Monday, August 17, 2015

Leaving the Post

3 years ago when I last blogged, I praised Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew for taking an active role in addressing the transportation problems facing the country, which was more than we can say for the highly-paid CEOs. Then, as now, Singapore's public transport system is still nowhere near as reliable as its commuters expect and demand. The latest gigantic snafu on 7 July 2015,  the North-South and East-West lines broke down at the same time must have been the straw that broke the camel's back. No, no, no, the CEO of the transport company is still in place. He claims that he still has work to do to right the wrongs plaguing our SMRT transport system. Well SMRT has been at it for more than 3 years, and the next breakdown around the corner. It  initially didn't even have clue as to what caused this last great breakdown. How pathetic.

Now Minister Lui has stepped up to take the ultimate responsibility. He announced that he will not be contesting in the next Generation Election, which may only be a month away. The public has not been told why exactly Minister Lui wants to step down. The usual "he has done well... valued... couldn't get him to stay...regret...etc." reasons have been given for public consumption. But Mr Lui has been refreshingly frank about what the reasons were NOT about - it was not to spend more time with the family, it was not about looking for new challenges, etc. etc. I appreciate Mr Lui for being frank, something that has characterised his approach to issues. That is why he shouldn't have resigned. We have one less person in the top echelons of power to champion the public cause, for daring to do the audacious in almost nationalizing the transport system and then parcelling it out for REAL competition, unlike the wayang that had been going on in transport policies and practice for the last 30 years. Yes, the public has questioned the justification of publicly-listed bus company, SBS Transit, using tax-payers' money to fund their commercial business (the BSEP). However, when seen in the context of the subsequent change in transport policy of letting private enterprise bid for the operation of public transport, it is beginning to look like a master stroke.

I think for these and more, Mr Lui has more than earned his pay. He should have stayed to ensure that these plans are executed properly. But he trusts that there are others who can do so well enough. And for these, we thank you, Mr Lui.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Lui was demoralized by the carving up of his GRC because his party the PAP has no confidence in his GRC leadership in the coming GE. He made this very clear from the very beginning when he lamented about the 'disappearance' of his GRC and about the wasted efforts he had put in these past years working with and building up a rapport with the grass root leaders of Moulmein-Kallang GRC.

This becomes crystal clear when he revealed all the work and plans in the pipeline to improve the MRT system.

Perhaps, another possible factor may be his party is perhaps planning to slot him in another GRC but not in a leadership position. That would be an insult and a loss of face for the ex-rear-admiral of the Navy.