MP Seah Kian Peng: Imposing parking charges at all schools is “laughable and an insult”

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In a flurry of decisions made, teachers now have to pay for their own parking in order to uphold “the value of self-discipline”, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.

He also added in a Facebook post that, “Charging for parking, therefore, is primarily a decision borne out of duty. But this duty does not diminish our appreciation of teachers and educators”.

Similarly, in response to media queries, the Ministry of Education also added that it has “become increasingly clear that the current treatment of allowing school staff to park for free constitutes a taxable benefit”.

However, Marine Parade GRC Member of Parliament Seah Kian Peng spoke out for teachers and said that the use of the clean wage argument to justify imposing parking charges at all schools is “laughable and an insult” to teachers.

MP Seah also said that, while there might be a need to regulate the responsible use of funds, fiscal prudence and good procurement, “equally, we ought to be having a conversation about reciprocity, trust and relationships”.

Needless to say, most people were incensed.

Many felt that the value that teachers bring to the jobs and to the education of students more than outweighs a trivial issue such as paying for parking, and more so within the compound of the school itself.

Mdm Vivian Loh, a former teacher at Anderson Junior College spoke up about the issue and said, “I guess they will never grasp that it isn’t so much about charging for parking as it is an affront to our humanity. The real currency teachers want are good grades and gratitude. This quibbling about money has sullied that ethos”.

Mr Matt MQ also said, “As an educator and having worked with MOE for 15 years, I must say I am very disappointed with this latest stipulation”.

He continued, “Is this the kind of money driven and materialistic society we want our children to be brought up in?

The QUESTION remains: WHAT MESSAGE ARE WE SENDING TO OUR PUBLIC SERVANTS AND THE NEXT GENERATION when it is all about money, costs, revenue at the people’s expense?”

The issue in general also brought about a debate as to which jobs were more noble or requiring more dedication and effort than others, and therefore more deserving.

Netizen Mr Kross Seah said, “MP and PA should not be given free parking as it is also a “hidden perk” which most of the time we are unable to determine if they are really performing duty or enjoying free parking for their self interest”.

Another, Mr Desmond Cheng said, “Feel sorry for the Teachers. If they want to implement this it should be across all Govt bodies including army camps, ministers, MP etc. Why is RC members allowed free parking then??”

A possible solution to this issue could be to leave parking charges up to each school to decide, instead of the Ministry of Education stepping in to standardise it across the board. This would be in line with how parking charges for most workplaces differ from company to company. Have it be an internal issue (or non-issue), instead of an external one.

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obbana@theindependent.sg

91 COMMENTS

  1. Exactly – especially when we have the HIGHEST paid Cabinet in the World and we want to impose parking charges in school for teachers, who incidentally are not the highest paid in the world nor anywhere near that bracket. Laughable and definitely an Insult.

  2. Kudos to MP Seah for speaking up for our teachers, the gatekeepers of our future generation leaders and workers,against such inhumane ideas. These people are so overpaid that they have got no empathy for the hardship of our teachers.

  3. i think PAP MP must speaks out of any issue regarding the welfare of the people. if they dare not to speak out for the people worrying about their MP status in tbe PAP camp. i think they are not doing their job as a representative of tje ward. them i suggesy that they should resign as a MP and still takes the monthly allowance of $20k.

    you will regrets for life if you still be greedy about the money and no moral to be a human

  4. guys, ask yourselves…this moron talks abt self discipline. Did you ever ask yourselves if they have self discipline themselves, why should they pay themselves rocket high salaries & fat bonuses to curb corruption? Why 70% still belief in their fairy tales or cock n bull stories?

  5. Our government nothing can improve is ready limited, now what we see and feel improvement either increase GST , school pay car parking etc I not work in school but I feel no need for school teacher to pay parking fee, u can tell school after school no parking . Dear don’t what u want school to pay can I ask other government building cpf building , Mas building etc do those staff need to pay parking fee ?

  6. On the other hand, those in government service often use the word ‘taxpayer’s money’ to justify squeezing their vendors. These small minds forgot that vendors are taxpayers also. If vendors does not make money, there will not be ‘taxpayer money’. A smarter way is to award contracts to companies with lower percentage of foreigners so that ‘taxpayer’s money’ goes to generate more tax for Singapore instead of tax for other countries

  7. Mr Seah, I agreed with you. Pricing should only be used when demand exceed supply. In schools and army camps it is the other way round. Charging in schools and army camps is nothing more than abusing the system to get more money for the government without batting an eyelid about staff welfare. In this way which officers will put in their best. I won’t!

  8. Open you ‘Eyes’ and ears and here the cries of your people. I know your hearts are all missing and you are pumping with greed and your fat salaries. But if there’s even a gramme of empathy left in your heartless body , stop with your numerous and ridiculous taxation’s on your citizen. Go after the people who squandered billions of our citizens money. People of Spore suffer enough and for WHAT ?

  9. Do parents of student think the school Teachers deserve free parking in schools? Do parents of school Teachers think your child deserves free parking in schools? Husbands, wifes, boyfriends, girlfriends or children think that your love ones work hard in schools and deserve free parking?

    • But yr dear 4G minister says its for “self discipline”. I wonder… if teachers dun hv self discipline… why are they even teaching our kids to be self discipline!!! And the best is they are Teachers!!! The also very best is… he said you dun hv to be a degree holder to be PM…. so laughable…..!!!!

  10. All other govt servants are already paying for parking at their workplaces for many years before teachers have to do same. Should be thankful they have so many years of free parking instead of sending instagrams mocking their students work or failing to protect n prevent Benjamin suicide

  11. Nowaday, expenditure is more higher then before. In the past, school carpark is teacher package. But now, teacher need to pay highly. (Will teacher salary increase like that?) So people feels indignant about it. It is like govt trying to earn more money from available source. GRC member said it is self discipline. (Does it mean govt want to control the use of land more stricter?) But many still do not understand. Other people thinking carpark belong to school, why charge teacher.

  12. Seems like all teachers, parents of students, ex-students and army, air-force, navy personnels are against imposing of parking charges. Would these account for 90% of the population which will give the next new government a strong mandate to lead. No time to wait for the 4g to mature….Everytime we will listen and consult, inclusive society….blah blah blah…both eyes are so small how to see the bigger picture of our dedicated educators. Don’t understand why produce scholars without empathy…everytime before consultation they already made up their minds….wayang consultations

  13. Minister of education should be looking at how to improve education and not to make more money by imposing parking.
    This is certainly a minister who does not know what he should be doing in his role.
    He think all ministers had to find ways to make more money for the government so that they can prove their worth.
    Their achievement is weigh in by how much money they can make?

  14. Ownself talk ownself song ! So talk about clean wages and good governance urh …..why still using coupon parking whereby cheating the general public’s of all the excess unused time $$$$$ when people only parked for 5mins and people used a 60mins coupon ? And , to make thing worst if one take a risk not to use coupon , surely kena rob $30.00 or at some carpark kena rob $50.00 summon !!!
    Challenge you to stand in SMC come next GE ……….dare???