parliament - i scratch you, you scratch me
The MPs have done their part to praise this 'Made in Heaven' budget. It is time to reciprocate and praise the MPs for their angelic chorus. The quality of debate has been good beyond recognition if we are to learn from Kan Seng's summation of how good parliamentary debate is today. But he also dropped a hint that time and effort should be apportioned to more important issues and not wasted on issues that are of lesser importance. That is as frank and honest as Kan Seng can be. Now what after the great debate? Is there anything that is going be changed or all the papers submitted will be passed lock, stock and barrel? Are we going to have our 6.5 million population, increasing ERP charges, higher cost with world class facilities and infrastructure, or spending more money on not so important mega projects and lesser on the bread and butter issues facing the pathetic poor by giving them another $1 a day for a meal? Will our MRT go the Tokyo way to be world class and be packed 100%, 20% more than the current under utilisation? It must be a great sight to see MRT staff shoving and pushing commuters into an already 100% sardined pack carriage so that we will be more like Tokyo! The 6.5 million population is a very serious proposition that no one, no matter how conceited he is, is in a position to guarantee that nothing can go wrong. For when it does, it will go drastically wrong. We have made all these great plans only seeing it from our own point of view and interest. I cannot imagine the conditions at the causeway and second bridge every weekend and how our neighbours will react to the massive jams. Maybe next time not only no sand or granite, but no causeway as well. Who knows, as the problem that a 6.5 million population can contribute to our slow and leisure pace lifestyle of our neighbour is yet to be fathomed. A Richard Lim Siong Kheng wrote to the ST, 'There ought to be smarter ways to grow our economic pie, for examples, through increasing productivity...In other words, emphasise quality rather than size in the Little Red Dot. Let us do things the smarter way and leave something for posterity.' This kind of problem solving is nothing different from increasing ERP charges. Like Ong Kian Min said, '...there is a "psychological limit" to how high the ERP rates can go before drivers "will be up in arms". When there is only one aorta in our system, all the blood must go through it no matter how hard one squeezes it. And this is elementary and does not need supertalents to see the problem and does not take so long for anyone to realise why increasing ERP is not the solution. Or as Seng Han Tong said, 'lets make ERP more effective and not more expensive.'