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SMRT corporate culture awarded UNESCO World Heritage status

Posted on 28 October 2017

So old and calcified.


In a surprise move, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) announced that it will be gazetting the deep-seated cultural issues of SMRT as an internationally significant site of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

This is in recognition of the profound impact SMRT’s ancient and never-changing corporate culture has had on Singapore society in general, as it has been stopping Singaporeans in their tracks to marvel at the state of things.

Speaking on the sidelines of the award ceremony, a spokesperson for UNESCO, Yin Guan Jun, said: “We were frankly amazed by the staunchly unchanging ways of SMRT’s working culture since time immemorial, and we were particularly impressed by the elevation of traditional performance arts, such as taichi and wayang, both of which are integral aspects of SMRT work culture, going beyond mere art forms and turning into a daily way of life.”

“We commend SMRT for cultivating an environment where traditional art forms such as Taichi and Wayang can flourish, and are heartened by the organisation’s efforts to groom new generations of taichi masters and wayang kings, especially at the highest of executive levels.”

Other aspects of SMRT work culture highlighted by UNESCO include the esoteric practice of throwing employees under the bus, a tradition steeped in symbolic meaning for SMRT due to its increasing role as a rail replacement bus service operator.



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Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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