With the recent fare hike exercise, many Singaporeans have complained about the fact that the public transport operators (PTO) have been allowed to increase fares despite no increase in service reliability.
On top of this, many felt it was unfair that fares should continue to increase despite the PTOs making huge profits every year.
While Lui Tuck Yew congratulated the Public Transport Council (PTC) on their “difficult” job of raising fares, it really comes as no surprise when all the members of the PTC are from well off backgrounds with high ranking jobs and influential positions.
How can a group of elites hope to know about the struggles of the average Singaporean.
While low-income earners are receiving a good discount with the new concession rules, there are also many middle-income Singaporeans who may just miss the cut-off for the concession but are still struggling to make ends meet.
According to the PTC website, here are the members of the council and just some of their jobs outside of the council:
From top left to bottom right:
Professor Phang Sock Yong – Professor at SMU
Mr Richard Magnus – Chairman of casino regulatory authority and director at 7 more companies
Ms Lim Huay Chih – Director in MOE
Mr Gopinath Menon – Adjunct professor at NTU
Mr Abdullah Shafie Bin Mohamed Sidik – Chairman of community management clubs
Mr Yeo Teck Guan – Director at LTA
Associate Professor Vincent Chua Cheng Huat – Professor at SIM
Mr Karmjit Singh – Chairman or director at 3 companies
Ms Angeline Ang Yih Ching – Senior manager at SPH
Mr Toh Hock Poh – President of metal workers union
Mr Chan Boon Fui – Senior Director in various public service positions
Mr Cerard Ee Hock Kim (chairman) – Chairman at 3 councils and companies
MR Rajendran s/o Govindarajoo – President of chemical industries union
Mdm Tan Seow Peer – Practicing lawyer
Dr Teng Su Ching – Director at 2 companies
Mr Louis Tay Bok Hock – Senior project manager of construction company
The website also declares that ‘most’ of the council members take public transport and they come from wide backgrounds to represent all of Singaporeans.
However, they all come from top positions, such as chairmen, presidents, directors in multiple companies. It is clear that they are all well off and are unlikely to know the reality of struggling to make ends meet.
There is no one on the council who could represent lower income groups.
What’s worse, the website says that ‘most’ and not ‘all’ the members take public transport. But how many of them take it regularly? Most of the council members probably don’t even take public transport regularly. How can you know the true state of the transport system if you rarely take public transport?