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5/15/2006

before smrt raises its fare again

The SMRT is making huge profits again. It has been making profits for many years in the hundreds of millions. And all along it has been claiming that cost is rising and it will lose money if transport fare is not raised. And that they are accountable to theirshareholders as a private company. Is it really a private company in the true sense? Can anyone remember that $6 billion was used from taxpayers money to build the infrastructure which has since been written off. (I stand corrected if anyone can prove to me that I am wrong on this.) Now the management of the SMRT are happily managing the company for profits made from none other than the taxpayers who contributed the $6 billion to its initial cost. If the SMRT is to regard itself as a purely private company, and making money for its shareholders as its primary objective, then it is only right and fair that SMRT make provisions to repay the $6 billion back to the people as it has no obligation to the people. For being given the right as a monopoly business, it cannot lose money like any other business. It only needs to raise fares to cover whatever it wants to cover and whatever profits it wants to make. Where else can there be such a sure to profit business? Where is the business risk? The privatisation does not really benefit the people except shareholders. It is a misnomer to claim that without privatisation it will be inefficient and will run at a loss. This is an insult to all govt andstatutory boards, that they are inefficient because they are not privatised. And in case of a stats board, if the management isinefficient they should be fired and replaced with a new management team. Turning it private is a lousy excuse to improve efficiency. I don't believe that stats board are inefficient just because they are not privatised.

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