THE BACKLASH AGAINST globalisation has never been stronger, the oil and gas industry is in the doldrums and seems far from recovering, the adoption of clean energy is moving faster than anyone had anticipated, China is aggressively investing in infrastructure in Malaysia and beyond, and jobs are being rapidly lost to automation. These developments are conspiring to render Singapore irrelevant to the world. Make no mistake: A crisis is in the making, that is, if it's not already upon us.
I would like share an incident that happened to my uncle last month when he approached PAP Macpherson Branch to seek a reduction of a traffic penalty as he did stop halfway at a junction when the lights turned red. As he had previously tried on 2 separate occasions but failed to obtain leniency, he went again a third time to the Branch but this time, met with an extremely unhelpful and unfriendly grassroots who goes by the name "Chua". Chua told my uncle bluntly to stop wasting both his and the MP's time as he claimed my uncle had already flouted the law and the government's rules are always right!
According to the reader, who is a taxi driver, he says that he confronted the van driver, who told him arrogantly that he had been approved by the Land Transport Authority. He then proceeded to load his tourists' baggage and ferry them to their destinations.
SLA recently acted on complaints by 5 residents who had demanded that the football academy pitches at the Home United Youth Football Academy (HYFA) be shut down, due to the noise it generated. Five people versus hundreds of kids who would have been given the opportunity to enjoy being kids and play on real football pitches, instead of on their mobile devices, and SLA bowed down to these five people.
Apparently, the noise generated from people playing football is too noisy, so cannot concentrate on other more important things. SLA in the first place had slated the space for sports usage, now they backtracked and ordered the pitches to be closed after 7pm. Singapore wants a sports culture, but if authorities cannot even be firm against five residents (!), then how is sports culture going to be cultivated?
According to a reader, he encountered a practice in St Michael's School (now renamed St Joseph's Institution since 2007) where he and his family were told to sit in another table because they were consuming food that was non-halal.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan just officiated on the completion of the replacement of the MRT sleeper replacement programme. This is for the East West Line and the North South Line. The project, which involved replacing timber track sleepers with hardier, concrete ones, started in August 2013 and was completed in December last year.
Minister must be happy, his project finally completed. The LTA also took the opportunity to announce that they will implement a new signalling system on the North-South Line progressively from March this year. This will ensure trains run at faster intervals. Could this be the solutions to packed MRT trains during peak hours?
So, will we see any more teething problems on our old and creaking MRT lines? If not wrong, the newer MRT lines which are not supposed to be creaking also have many many problems. Delay due to MRT is almost a normal thing now.
I read with amusement an article on the TODAY newspaper, writing about how Singapore should have a code of ethics for pedestrians walking on footpaths and on park connectors.
Article writer basically indicated that since cyclists and personal mobility device users would soon be subjected to rules on the proper usage of roads and paths, pedestrians should not be spared also. He was ashamed at how some of us walk on footpaths and park connectors with disregard for our own safety and that of others.
So he wants a code of ethics for pedestrians to be rolled out. Pedestrians should not use headphones to listen to music and should not read and text on their mobile phone. When a shared path is narrow, they should walk in a single row so as not to obstruct others.