Mr Lui should just shut up

That is my kind advice. Repeated attempts to explain something that sounds wrong only made it sound even worse.

If raising fares also meant improving service standards, can the Minister of Transport explain how is it that service levels continue to deteriorate after all these years of fare increase? Since past increment in fares actually translate into worsening service standards, history obviously shows that a rise in fares will not improve service standards. Service standard is also not simply achieved by paying bus captains more. It is a combination of reasonable fares, timeliness of buses, training, bus captain’s personal service, efficient planning of bus routes etc.

If the minister is concern about ‘keeping transport operators commercially viable’, he need not worry. SMRT and SBS continue to earn great profits and even manage to generously give out dividends to shareholders after a year of breakdowns and accidents; thanks to it’s monopolistic position and PAP’s generous transfer of $1.1 billion from the tax payers’ pockets (that could have been used for public projects) to capital owners, investors and of course, the bulk of which goes to Temasek Holdings. And can someone remind Cambridge educated Mr Lui commercially viable does not equate huge profits (with the cheek to hand out dividends after a government bail out)?

Then Mr Lui goes on to say that having leaving the public transport operator privatized would meant more efficiency and depend less on tax-payers’ money. Is it any more efficient now? Has it not also depended on tax payers’ money? So despite government subsiding the public has to pay even more? Ever heard of double taxation? Is there any difference in money coming directly from the tax payers’ pockets and indirectly as subsidy from the government? Either way it’s financed by the public. The only nightmare is taxpayers are paying it BOTH ways. How is the current situation of the government subsidizing $1,100,000,000.00 any different from being nationalized?

What this smart minister said doesn’t seem to make much sense: “He said taking the populist approach of avoiding fare increases completely and pushing it onto public transport operators will give the operators no incentive to be efficient and provide better service for commuters.” In order to survive, the operators have to think of other ways if fares are not increased. Sometimes creative ways. Sometimes it may simply be a reduction in costs in other aspects, such as drop out some useless board of directors (see link, and think for yourself how has that entourage of government linked personnel contributed anything constructive in ensuring the past failures did not happen) and use that millions in director fees saved to increase the pay of the bus captains. I’ll tell you what would not give the operators any incentive to improve standards–Government guarantee of survival and profitability. Not just being ‘commercially viable’, but ‘huge profits’. Being a monopoly in train transport and free money from the government going into the billions, why should SMRT has the motivation or incentive to become better?

  1. Carbonblack
    December 15, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Maybe you should scrutinize your use of the English language. That is my kind advice.

    • December 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

      There are vocab and grammatical errors I admit, since this is a blog with posts written on the go on a tablet. Why should you even care about my use of English language?

  2. Htolas
    December 15, 2012 at 8:43 am

    No, he is the opposition’s best recruiting sergeant – he should keep talking.

    • December 15, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Hahahaha. On a serious note, I sincerely hope that leaders of Singapore continue to improve themselves, whether or not they are with the opposition or the leading party. We have too many Sarah Paulins around and we are paying them millions….that is sad from a citizen and tax payer’s point of view.

  3. December 16, 2012 at 3:58 am

    Bro, good one… can I have your permission to publish this on TRE? Thx!

  1. December 17, 2012 at 4:50 am

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