Who cares about the "rollover system" decision - a fare increase of 6.6 per cent to be adjusted in two steps - made by the Fare Review Mechanism Committee in November 2013? This is December 2014, the price of oil has dived from a high of US$115 a barrel which Bank of America predicts could hit US$50 in 2015. Fuel cost is just one aspect of the economic effects about to be felt. According to the Financial Times, sliding oil is "exacerbating concerns about global disinflation", and has already triggered heavy selling across commodities. There are more at stake than the pissy formula that Lui uses to compute his "fare adjustment quantum".
What kind of signals is the Transport Minister sending when he rewards the train operator - with an ex-army officer in charge - who can't even secure his premises from intrusion by marauding graffiti artists? And now we hear the vicinity of Bukit Batok MRT station is invaded by a colony of marauding rodents. They can't even maintain a clean backyard. There's nothing wrong with their balance sheet though, and they are not about to trim some of the profits to improve the system. Maybe they are waiting for the rats to board the trains. The rats in parliament will do anything to improve ridership figures. And that has to be the reason why chairman of the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) Liu Thai Ker is saying the little red dot can accommodate 10 million people.
Pressed to name the challenges that Singapore will face with a 10-million population, Liu shoot back: "Don’t try to immediately picture the worst scenario. Can you use your imagination to picture a nicer scenario?" That picture of the rat nest has to be the tip of the iceberg.