Transport: How PAP has Betrayed Singaporeans

The Singapore General Election will be held on 11 September 2015.

Has the current ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), done its job or has it hurt Singaporeans instead?

Over the next two weeks, I will be compiling the past articles that I have written into the different thematic areas, so that you can see for yourselves if the PAP has helped Singaporeans or if it has actually make lives more difficult for Singaporeans.

In today’s article, the focus is on TRANSPORT.

You can click on the red headers below to read more of each of the articles.

Why Are Singaporeans Double-Paying On Fares and Taxes For The Profits Of Transport Operators?

Transport Article Chart 3

In fact, the question on some peoples’ mind is – why didn’t the government reduce transport fares, on the rising cost of living and depressed wages? Why did the government agree to the highest fare increase in recent times? And if the taxes that we are paying are enough to pay for the extravagant profits of SBS Transit and SMRT, then why are we even paying fares?

As Leong Sze Hian and I have written about since the start of this year in our 10-part article on “How Much Tax Are Singaporeans Really Paying?”, we have found that Singaporeans actually do pay as much as the Nordic countries do in terms of taxes, social security/CPF and out-0f-pocket expenditure for basic essentials such as healthcare, education and retirement, but what we receive back in return from the government in terms of social protection is actually the lowest. In fact, the Singapore government spends the least public spending, as compared to the other high-income countries.

As such, is there too much over-reliance on Singaporeans and in fares to run Singapore’s transporation system, especially in light of the massive salaries that goes to their CEOs? Is there too little that the Singapore government is doing to subsidise public transport in Singapore, given that Singaporeans pay as much as the Nordic citizens do, and the Singapore government gives back lower returns that the Nordic governments do, and that Singaporeans are actually double-paying into taxes and transport fares? There seems to be a heavily lopsided spending structure in Singapore, where the government seems to take minimal responsibility in running the basic services in the country, while Singaporeans are expected to prop up the system with their marginal wages.

Indeed, is Singapore the only country in the world where its citizens have to subsidise their government to run the country, when it should be the government who should be subsidising the citizens to have a basic decent standard of living? Has the system in Singapore become lopsided and are Singaporeans being made a mockery out of by the government? Yet, why do we take it sitting down quietly, and why we continue to self-talk ourselves into believing that things will be alright, even though we know they are obviously not?

Read more here.

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25 comments

  1. John Koh

    Whether it’s a business or the government, substantial funds must be accumulated and put safely aside for strategic investments, for contingency and future! Why are oppositions, all alike wanting to spend our billions to please the populace? Singapore’s strength is in its reserves and surpluses it cleverly protects and spent prudently. GST credits, skill futures, pioneer generation etc are already many of the schemes where surpluses are shared in a responsible manner!

    • landragon123

      John Koh must be a member of Government or from SMRT to state that substantial funds are accumulated for strategic investments, BUT why LTA have to spent over $1 Billion to supply the new buses. Singapore Most Retarded Team reported lost of the transport arm in their accounts, so where the substantial funds are from? Please enlighten us.

  2. Ted

    If PAP betrayed us in everything, then why r so many of us getting richer and richer?
    Even a certain opposition Leader can raise many children and have an old car without doing much work.. All these points to one thing… Even if u dun work in Singapore, u can still survive… Roy, Just look at urself. And end of the day, u kbkp about our govt betrayed us…
    I really dun know when our govt betrayed u though… I only see u keep on betraying us by producing lies after lies…

    • landragon123

      It is wrong for the LTA to spend our country reserves to buy the buses as it should be the buses companies to buy it. But it is good as it improved the bus services lately and Mr. Lui was credited for it by spending our country’s reserves.

  3. Concerned citizen

    What a troll! If you go to the parliament with these statistics and arguments you will be scorned, laughed at and dismissed immediately.
    Anyway, the rp team sent to amk is a suicide squad. We should be concentrating our efforts and time on more viable areas in the east and North East.
    Let’s not feed this troll. He is not relevant in this GE. Keep giving him attention then people might actually start to take him seriously for the next ge.

    • Ted

      If he is elected, he’ll be more quiet than csm…. So u won’t hear much from him and his team…
      Remember the IPS forum when he was invited to? He asked only normal questions then kept quiet … All his graph and charts , he didn’t bring…. I guess he didn’t want to be the joker in front of all the economist and journalists

      • Concerned citizen

        Exactly. Jobless guy to 150k a year. Heck, for that sort of increment I would stand in elections. Roy. If you are truly working for Singaporeans, Why don’t you demand that MP salary be halved? Easy way to reduce expenses for Singapore. If you put a graph of MP salaries surely Singapore will be a red flag. Nice way to

      • Ted

        He only need white rice… Then donations… If become mp, who knows how he’ll get his donations… Maybe just need to help himself with our cpf… This guy always seem to have his sight on our CPF…

  4. landragon123

    Ted, most public buses in the 1st world countries are subsidize by the government whereas our buses companies are Private Listed Companies and declaring profit years after years. SBS is always making money whereas SMRT is losing. The MRT was given to SMRT for free, but SBS have to tender for the MRT lines. Now compare their profit and loss each year, who is losing money, yet their CEO was paid the highest fee for making the company getting worse. Their policies are wrong, no competence men to do proper self checks and when government link companies does their self checks, it goes into lapses or I like to call it corruptions. I stand corrected as LKY like to write.

      • landragon123

        Ted, I am a businessman for the last 52 years and running my present company since 1980 and I know what is a public listed company, it make money by good business sense. If SMRT is run and own by LTA, than give it Billion $ is normal and the present new buses is own by LTA. So can LTA make known what are these type of business arrangement. Can you or PAP enlighten us.
        FMSS makes monies and the Directors declared Director’s Fee to take out the profit, is this wrong? Can KBW or the other PAP ministers who have been talking about it explain? Why are PAP town council getting their monies to pay their sink funds, whereas the opposition not getting it? Is this election about our future or about opposition’s Town Council and what LKY have done?. Can the better PAP candidates shares their ideas with the voters as only a week is left for these explainations.

  5. Ted

    U r not the only businessman in Singapore… Dun make it sound like u know everything.
    FMSS makes money is not the problem… The problem is that AHPETC did not submit their accounts for a long time and when they submit, their own auditors pointed out serious issues of their accounts… When asked, they blamed pap for not handing over properly… But take note, wp had been able to submit their first annual report … If it’s not handed over properly, how did they do? Then they complain that CPG dun want to be their managing agent… Despite cpg still has a contract which only the town council can release them of… Why did wp release them? Just becos they say they don’t want to work for u? That’s so “nice” of them… Why did wp not highlight this matter in parliament 4yrs ago when it happened? Why only now then talk about it? Such a coward wp who is scared of cpg but not scare of letting down their residents… How can we vote for wp? If wp becomes govt, won’t we be stepped on by the Malaysians whenever they threaten to turn off our taps?

    U say u r a businessman… Do u not work according to contract?
    The budget had already told u what r the conditions for sbs when they get the buses over the years… U dun know how to read? Some businessman u r….

    • Ted

      Great deduction… as a listed company, it is their duty to make money for the shareholders… of cos also renew their fleet of buses…. but it is not their duty to buy more buses than they can afford and bankrupt their company…
      the 2012 budget had been spelt out very clearly, government is subsidising the commuters and not the bus companies… and the bus companies will need to adhere to more stringent requirement with the additional buses… this is a simple logic. if you fail to even understand that, i think you are not really cut out to be a businessman…

  6. Play fair.

    PAP should learn to accept and live with more oppositions in the parliament. As Singaporeans are expected to embrace more foreigners, to accept the repeated MRT breakdowns and the high cost of living as a new norm, PAP too must embrace and accept more oppositions in parliament. PAP should play fair and do what it preaches. PAP should not attempt to push away and to repel the presence of more oppositions in parliament. Instead they should embrace them with an open heart as the increase of oppositions is also the new norm of Singapore politics. Just like how PAP always attributed the sizeable number of foreigners to globalisation, it is also through globalisation that there are sizeable oppositions in any truly democratic society.

    Be fair and play fair, PAP. You reap what you sow.

    • Chris

      U mean even if the opposition is sub-standard and has integrity issues, Singaporeans also must accept them?
      Sorry, this is not the kind of Singapore I want for myself and children….

    • Ted

      i would rather not have any opposition than to have dubious opposition in parliament…. Everything said in WP rallies goes to show that it’s a party with no substance and keep on telling lies…. The AHPETC issues, PAP had even chronologically told the events in detailed. However, WP only pick on things they want to say…. Do u think Singaporeans r stupid? If WP has nothing to hide, why didn’t it rebuttal point by point of what pap put out? If pap hadn’t hand over properly in 2011, why didn’t it said so? Would u have let ur “contractor” go off if it hadn’t hand over to u properly. It doesn’t make sense…. Cpg still has a valid contract with AHPETC, why did WP let cpg go?its so obvious that WP is just trying to reward its friends…. Lastly, WP is currently running the town council by itself…. Why didn’t it run the town council by itself from the beginning if there’s no company who wants to bid for it? Some Pap town councils also runs its own town councils, this is not new. And why did WP brag about it is experienced in running town councils in 2011 when it clearly does not have the experience? Is it not lying? If it has experience, then why didn’t it do a proper job in AHPETC ?

  7. HLC

    If I recall accurately SMRT grossed about 200m last year but it s net profit was 20m
    AND its Temasek controlled SMRT CEO Kuek was paid >2m or 10% of its net profit…
    (up from starting salary of $600,000) Wow!!! such a salary increase for a dismally runned public transport
    Excuse was that their CEO salary is “”benchmarked”” against his “”peers””

    http://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/smrt-chief-desmond-kuek-paid-225m-last-year

    Side Bar:
    How much does Temasek and GIC pay their top executives then??? and who decides how much???

    All these ridiculous CEO salaries are intentionally “”benchmarked”” against each other to justify each other’s high pay in Developed Nation and Most Expensive Place to Stay Nation but with seniors working <$1,000 as bus boys in food courts or coillecting cardboard boxes for resale….

    • Ted

      You r welcome to question him during agm…. Smrt shares is not expensive…. Gruel him…. If u so unhappy, just gather all your friends and go there….

  8. Singapore Citizen Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

  9. HLC

    SMRT grossed 200m, netted 20m and its CEO Desmond Kuek earned +2m or 10%…
    SIngTel CEO about 5m …. all justifying the Ministfers cheeeep salaries of +1m….
    Forget Town Councils,
    Just scrutinize Temasek and GIC
    “”transparency, honesty, integrity”” (Shanmugam quote)
    conflict of interests??? ABSOLUTELY!!!!
    How much was Goodyear paid to shut up???
    The scary part is its ALL Legal with all the “”t””s crossed and “”i””s dotted….
    The citizenry will NEVER KNOW, how much was lost, paid, done or ???

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