Just hours after media reports of the Singapore government slapping a S$15,000 carbon tax surcharge on the first imported Model-S Tesla electric vehicle went viral, Tesla boss Elon Musk phoned Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on his mobile and relayed his concerns. The Singapore’s Prime Minister Office spokesperson confirmed the phone call and said that the Prime Minister is looking into the matter.

However it appears Lee Hsien Loong has paid Elon Musk a lips service as his spokesperson was quick to say “it was too early to say how things would pan out”. Just a month ago, Lee Hsien Loong was having a tour in the Model-S electric car and exhaled about the awesomeness of his Sans Francisco trip where he met the CEOs of US tech giants like Google, Tesla and Facebook. PM Lee Hsien Loong was quick to pour praises about the openness and innovation of Silicon Valley then.

Screenshot from Facebook
Screenshot from Facebook

The embarrassing turn happened when 44-year-old Joe Nguyen bought the Model-S Tesla and was slapped with a S$15,000 carbon tax surcharge by the Land Transport Authority for its performance in a carbon emission test, when other countries were already giving tax breaks for drivers who make the switch to electric cars.

Photo from Linda Choo The Straits Times
Photo from Linda Choo The Straits Times