I was attending a workshop in Taipei by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy when I read the article “MRT network on track to meet rail reliability targets: LTA” (Straits Times, May 24).

Some of the participants talked about “propaganda”.

I googled ‘propaganda” and it means “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.”

The Straits Times article said “The MRT network achieved 354,000 train-km between delays in the first quarter of this year (2017), said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Wednesday (May 25), putting it on track to meet its reliability targets.

Speaking to the media, LTA deputy chief executive for infrastructure and development Chua Chong Kheng noted that MRT’s achievement was just for the first three months of the year.”

With all the recent frequent news of MRT breakdowns – don’t you feel somewhat that it may be akin to “insulting your intelligence”, when you read things like this?

As an analogy – it may be like telling you that things have improved because you need to travel longer before you meet an accident.

Isn’t how many accidents and how severe they are – the adverse impact and consequences to you (the people) more important?

Why do we arguably, choose to use benchmarks that may be quite meaningless to us?

With the opening of more stations, addition of new trains, etc – isn’t it arguably, kind of like “a no-brainer” to improve the “distance travelled before breakdown” statistics?

In this connection, is it any wonder that our Press Freedom Ranking for 2017, has moved up three notches from 154th to 151st?

Leong Sze Hian
A.S.S. Contributor

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