I will next speak in English.
The PAP likes to talk about their track record in running this country. Let’s look at their ‘Track’ record. Their ‘track’ record has being questioned at the Commission of Inquiry into the breakdown of MRTs. And when the Inquiry was still ongoing, we had more train breakdowns. Old lines break down. New lines also break down. Straight line, circle line, North-South, East-West, North-East, MRT, LRT; they break down too frequently! What a ‘track’ record.
Ex-PAP MP Mr Peh Chin Hua, in his PAP rally speech on Sunday described my fellow NCMP Gerald concerns about MRT breakdown as ‘BS’ (i.e. 牛粪), an uncouth term. Are the MRT problems you are experiencing ‘BS’? Is PAP so disconnected from ordinary Singaporeans that they brush off the problems as unreal and ‘BS’? Are they really listening to you or taking feedback as simply ‘BS’?
It seems no one wants to take responsibility for the maintenance failures. LTA will say it’s the responsibility of SMRT, which happened to be one of many government linked companies pervasive in our economy. SMRT instead is pointing its finger at its predecessor. The breakdown of our public transport system is in a way a symptom of a larger problem, which is the mindset that this government use in providing public goods and services
The PAP runs the country with a profit maximising mindset. It sees the country as a large company which they think they own. They say they have been divesting their businesses after the Economic Review Committee in 2003 criticized the government for being in too many businesses. So they decided that JTC should divest its factory spaces. These factories had helped Singapore grow since the 1970s by providing affordable industrial rents for many local companies. JTC has since sold almost all of its industrial space, mostly to Mapletree Logistics, another Government Linked Company.
I don’t think passing the business from the left hand to the right hand can be called a divestment. It is a rent maximising exercise to extract better rent from the SMEs. Industrial rents have shot up, forcing companies to charge more to cover costs. The government is also a large owner of retail spaces through the many Real Estate Investment Trusts that it owns. Retail rents have been rising too. In the end, Singaporeans pay the price when our cost of living shoots up.
From GST to COE to ERP to public housing to restructured hospitals, the mindset of value maximising has generated a lot of money for the government. SMRT is an example of how becoming so focused on shareholder returns can lead one to forgot its core mission of safe and reliable public transport. Essential public services for our people cannot be treated as business commodities to maximise returns. They are moral responsibilities of the government!
We the voters need to remind them through the ballot boxes that the country does not belong to just a few elites who thinks they know how best to run this place. Singapore belongs to all Singaporeans!
When the PAP make mistakes, they quietly dismiss them. They will tell you … It’s once in 50 years. When a terrorist escapes, it’s an honest mistake. When trains breakdown, it’s “a rare confluence of factors”. Well, problems are not rare in Singapore anymore .
Why are our new ministers for national development and healthcare so busy building flats and hospitals now? Maybe someone before them should have listened more to the problems of ordinary Singaporeans and worked harder? It took you, the voters to make them wake up last year.
Your vote is important. Your vote will tell the PAP that they need to listen more to you. Come 26 May, vote The Workers’ Party! Vote Png Eng Huat ah!