PM Lee has to Speak and Act Now

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by Augustine Low/

Minister K Shanmugam is putting it mildly when he says that the SMRT issues “have sorely tested the public mood.” It has hit home that the litany of woes – now even extending to breach of safety – will drag on for sometime, more in terms of years rather than weeks and months.

The mood of the public is no more in a test mode – when people’s lives are affected almost on a daily basis, they run out of patience and evolve into anger and exasperation.

What will all this translate into? There is a precedent of sorts. In the few years leading up to the 2011 General Election, there was widespread unhappiness over housing woes and strained infrastructure like overcrowding on public transport, and yes, even then there were MRT breakdowns but not with the regularity of today.

The 2011 GE result came as a rude shock to the PAP – it was their worst performance since independence, with the Workers’ Party winning six seats. Almost immediately after the GE, Raymond Lim (Transport Minister) and Mah Bow Tan (National Development Minister) were retired from the cabinet, along with Wong Kan Seng (Home Affairs Minister) who many saw as culpable for the Mas Selamat escape.

So it took the electorate to force the hand of PM Lee Hsien Loong because prior to the GE, he was reluctant to do anything to any of those three Ministers – not even a reprimand, let alone a sacking. Is he now also leaving it to the electorate to force his hand? What does his silence mean? What’s  on his mind? What is his message, his assurance to Singaporeans?

Voting is not an exact science, especially given the GRC system. Goh Chok Tong was incensed that the PAP team in Aljunied GRC comprising two Ministers and a Senior Minister of State was voted out. This was his petulant cry then: “What mistake has George Yeo made? You can take a Minister and criticise him for not delivering on perhaps housing and transport. Like Wong Kan Seng you can say he let Mas Selamat escape. George Yeo, what has he done to deserve this?”

So if history is not to repeat itself and Goh Chok Tong is not to be once again lamenting the loss of members of the cabinet not responsible for causing public outcry and unhappiness, then it is time for PM Lee and the government to act swiftly and decisively.

Augustine Low is a former journalist and managing director of a public relations agency.

156 COMMENTS

  1. “Everything works, whether its water, electricity, gas, telephone, telexes, it just has to work. If it doesn’t work, I want to know why, and if I am not satisfied, and I often was not, the chief goes, and I have to find another chief. Firing the chief is very simple.”

    Hope he listens to daddy.

  2. I just don’t understand what is so hard to get rid of incompetent non performers who have proven so over a PERIOD of time. So u can’t say it is a knee jerk reaction. His father would have shipped these fools off a long time ago. He definitely has a level of patience his father didn’t

  3. He said…Increase fare for better system and increase start now!!!!

    Hahahahahah come on what do you expect from them, they surely know everyone is pissed, but it is either they have no solution or dont care.

    What they only care is their power and authority.

  4. Kenneth Jeyaratnam should learn from Shanmugam! See how United the white monkeys are???
    Shanmugam is defending his party member even though the problems remain unsolved and can never be solved even if the white cow has been pressured to step down!
    When Liu Tuck Yew resign, nobody volunteers to take his ministry!
    When our transport minister is unable to solve the never ending problem of MRT, then why do we invest in HSR ???
    ♻Certainly, the party is accountable for the transport problems, not just that white cow!
    ♻Who increase our population and overloaded the trains that packed like sardines even during off peak hours ???
    Time for 70% to wake up and do your best to bring SDP, WP and RP into our parliament house otherwise the suicide rate of our senior citizens will rise, just watch and pray!

  5. Nah… Singaporeans are cowardly and selfish, they don’t care whether their children will be able to survive or not in future with the cost of living rising endlessly while salary stay stagnant not to mention good jobs are getting lesser cause of the competition from foreigners.

    Now they make a lot of noise, but when GE come they will vote for PAP nonetheless after getting their GST or whatever rebates.

  6. He needs yes men not thinking men to cover the mess he’s sitting on……depleted reserves and cpf funds caused by massive losses in overseas investments.He dare not trust outsiders for fear of whistle blowing.

  7. How to get rid of the Incompetent when One is Incompetent to the Max?

    All these ZoBoLans can only Khong JiaoWeh, make each other happy and continue to mislead….. that’s what it is for the last 15years under this LEEderShit!

    Read what the snake head came out selling more snake oil after the Cow mooooo?

  8. When I look at his face, it tells me he doesn’t care about the citizens. His open door immigration policy have little benefit to average citizens, he self entitle million dollar pay and multiple months of bonuses, continues to harass and sue opposing voices, let his ministers run away with incompetence etc, all these create hardship for the people while he enriches himself obscenely. His silence on the train failure speaks loudly of his care less attitude for the people so long as his wealth continues to accumulate. He is a despot leader who cares only for himself.

  9. The point of no return has finally arrived or we are still the same old forgiving bunch?

    Only free transport in year of election can turn the tide…..wishing thinking

  10. Only wait to c what they offer b4 GE for us SGs to suck up to.Maybe like somebody mentioned free mrt rides or something like that or mrt vouchets…But I m quite confident we SGs will know what to pen unlike d bloody newly minted “SGs”.?????

  11. What exactly does he do? He’s the highest paid public servant in the world and there’s nothing he has done that’s newsworthy even in his home country much less the world. Compare that to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau where he received rock star status to screaming admirers in The Philippines when he was there.

  12. They are an arrogant lot. Very arrogant. The Oxley saga, train collision, burst water pipe, among many other things may just be a tip of the ice berg of who knows what’s coming.

  13. 70% of Singaporeans have voted for LHL and PAP. They think they have done and are doing a great job. So why should he apologise and act now? That’s what the 70% voted for isn’t it?

    • I think it boils down to if Singaporeans are making choices and dare to take failure risk for their values. When a new generation grow up making their own choices in education and learning from them, they will learn to seek for what they want as adults instead of following the assured path laid out.

    • Loh Sze Chieh at this point of failure and new lows the excuse of not risking the inexperienced alternative parties is no longer a strong reason not to vote some qualified ones into the govt! Even a 30% play will be good balancing! Checks and balances!

  14. I have been waiting for someone to mention abt PM being mum about the whole MRT episode . And not surprise the law minister once again self praise his colleagues. Own self praise own self , own self check own self don’t need a independent enquiry over a serious incident which could result in fatality. Someone must be killed before BOI or COI can be called . Just unbelievable

  15. I hope te next GE can be more transparent. As in public vote n on same day show us what our town people has been voting. Ofcourse with each n every voter around during the time when vote are being sorted out. Because if 70% voted for the pap. Then why are Soo many people still grumbling about what is happening today. So absurd….

  16. There will be more and more nonsense coming up. more train issues will happened. KBW said by November 2017 all signal issues will be resolved. now please KBW eat your own words. and LHL why is he so quiet? and the selected President why so quiet?

  17. A corporate leader would have been ripped apart by the BOD and its shareholders, and the public. Here we have a Neanderthal that is nonchalant and ignorant. Dumb dumb PM.

  18. Ran get this into your head OK. First of all I don’t vote for PAP but I still get my GST, S & C rebates & so forth. They can always don’t give me if they are not happy. After all it’s tax payer’s money. If they give don’t tell me don’t take. So next time don’t assume all others vote for PAP. I actually screw my own friends when they vote for PAP when they dare to complain. They cannot but I can.

  19. A fake BG endorsed by his late father who has totally no capabilities to run a ministry what more a country.He simply gamble away his own citizens money covering all unreliable ministers ruining a vast sporean live and future.A coward who hide behind his own downfall but a warrior ‘killing’ his own family.

  20. Forget it. A useless person can do nothing but only worsen the situation. His only best abilities. Hide behind this govt and his ministers. ‍♂️. Like a ‍♂️

  21. He doesn’t give a shit to Singaporeans(locals).There is nobody to question him!U like u stay,don’t like u can get lost,that’s pap’s motto!Typical Chinese emperor.

  22. PAP’s supporters main arguments:

    1) Singapore is still one of the best countries in the world.
    2) PAP brought us to where we are today.
    3) Oppositions are incompetent and inexperienced.

    But,
    1) Singapore is deteriorating very fast.
    2) The current batch of government has an extremely poor track record.
    3) Current PAP leaders are also incompetent, apathetic, power hungry and egoistic.

  23. I have been asking and saying this…. why hasn’t the PM spoken out on this? The world is laughing at us! It’s like this messy affairs with our supposedly world class public train system has nothing to do with him! He is the main man, the leader of his cabinet ministers, but yet he has been keeping silence all this while? I am totally disappointed with his leadership!

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