Home News SG Economy Doubtful if LTA have political courage to enforce regulatory oversight of SMRT

Doubtful if LTA have political courage to enforce regulatory oversight of SMRT

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

By: Chris Kuan
The news ‘Khaw blames distracted management for rail issues’ suggests a typical government tiptoe around but not dealing with the fundamental rot in the system The targets are all well and good but unlikely to be attained as long as the system is rife with conflicts of interest.
The LTA has to enforce its regulatory role effectively. This means there is bound to be friction between the regulator and the operators and is to be expected in any regulated industry. Where there is a monopoly operator, the onus on regulatory oversight even greater.

The trouble is that the monopoly operator SMRT is majority owned by Temasek, the state investment holding company which is now tasked with delivering greater amounts of revenues to the government budget via the net investment return contributions. This means Temasek must expect greater financial performance from SMRT which in turns means as high prices and as low maintenance and reinvestment as it can get away with. LTA is meant to ensure fairness,protect the interest of users and ensure safety and efficiency. The objectives of SMRT and LTA are therefore in direct conflict. Again this is not unexpected in a regulated industry.
However, the LTA must also answer to the government who is the beneficiary of SMRT’s financial performance. See the vast inherent conflict of interests involved in the entire system? It is doubtful LTA will have the political courage (and let’s not forget risking high salaries) to enforce the required regulatory oversight which throw a spanner in the work of SMRT delivering greater financial performance which ultimately forms part of government expenditure.
And believe me, when it comes to higher investments to keep the system running, I am sure the government will have to step in with taxpayers’ money like what it did for buses. We are better of delisting SMRT and taking SMRT off the hands of Temasek and running it directly as a government entity.

Edited and republished from Chris Kuan’s Facebook.

Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Nearly 10,000 take umbrage at Ng Yat Chung and sign petition calling for his dismissal

Singapore -- Almost 10,000 people have taken umbrage at SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung’s “boorish behaviour” and have signed a petition calling for his dismissal. Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ng Yat Chung took “umbrage” at a reporter's questions...

K Shanmugam: Ng Yat Chung’s reaction, and the way he answered the question was very unfortunate

Singapore – Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam took to social media to point out his views on the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) restructuring, and added that SPH Ceo Ng Yat Chung's reaction to a reporter was "very unfortunate". Speaking at...

‘I will never wear a mask,’ says foreigner in MRT after being told to wear one

Singapore – A video of a man explaining to passengers why "he will never wear a mask" while inside the MRT has been circulating online, garnering responses from the online community to put him to task. "Another sovereign who refused to wear...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent