Editorial : A shake-up is necessary for both MTR and government

【明報專訊】THE SCANDAL over the Shatin to Central Link has accentuated some serious problems about the operation of the MTR and the inadequacy of governmental supervision. While a change of people and mindset is important, the systemic issues are even more deserving of a closer look. The key of reform should be "concentration". The MTR has an overly sprawling business. It is necessary to prioritise its operations. The MTR should consider hiving off its real estate development and overseas businesses and concentrate on its local railway operations lest it should get sidetracked. More professionals from the engineering sector should be brought onto the board to reduce the proportion of financial personnel. The government should take the incident as an opportunity for a structural reform of itself and break up the Transport and Housing Bureau so that transport and housing issues will be handled by different bureaus. As the railway is the backbone of the government's transportation policy, a new bureau dedicated to transportation issues will be able to concentrate on the long-term development of the railway and exercise the supervision of the MTR adequately.