MyRepublic bears quite a few similarities to a certain political party…
In an interview with e27, CEO of prospective 4th telco MyRepublic, Malcolm Rodrigues, did not mince his words when talking about the existing telcos in Singapore, claiming that that they became too arrogant and comfortable.
That got us to thinking, “Hmm, we’ve heard all this before from a certain political party — the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)!”
#1 is the line with the uncanny resemblance, and we’ve picked out several other instances from the interview which show MyRepublic’s similarity to SDP:
1. “I think the incumbents have become arrogant in their approach historically and I think they have burned bridges with a lot of their customers”
SDP: “…when society has a free and pluralistic media, where the people are able to exercise our freedoms of speech and assembly, and are able to vote in genuinely free and fair elections the PAP will not be so arrogant and insensitive to the wishes of the people.”
2. “The pricing (of Internet plans, especially amongst businesses) is still out of whack. We look at some of the prices and it’s huge. We think we can go in and offer a 10MB to 1GB point-to-point service and sell to these larger companies at a much lower cost.”
SDP: Their plans include lowering the cost of living and pegging ministerial salaries to the bottom 20 percent of Singaporean wage earners.
So, generally, lowering the prices of stuff.
3. Promises of unlimited/free mobile data
SDP: Promises of a less authoritarian and more democratic Singapore.
Both sound too good to be true, but who knows?
4. “We think the regulator here would like to see some change.”
SDP: They’ve always looking for change in the form of alternative policies, which they’ve shared on their website.
5. “The three operators have gotten very comfortable over time. They have all agreed to a certain space or settled into a space where they are happy,”
This ties back into the SDP’s accusations that the PAP has become arrogant and insensitive to the people’s wishes.
6. “I think they (the incumbents) are nervous, about the impact of a fourth operator, not just us but any fourth operator. Everything has just been so steady for a while.”
The PAP is clearly worried about the Opposition’s presence in the next GE, although according to the Secretary-General of NTUC Chan Chun Sing, Chee Soon Juan is a “political failure”.
Is the PAP threatened by the SDP? Perhaps.
7. “I bet you a day after the government says, ‘Here is the plan for a fourth telco’, data caps will go up in an attempt to diffuse the situation. I think what they don’t realise is that when they go from 12GB to 2GB, they will piss off so many people,”
The influx of migrants in Singapore also pissed many people off, to the extent that sites like The Real Singapore became the one-stop xenophobe paradise.
Both SDP and MyRepublic are concentrating on fixing things that people are pissed about, with the SDP refuting Singapore’s need for migrants, and its ever-increasing population with no less than 15 articles.
MyRepublic looks like an Opposition telco hoping to enter IDA’s list of registered telcos, who are all beginning to look and sound the same with their ransom-like prices for mobile data. The people are not happy, and they want
more democracy better options!
Of course, SDP has a few dissimilarities with MyRepublic as well — MyRepublic isn’t planning on taking up all the market share, while SDP’s long-term goal appears to be to put the PAP out of power. That’s probably the equivalent of MyRepublic overthrowing Singtel as the biggest telco in Singapore.
Still, their choice of words and their circumstances seem pretty darn similar. GE is coming and so is the IDA’s decision on who the new telco will be.
It’s just funny to see how the state of telcos resemble the political situation so much.
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