Tuesday, August 11, 2015

PM as the next Transport Minister

Bertha Henson saves me a lot of time blogging about Lui Tuck Yew retirement. I mostly agree with her. I would take this opportunity to write about what's next. I think the PM ought to take over as Transport Minister. When in his view nobody could handle the Finance portfolio he had assumed that. Now is the time for him to own this hot potato. After all the problems were created by his reckless policies with a take the people for granted attitude. He made us feel inferior to the foreigners he was in a hurry to bring in causing us to teach him and his colleagues an unforgettable lesson.

Comprehension 101. Lui Tuck Yew made this the first paragraph in his letter to the PM after his introduction, i.e., the most important point.

The PM's point that the Cabinet bears collective responsibility for Transport issues is nonsense. That is not how the public view it, and we will never accept that. Does the PM mean that he could get away with big mistakes because the entire government would have to resign to take responsibility? Cabinet collective responsibility is an oxymoron. It is the nuclear option for mutual assured destruction between government and people. It is also how with weak opposition parties you could be a dictatorship under an umbrella which says democracy. Lui Tuck Yew recognized that. He has found the kindest to his colleagues moment to take responsibility and leave. I salute him.

Update: Aug 12 11:20am

Nice of ST to do this for Lui Tuck Yew. People forget and need to be reminded. Myself, I have always been kinder to him any time than to the feckless Raymond Lim. Lui tried to make a bad situation better but Raymond Lim was responsible for making it worse. Also Desmond Kuek is the wrong person for the job. You don't bring in the military to learn but someone with deep experience in trains to solve the problem, and to pay him double the previous CEO was just adding to the aggravation. The only time I was paid to learn was in my first job, otherwise it is always what I can contribute and then try to learn on the job as much as possible.

These two top comments are very interesting.

First comment I assume reflect the sentiment of the silent majority. The second comment is logical but unrealistic because Malaysia can still be a going concern with that quality of lousy government but if it were Singapore we would be finished. Vincent Ong and also many FTs here fail to understand the minimum standard to keep Singapore going. It is also just perverse when the PAP government play this card against us, which only make us angrier. I call that their unacceptable habit of playing heads I win, tails you lose. They mostly stopped that since the last GE.

Update: Aug 12 3:15pm

I suppose reflecting his Chinese education, CSM is always subtle and rich with symbolism.

"classmates from over forty years ago" means I know this guy. Nobody needs to explain him to me.

"But I ride on his buses and trains almost daily... or I wish they were really his" CSM can't resist this for contrast, i.e., ministers travel in cars but he like most uses public transport and what is really the shot across the bow comes next - I wish they were really his. In other words LTY was constrained with the solutions he could bring to bear on the problem. Evaluating within the box the PM has put him in, he had scored distinctions but accounting to the public is a different matter. Had LTY owned the system he would have a free hand to do all that is necessary and the solutions would be bolder and faster.


  1. Like you I salute him too, the guy show true courage and guts.

    Unfortunately, history will not judge LHL kindly. The road to hell is paved with good and not so good intentions. In just 10 years, LHL has squandered whatever goodwill PAP has earned over the past 40 years,

  2. He had the bad luck of clearing the shit from his predecessors and having to deal with a disgruntled public who are puzzled by the renumeration and rewards of transport companies CEOs, past and present. The foreign population issue has finally shown its ill conceived ideas and now the oversupply of properties will be felt in as short as 3 years time. Those quitting now will have their martinis by the sunset, those in the system will have to suffer their ill conceived policies.

  3. So why is Vincent Ong still a Malaysian?

  4. The irony and stupidity of a 3-star "reporting" to a 2-star - how to work?

  5. On the one hand, his boss is the PM. On the other, the head honcho of SMRT is his boss's wife. How to win like that? He may be a good man and an intelligent one but he went into the job with his eyes open. Now perhaps his eyes are WIDE open!