Photo from National Archives of Singapore

After Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan blamed “political pressure” for the wrong design of Bukit Panjang LRT railway tracks, former PAP MP for Choa Chu Kang Low Seow Chay told state media reporters that he did not support the LRT project:

“Even after the opening of the LRT five years later, the traffic load it could offer was also very limited. I did not ask for the LRT. When it was mooted, I objected to the cost of the S$285 million in building the LRT. In fact, I suggested a dedicated viaduct be built just for buses. It would solve congestion on the roads and was a much cheaper option. It was rejected for the reason that the LRT was an unmanned operation.”

State media CNA then directed the blame at former Minister Mah Bow Tan and wrote:

“Back in 1994, Mr Mah Bow Tan, then the minister overseeing transport told Parliament of the need for “efficient and affordable” public transport, and that the potential of LRT as an internal feeder service was being studied. “If these are viable, we can build light rails in the other existing new towns to supplement or replace the bus feeder services,” he said.””

The Bukit Panjang LRT is the worst-performing train line in Singapore with breakdown frequenting as often as once a week. Minister Khaw Boon Wan called a ride on the 23-years-old train line a “roller coaster”, and blamed “political pressure” for the poor design of the system. However, the ruling party PAP has always had a 90% majority in Parliament since Independence, it is unknown what “political pressure” the Minister was referring to.