Opportunities To Take Potshots At The Ruling Party Will Not Be Wasted

The Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) experienced a breakdown on an unprecedented scale; train services were down on two major lines ( North-South and East-West lines — both lines account for more than 50 stations) for more than three hours on Tuesday night (7 July), during the evening peak period.

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The SMRT breakdown spawned hilarious reactions on the social media platform, we compiled 15 of the best social media reactions.

Opposition parties too have their own not-so-hilarious reactions to the SMRT breakdown, MustShareNews guides you through these reactions and promises to be as objective as possible.

Workers’ Party

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The former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) and reigning champion of measured statements, Calvin Cheng, had earlier called the Workers’ Party (WP) out for being silent over the SMRT breakdown earlier today (9 July)….

but Workers’ Party shut him up by issuing an official statement 3 hours later.

In the Hammers’ statement, four points were raised.

Wasteful, Wasteful, Wasteful

The WP pointed out that number of train breakdowns show no signs of improvement and suggested that the relevant authorities are not doing a good job despite having the resources.

Yet, the number of significant train delays reached an all-time high of 12 in 2014 and stands at 8 in 2015. This is despite billions of dollars of government funds being pumped into improving the existing MRT infrastructure since 2011.

– Workers’ Party

So Un-Un-Un-Un-Unreliable

Questions were also raised about the reliability of the transport system of Singapore; the WP warns that the unreliability of the SMRT can prove to be disastrous if not resolved.

 Such a system-wide failure could have repercussions on our nation’s economic and national security interests

– Workers’ Party

Please Pull Up Your Socks

In the official statement, the WP further calls on the relevant authorities to implement a stricter set of maintenance routines on the train services and insists that the interests of commuters must take priority over profits.

We call on the authorities to enforce a more rigorous maintenance regime on the rail network, with effective measures in place to ensure that commuters’ interests take precedence over corporate profits.

– Workers’ Party

Kudos To SMRT Staff

The WP ended off by giving their appreciation to the staff of the SMRT.

Their efforts and tireless work – with many working through the night – should be recognised, and we too would like to express our appreciation for their hard work.

– The Workers’ Party

The Workers’ Party issued a very rational statement; they called for accountability, transparency, and even took the time to thank the SMRT staff for their efforts during the breakdown.

Singapore Democratic Party


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The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) issued their statement on a Facebook post.

SDP’s statement is puzzling — instead of focusing their attention on the dismal state of the SMRT train services, SDP chose otherwise, to talk about the population of Singapore.

The party calls on the government to reconsider the plan of housing 6.9 million residents in the tiny red dot, and warns about the undesirable effects of turning Singapore into a overcrowded city.

A bigger population will, of course, allow the PAP government to collect more taxes and fees. But this comes at the expense of Singaporeans who have to live with the stresses and strains of an overcrowded city.

– Singapore Democratic Party

The SDP ended off by presenting themselves as the opposition to vote for in the coming General Election — they linked alternative proposals and plans for Singapore to the Facebook post.

SDP effectively turned their Facebook post into a vote-grabbing opportunity.

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By the way, SDP’s argument that Singapore is too small to hold a population above 5.3 million is simply false.

Just because a country is small, the population does not have to be necessarily remain small for the transport system to run smoothly.

Seoul is a good example to disprove SDP’s logic — Seoul has a population of 10 million with a land area of 605 km sq, while Singapore has a population of 5.3 million with a land area of 718.3 km sq.

Despite having a larger population and a small land size, the Seoul transport system consistently ranks among the best in the world according to CNN — showing that the issue is not about the population or the land area, but about the train system itself.

Reform Party

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The Reform Party (RP) wants to know why the longstanding issue has not be resolved. The party further calls for three reforms to be undertaken by the transport authorities.

1. Call for Committee of Inquiry (COI)

RP calls for a fresh COI to investigate the causes of the breakdown, while adding that the committee should be chaired by someone who is not part of the Government or the public transport industry — they want a foreign talent instead.

We therefore need the COI to be chaired by someone outside the Government and the public transport industry, preferably a foreign expert who has experience with running a world-class public transport system.

– The Reform Party

2. Call for an Independent Regulator 

The opposition party pointed out that an independent regulator is needed.

According to the party, there is a clash of interest with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) regulating the SMRT, since both entities are closely interconnected and arms of the same Government.

You cannot have the owner of the transport system also control the regulator which is responsible for seeing that the transport companies meet service standards.

– The Reform Party

3. Call for More Competition

RP also calls for more competition in the public transport arena of Singapore, suggesting that greater competition and privatization of the public transport system spurs greater efficiency, more affordable fares, and better services.

A small amount of limited competition has been introduced by allowing foreign operators to tender for some of the bus service packages but this has not gone far enough.

– The Reform Party

The RP is also perhaps the most vocal of opposition parties on the issue of the SMRT breakdown, there two other Facebook posts dedicated to the SMRT breakdown.

This is not a surprise, since the party have always been vocal and controversial — the party earlier voiced their support for the Hong Kong protesters in burning effigies of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Singapore’s People Party


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Aside from calling for accountability and transparency, Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss from the Singapore’s People Party (SPP) has some harsh words for Minister Lui and the Chief Executive of SMRT, Desmond Kuek.

Transport Minster Lui Tuck Yew

Chong-Aruldoss calls on Minister Lui to account to the public and provide a full detailed report on the Tuesday’s breakdown as soon as possible.

I call on SMRT and the Minister of Transport to provide, without delay, a full and frank account of the steps taken to implement the 2012 COI’s proposal from 2012 to date.

– Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss

Desmond Kuek

The Mountbatten contestant noted the Chief Executive of SMRT, Desmond Kuek consistently had pay rise since 2013, but the quality and efficiency of the public transport system has not improved.

The CEO of SMRT, Mr Desmond Kuek, has seen his remuneration increase from around $500,000 in 2013 to somewhere between $2.2 million – $2.5 million in 2015.

What hasn’t increased is the reliability and soundness of our public transport system.

–  Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss

She then called for Mr Kuek’s remuneration and the transport fares to both freeze until the issue is resolved.

I call on SMRT’s CEO, Mr Desmond Kuek, to commit to a pay freeze until the proposals of the 2012 COI are fully implemented and yesterday’s massive breakdown is explained and rectified.

– Jeannette Chong Aruldoss

The Mountbatten contestant made quite a good statement regarding the SMRT breakdown, her message that centres around “accountability” definitely will strike a chord in many Singaporeans.

After all, it is right that after so many accidents, Singaporeans deserve some form of accountability by the relevant authorities — don’t worry, we are not expecting any hara-kiri from anyone.

Potential From Oppositions?

Opposition parties in Singapore are voicing out about the SMRT breakdown — which is good and representative of a functioning democracy.

While we still don’t know if any of the candidates above will turn up in parliament any time soon, it is definitely a positive sign that the political scene of Singapore is getting more vibrant and rational.

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With references from The Straits Times, The Workers’ Party, Singapore Democratic PartyThe Reform Party, Jeannette Chong Aruldoss