What is $57,200?
When $600,000 was dismissed off as peanuts, why are netizens screaming over $57,200? The amount was spent on 26 foldable Brompton bikes that NParks had purchased. Many felt that it was excessive and unnecessary when a $500 bike is already a damn good one and a $1,000 bike is a luxury. A $2,000 bike is just inexplicable for a govt organization to splurge using public money. And poor Khaw Boon Wan now had came out to defend this purchase as reasonable. And this is going to cause more ire among the bikers who knew the value and quality of bikes. Best advice is not to explain.
But spending $57,200 is really nothing, not even a drop in the ocean. Not even half a month’s pay to many. Why the who ha? Personally, as a low wage worker, $500 for a bike is definitely too much for me to pay. Then it is all relative isn’t it? What is a lot to the losers is, yes, nothing to those who are used to spend millions and hundreds of millions.
The netizens are also complaining why a tender for 26 bikes only attracted one bid. Is it that the tender contract was too small, no supplier was interested, no one could meet the stringent specifications, or no one knew about the tender except for one? Many questions are being raised on this peculiar incident, just like the designer chairs for, was it MOM or NTU? Such small matters and small amount of money could not register in the memory of most people, not even my elephant memory. Of course dementia is starting to gnaw throw the thick skull.
My conclusion, the amount is just too small, too petty for any suppliers of foldable bikes to be bothered to submit their tenders. So it ended up with only one hungry tender, and according to civil service procedures, since there was only one tender, it was proper to accept the tender. Case closed. Let’s move on.
For those suppliers who were sleeping and did not know that there was such a tender, it is their fault. Then again, it must be the small sum that kept them away. In an exceedingly rich country when every mention of money is in the millions, when people conveniently asked, ‘What is $10m?’, what is $57,200? No case lah. Such a small matter is like making a mountain out of a mole hill. There are more important things to worry about.