8/17/2006

bringing down cost of essential services

The Worker's Party has made it their key objective to fight for the lowering of public transport fare. And their reasons are very valid except that the ruling party could not see it that way. Public transportation is a vital industry and affects the economy of the country as well as the wellbeing of the people. It should be treated like education or defence, and made as effective, efficient and at the lowest cost possible without the profit motive. Choking up the transport system or parallysing it by continuously raising fare will affect the quality of life of the people and all other economic and social activities. Opposition parties should be very clear in their objectives and defend the interests of the poorer people by bringing down cost of essential items and services. Transportation is only one of the many essential services.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

You want something at low cost, make sure you also accept the sub-standard service quality that comes with it. Cheap and good simply does not go hand-in-hand.

redbean said...

hi anonymous,
cheaper public transport does not mean compromising on the quality of the service. there is another similar sweeping statement that has been flaunted every now and then. ie, if don't privatise, public organisations or stats boards will be inefficient. can you believe in that?

now, comfortdelgro made $200 mil last year. smrt made $100 mil. if the fare is reduced so that they make $20 mil or $10 mil, will it compromise the quality of service? even if they are tasked to provide the same quality of service and ploughing back the profits to lower the cost, will it lead to substandard service?

after the privatisation of the tv industry, do we get better quality programme, and with higher tv licence fee?

Anonymous said...

>>if the fare is reduced so that they make $20 mil or $10 mil, will it compromise the quality of service?

Yes it will. Who wants to run a business if the govt restricts the amount of profit you can make. And don't tell me that the govt should fill that void because it is not the business of govts to be in business.

Anonymous said...

>> if don't privatise, public organisations or stats boards will be inefficient. can you believe in that?

There is some truth in this assertion too. In the private sector, everything is driven by profit. You can't do the job you were tasked to do, you get shown the door. The public sector otoh has no such culture. Whether you perform up to expectations, under perform or over perform, the resultant rewards do not differ much. Hence, the sense of urgency, and decisiveness that is so crucial in the business world is simply non-existent in the public sector. That is why the public sector is a festering ground for deadwoods and underachievers.

redbean said...

if we believe in the assertion that if no privatisation, all govt and stats boards are inefficient, then we are saying that our govt is inefficient, our stats boards and all the ministries are inefficient. now aren't we insulting all those people working there? they shouldn't be paid that kind of obscene salaries to be inefficient. and it is time we privatise the govt as well.

the red herring that every organisation must be profit oriented, that public transport must be profit oriented or else no one will want to operate it is a fallacy. the word govt, means it is there to do things that a nation state is expected to do. and as a nation, taxes are collected to provide for essential services. These services should run not strictly for profits alone.

this profit logic is ruining many good policies and making life very difficult for some sections of the population while some are very happy as they are beneficiaries of the profits.

Anonymous said...

It is not a fallacy. If the govt were to operate the public transport network and run it inefficiently, and at a loss, the money to cover that loss must come from somewhere. It will untilmately come back in the form of higher taxes. That will mean that people like me who hardly take public transport will then have to subsidise those who are. I see no logic in that.

Anonymous said...

The govt may be duty bound to provide essential services. How it does that is another matter altogether. it is not written anywhere that they have to provide it themselves. Engaging a private entity to undertake the provisioning of those services is an equally valid way.

Anonymous said...

When you earn a six figure sum, along with other generous perks come rain or shine, recession or boom, who gives a damn whether it's insulting that they're deemed as inefficient. I know I wouldn't if i were in their shoes. :)

redbean said...

it is not acceptable to assume that the govt will run the transport company or any organisation inefficiently be it as a public organisation or as a private organisation.

with information flowing swiftly across the net, the govt cannot afford to mismanagement or to conceal any wrongdoings if any. it will be found out quickly and spread quickly. and if the govt talks cock everyone will know and will laugh openly or in private. it is no joke to be in public office when the people now has a tool to talk nonsense and to be heard.

Anonymous said...

>>"That will mean that people like me who hardly take public transport will then have to subsidise those who are. I see no logic in that."
That is where singapore is heading........The rich and can-afford only cares about their own well-being........

Anonymous said...

Cannot cover up because of the Internet, you say Redbean ? Where have you been the last few years ? The NKF scandal did not blow out in the open because of the Internet. They managed to cover it up for so long IN SPITE of there being rumours swirling around in cyberspace of alleged wrongdoings. All they had to do was bring a defamation suit to the perpetrators and the matter will be closed, end of story, no more discussion. You think the people in power gives a shit what's being said about them in cyberspace ? They're busy counting the millions in their bank accounts.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8.47pm, humans are by nature selfish creatures. It is no different anywhere else on the planet.

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

of course those who are guilty will try their best to cover up. but sooner or later, it will be out in the open. the main stream media may not want to publish them, but in the internet, there are many sites that will publish anything. just go to sammyboy, talkingcock, the one who printed the book 'escape from paradise' etc

wow, you should see what they have posted. just because someone has not been found guilty in the court of law does not mean that the person is innocent. mahathir is as innocent as a 3 year old child...till now.

Anonymous said...

There may be many sites where so-called alternative views are aired but my point was that this has not in any way reduce the hegemony of the ruling party. It has been more than a decade since the Internet exploded into our lives. Do we feel any difference ? I certainly don't. How many Singaporeans actually frequent those sites ? I dare say 60% - 70% of the content are mindless bantering and vitriolic aimed at the govt, which goes a long way to diminishing their credibility somewhat.

redbean said...

in political agitation, it is always the vocal minority that make the most noise and be heard. the opposition against the casino is the same thing. a lot of attention given to a small interest group who protested. the majority will always be the silent majority and either don't care and don't bother.

often the minority won by default.

the number of people in the internet is very small, maybe 5%. but for everyone it will spread to 5 and 5 to 25 etc. information spread like wild fire even by words of mouth.

let's not underestimate the power of the internet.