Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cutting no ice with Singaporeans

"(During) this tough and uncertain period, I hope there will be no increase in transport fares." So asked a resident to Singapore's Transport Minister Raymond Lim during a dialogue session with MacPherson residents on Sunday.

It seems like a fair question. The resident hope that there will be no increase in transport fares, and I believe another asked if the government will consider subsidising public transport fares. Fair, legitimate questions in my view. So how did this became a question of whether Singapore public transport becoming completely free?

Transport Minister Raymond Lim revealed that it would take a further 1.5% hike in GST if bus and train rides were to be made completely free. The thing is that no one is asking for free transport! Singaporeans understand that there is no such thing as a free transport service; the question isn't that but if
A) will there be an increase in transport fares
and B) will the government consider subsidising public transport fares

How did those questions led to completely free public transport? Mr Raymond Lim also made another mistake when he said that the public transport fare is not directly linked to the oil prices. The fares now seems to be linked factors like the inflation level in Singapore, and the wage level in the whole of Singapore.

This despite the fact that the rise in oil prices is the reason given for all those fares increases these past few years. Even if the public transport fare is not directly linked to the oil prices, the other reasons Mr Raymond Lim gave cut no ice with Singaporeans. Wages in Singapore are going down due to job losses and inflation is hardly a problem with a global financial meltdown in the works.

If Mr Raymond Lim want to say that he cannot confirm that there will not be any increase in transport fares, I suggest that he just say so in the future.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

isnt it obvious by now? we have sub-standard Ministers -- Raymond Lim, Grace Fu to name the most useless of them all.

raymond thinks we are fools. I think the fool is him

Ghost said...

I think it's a little harsh to call Raymond Lim a fool...it's just that he put his foot in his mouth this time

Anonymous said...

Let Singapore PAP to increase GST to 8.5%, the poor will enjoy free transports. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH HIM. Let the rich pay transportation fare for the poor. Let see whether PAP dare to increase the GST, then we can request for our FREE transportation.

See how Raymond Lim answer to PTC, SBS, SMRT and COE will drop, nobody will buy car due to free transports, Road Tax will decrease, Car insurance sell will drop, Bank car loan will drop, ERP income will drop. Let see how PAP Minister Raymond Lim going to answer to old & young Lee for making their earning drop.

Stupid people speak stupid things, now PAP are trap from increasing GST this time and future GST.

Xtrocious said...

Hey guys, one thing to remember...

Free is not equal to good...

Yes, transportation may be free but the standard could be well, substandard or even non-existent...

Would people then give up their cars and other mode of transports?

Nope...

Anyway, don't be smoked by the "free" transport - we will always pay more one way or another...

Disgusted said...

How can we, Singaporeans, continue to pay exorbitantly high salaries to such sub-standard ministers who can't even give a straight-forward answer to simple questions frankly without giving lame excuses.

I wouldn't know where to put my face next time when the MM were to boast again that we have such extraordinary ministers.

We are not really getting good value for taxpayers' money paid to such low calibre of leaders who are not committed to their people at all.

I think we have been taken for a very long ride. It is time to wake up and take care of ourselves. Those millionaire ministers are of no usefulness to most of us at all.

Anonymous said...

I knew our ministers do not know what is happening on the ground, but this chap really takes the cake for failing even to understand a few simple straight-forward questions from a few simple folks. My god, the gulf is really widening between the elites and the ground.

Galastoga said...

Look at how pathetic our ministers are..If you can't say it right, just shut the hell up! And its not just Raymond...Mah bow tan, Wong kan seng...All just get their tongues twisted just trying to calm the public..Disgrace..And we pay them million dollars for them!

Gila Babi said...

Some time in the future, after GST hits 8.5% or more, we will have means testing for free bus passes. Bring your paylsip & family members' paylsips down to the SBS Transit office & if your combined family income is less than $??? then you will get a bus pass for free. Don't forget that retirees & the unemployed will need a letter from the police or lawyer to certify that they are retired or unemployed. More work for everybody so that we can create more jobs :-)