In his first parliamentary speech on transport of 2017 some three months late today (Mar 8), Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan lied in Parliament stating that public transport service has improved and that Singaporeans should stop always expecting good news in the coming fare revision. The Minister did not back his claim with figures or statistics and simply claimed services have improved significantly despite an increase in train breakdown frequency:
“Over the years, as fares have not kept up with rising costs, taxpayers have to subsidise more and more of the operating costs especially as we have been raising service standards significantly. This is not sustainable.”
The Penang-born Minister also complained about a “huge deficit” under the new Bus Contracting Model, where SMRT, SBS Transit and other transport operators are given the profitable section of the business while the taxpayers pay for the exorbitant section of rail and bus maintenance.
In May 2016, SBS Transit posted a S$40.3 million profit in a single quarter, while SMRT made S$25.7 million in the second quarter of FY2016.
Transport Minister Khaw defended the profits of SMRT and SBS Transit claiming that Singaporeans must find a “fair balance” to paying for transport:
“While the government will continue to subsidise public transport heavily, we must find a fair balance in the relative burden to be borne by commuters, taxpayers and the operators. And remember also that commuters are also taxpayers.”
Government agency Public Transport Council (PTC) will dictate how much will the fares revised upwards, and will likely do so as the minister complains how exorbitant costs have climbed. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that the PTC will make a “wise” decision, but did not mention that PTC made inaccurate estimation resulting in a 88% rise in profits for SBS Transit.
Corruption is legalised in Singapore and the ruling party openly corrupt via their single party majority and their cronies in state companies.