release is ineffective is because the defects were not fully explained. LTA’s news release mentions an impurity in the car-body bolster material but not the severity of it. Tan, a senior transport correspondent, mentions that the impurities may deteriorate the structural stability of the trains over time  (Tan, 2016). An engineer concurred with Tan by saying that “impurities in aluminium-alloy is a catastrophic problem – in any industry” (Tan, 2016). Even though the results of the tests conducted by LTA show that the trains are operationally safe, an engineer’s opinion says otherwise. According to an article by FactWire, a former SMRT worker mentions that the train’s life span is halved. (FactWire, 2016) Thus, not fully explaining the extent of the defect may affect the public’s judgement of the situation. In this case, the engineer’s opinion may cause the article to lose credibility among the public.

Another reason why the news release is ineffective is because of the lack of justification of contracting the suppliers. In LTA’s news release, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang are only introduced as the suppliers of the trains and are not mentioned much after. Information such as backgrounds of the suppliers is not seen in the news release. An article in Onlinecitizen mentions that Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang were not of the lowest bid and would end up providing 26 defective trains in 2013 (ONLINECITIZEN, 2016). Also, according to the Financial Times, CSR Sifang’s bid to supply for Boston’s subway was eliminated. This was due to Massachusetts transport officials finding that the “technical, manufacturing and quality” of CSR Sifang’s components cannot be guaranteed (Vasagar, Mitchell, & Whipp, 2016). The Independent states that CSR Sifang has a history of issues, such as traction motor issues, problems with bearings, break failures and more (The Independent, 2016). However, the article only mentions the rectifications done by LTA even though the problem stems from the suppliers of the trains.  There is a lack of justification of the continued supply from the contractors and may not enhance public confidence.
 
In conclusion, even though the article shows the competency of LTA in the presence of a fault, it does not acknowledge the root of the problem. As a public listed company, it should be transparent on why the contractors were awarded the contract, given their history, and also the first batch of faulty trains. Being transparent then may enhance the trust and confidence of the public.

References:
FactWire. (2016). China manufacturer for MTR secretly recalls 35 SMRT subway trains after cracks found. Retrieved from https://www.factwire.news/en/MTR-securetly-recall.html

Land Transport Authority. (2016). Trains on the North-South and East-West Lines Safe for Service. Retrieved from https://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=2&id=0f8b1220-0289-4bef-99c9-b2455f17a66c#_ftn1

ONLINECITIZEN. (2016). People’s Power Party’s statement on defective trains from China. Retrieved from http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/07/07/peoples-power-partys-statement-on-defective-trains-from-china/

Tan, C. (2016). Nothing routine about MRT cracks. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/nothing-routine-about-mrt-cracks

The Independent. (2016). Even China’s own railway operator condemns CSR Sifang. Retrieved from http://theindependent.sg/even-chinas-own-railway-operator-condemns-csr-sifang/

Vasagar, J., Mitchell, T., & Whipp, L. (2016). Singapore returns faulty trains to China for repair. Retrieved from https://www.ft.com/content/3a618d42-4350-11e6-9b66-0712b3873ae1

28 Sep 2016

Draft 2 (Summary + Reader Response)



In the news release “Trains on the North-South and East-West Lines Safe for Service” (2016) from The Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) website, LTA explains the faults encountered in its trains on the North-South and East-West lines and announces that the trains are safe for operations. It all started when Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang were contracted to supply LTA with 35 trains. Cracks were found on the draughtscreen of five trains caused by errors during the installation process. LTA also discovered hairline cracks on 26 of the trains. After rigorous assessment by LTA, the cracks, which were caused by an impurity in the car-body bolster material, were found to not have any impact on the operational safety of the trains. An “independent third-party assessor, TUV Rheinland,” agreed. LTA then decided that the most practical way to rectify the defect was by substituting the whole “car-body shell”. Thus, the affected trains are being shipped back to their manufacturer for repair works gradually. Out of 26 trains, the car-bodies of five trains have been changed and the sixth one will be completed soon. In accordance with the safety guidelines, LTA and TUV Rheinland will conduct continual inspection to ensure all trains are safe for operation.

However, the lack of information regarding the suppliers and the defects makes the purpose of the article ineffective in enhancing public confidence.

One reason why the news release is ineffective is because the defects were not fully explained. LTA’s news release mentions an impurity in the car-body bolster material but not the severity of it. Tan, a senior transport correspondent, mentions that the impurities may deteriorate the structural stability of the trains over time  (Tan, 2016). An engineer concurred with Tan by saying that “impurities in aluminium-alloy is a catastrophic problem – in any industry”. Even though the results of the tests conducted by LTA show that the trains are operationally safe, an engineer’s opinion says otherwise. According to FactWire, a former SMRT worker mentions that the train’s life span is halved. (FactWire, 2016) Thus, not fully explaining the extent of the defect may affect the public’s judgement of the situation. In this case, the engineer’s opinion may cause the article to lose credibility among the public.

Another reason why the news release is ineffective is because of the lack of justification of contracting the suppliers. In LTA’s news release, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang are only introduced as the suppliers of the trains and are not mentioned much after. Information such as backgrounds of the suppliers are not seen in the news release. Onlinecitizen mentions that Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang were not of the lowest bid and would end up providing 26 defective trains in 2013 (ONLINECITIZEN, 2016). Also, according to the Financial Times, CSR Sifang’s bid to supply for Boston’s subway was eliminated. This was due to Massachusetts transport officials finding that the “technical, manufacturing and quality” of CSR Sifang’s components cannot be guaranteed (Vasagar, Mitchell, & Whipp, 2016). The Independent states that CSR Sifang has a history of issues, such as traction motor issues, problems with bearings, break failures and more (The Independent, 2016). However, the article only mentions the rectifications done by LTA even though the problem stems from the suppliers of the trains.  There is a lack of justification of the continued supply from the contractors and may not enhance public confidence.

In conclusion, even though the article shows the competency of LTA in the presence of a fault, it does not acknowledge the root of the problem. As a public listed company, it should be transparent on why the contractors were awarded the contract, given their history, and also the first batch of faulty trains. Being transparent then may enhance the trust and confidence of the public.

References:

FactWire. (2016, July 5). China manufacturer for MTR secretly recalls 35 SMRT subway trains after cracks found. Retrieved from FactWire: https://www.factwire.news/en/MTR-securetly-recall.html

Land Transport Authority. (2016, July 6). Trains on the North-South and East-West Lines Safe for Service. Retrieved from Land Transport Authority: https://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=2&id=0f8b1220-0289-4bef-99c9-b2455f17a66c#_ftn1

ONLINECITIZEN. (2016, July 7). People’s Power Party’s statement on defective trains from China. Retrieved from The Online Citizen: http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/07/07/peoples-power-partys-statement-on-defective-trains-from-china/

Tan, C. (2016, July 14). Nothing routine about MRT cracks. Retrieved from The Straits Times: http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/nothing-routine-about-mrt-cracks

The Independent. (2016, July 9). Even China’s own railway operator condemns CSR Sifang. Retrieved from The Independent: http://theindependent.sg/even-chinas-own-railway-operator-condemns-csr-sifang/

Vasagar, J., Mitchell, T., & Whipp, L. (2016, July 6). Singapore returns faulty trains to China for repair. Retrieved from Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/3a618d42-4350-11e6-9b66-0712b3873ae1