SMRT was slapped with a record $2m fine yesterday for catastrophic train disruptions in Dec 2011. Regulator LTA said that the money will be donated to the Public Transport Fund to help needy families with their transport fares.
Minister for Transport, Lui Tuck Yew, appointed after the May 2011 General Elections admitted that Ministry of Transport and Land Transport Authority as the parent ministry of regulator must take part of the blame.
However, transport woes did not appear overnight but has been strained by the huge influx of foreign population and the mismanagement in the past decade. Not only are trains crowded to the point where commuters have to wait for several trains before being able to squeeze in, buses also run infrequently and are equally crowded.
In addition, roads are insufficient despite government collecting more taxes on roads. Jams in once highly efficient Singapore are now getting more common. Ordinary citizens can no longer afford a simple basic car in Singapore where transport policies have been grossly mismanaged by the government.
No men are more responsible for this rot than former PAP Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong
(2001 to 2006) and Raymond Lim (2006 to 2011). Unfortunately, Singaporeans, who had paid for their salaries, continue to pay for their pensions as they enjoy the fruits of their idlefark.
In addition to enjoying their golden years with Singaporeans' monies, they continue to be rewarded through other means.
Yeo Cheow Tong is currently the Adjunct Professor at LKY School of Public Policy and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also a member of investment committee at Tembusu Partners
, a private equity firm. Tembusu is ran by Andy Lim, the husband of former PAP Minister Lim Hwee Hua. In fact, Yeo Cheow Tong is still sought after as a public speaker when he recently spoke to senior Vietnamese officials on public policy formulation procedures at the invitation of Temasek Foundation
Former PAP Minister Raymond Lim Siang Keat and current East Coast GRC MP was appointed an independent director and senior adviser at fund manager APS Management after he left the cabinet. APS manages S$2.9b in assets. He was subsequently appointed senior adviser at John Swire and Sons (SEA) Pte Ltd, a giant Hong Kong conglomerate.
As many Singaporeans continue to struggle for their careers and families while competing against foreign talent, it seems that PAP Ministers get rewarded for their mistakes. Even SMRT has to pay a fine for their mistakes, but what do PAP Ministers need to pay?