atans1

“F” word banned by PUB?

In Economy, Infrastructure, Media, Political governance, Tourism, Wit on 27/12/2011 at 6:03 am

Trust a former President’s Scholar to come up with the solution to prevent floods in Singapore. VivianB got PUB to rename “flooding” as “ponding”. Why didn’t Yaacob do this instead of calling a flood a 50-yr event. Well there were two 50-year events in less than two months last year.

Seriously, I don’t think it was VivianB’s idea. Likely to be the new CEO of PUB that is behind the renaming. He after all blames us for the floods, saying S’poreans took things for granted*. I say to him, “Don’t try to deflect blame like SMRT’s CEO who told us to guard the trains when there was a security break-in. PUB did not do it’s job.

Ain’t this renaming juz daft and misleading? PUB said of the heavy rain last Friday “there was no flooding at Orchard Road … However, water ponded at the open area of Liat Towers, the underpass between Lucky Plaza and Ngee Ann City, and the basement of Lucky Plaza due to the sustained heavy downpour”.

Sorry PUB, these places were flooded. The ponds were at least ankle deep, at Starbucks, customers walked on chairs to get out, and shops had to close**.

I’m glad that MediaCorp didn’t buy into this euphemism. They called these “flash floods”, as they used to. As to ST, they tried to be truthful, while keeping VivianB and PUB onside. No wonder SPH is such a good dividend payer, while unlisted MediaCorp continues to struggle financially.

If VivianB and PUB were doing their very best to ensure that tourists are not scared off (Remember that the retail trade is tourist dependent to keep profitable and that the overall economy is heading for a slowdown, if not a recession), they failed as far as Malaysia is concerned.  Bernama reported:

Flash Floods In Several Parts Of Singapore Including Orchard Road

Flash floods hits several areas of Singapore including the republic’s most famous shopping alley, Orchard Road, following prolonged heavy rain in the southern and central parts of the city state Friday …

Nice try guys. But better for the economy, retailers and S’pore’s image if the PUB improved its “ponding” prevention measures, not try to play word games.

—-

*”But maybe we have also become victims of own success. Because we have been so successful, alleviating floods, that we have not seen a flood situation for a long time. So when it came, it did catch Singaporeans by surprise.”  Channel News Asia

**How Today reported the situation

The underpass between Lucky Plaza and Ngee Ann City remained closed yesterday evening. Some shop owners at the ground floor of Lucky Plaza said that water levels were ankle-high, but the situation this time was better than during previous floods.

At retail store Giordano, store in-charge Lyn Molino estimated losses of up to S$7,000 and said that customers were not only deterred by the wet floors but also by the stench from yesterday’s floodwaters. “This is supposed to be a good opportunity for us to have extra earnings but it has all been affected,” she said.

The floodwaters also washed out business at Starbucks and fast-food restaurant Wendy’s, among other establishments, at Liat Towers. Wendy’s manager (marketing and branding) Seng Woon Fa estimated losses of about 60 per cent of the day’s earnings. “We are now just busy cleaning up and hope to resume business as soon as possible … we are still checking if any equipment is spoiled,” he said.

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  1. Puzzling why after such a long lapse of time many weremade known that that all experts were brought in resolve the flood problems, but to no avail.
    PUB may have under unestimated our Proffessionals and our experiences local contractors here to solve these problems of floodings or are they due to face savings, or have other different agendas not engaging our locals to help resolved these problems.
    Occation Floodings whenever there are down pours and break downs in MRTs are seriously causing much CONCERNED to the PUBLIC and CITIZENS a like. Now if these problems cannot be resolved, what if other problems arises. As can be forseen our infrastructures over the time due to usages with ware and tear and if not properly maintained will have problems to be like the MRT.
    I AM URGING THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO HEED TO GENUIENE ADVICED TO SERIOUSLY LOOK INTO ALL FACTORS BEFORE FURTHER DAMAGE OCCURS.

  2. It looks like the management layer at PUB prefer to play public relation + management games rather than openly accepting reality that their previous solutions were not good enough. “Ponding” indeed. A lamentable state of affairs for people who acquired very good qualifications yet due to 50 years of indulgence and complacency, are no longer capable of confronting reality.

    It brings to mind what Richard Feynman discovered at NASA during the Challenger disaster investigation. Initially, he felt very pleased with himself for discovering new facts with regards to the disaster – then he realized he had essentially been guided, step-by-step, by the engineering staff to the root cause, which they already know. At the end, he blamed NASA management for not really understanding what was safety and ignoring the concerns of engineers on the ground.

    “For a successful technology,” Feynman concluded, “reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

  3. Imagine you are making a claim on flood damage and your insurance company tell that that there is no flooding, only ponding, according to the Authority… The Old Guards worked so hard to get rid of constant flooding and now we are back to regular “ponding.”

    • Did you know that the “Emergency” was called “Emergency” to protect UK insurers from having to pay out claims for damage caused by the Malayan Communist guerillas under the “war” clause?

  4. I heard from sources that PUB and PAP were debating a few choice words and phrases before they decided to use “ponding”. Some e.g. were “condensation”, “water sprinkles”, and “collection of hydrogen and oxygen atoms”.

  5. I am sure that many LOCAL PROFFESSIONALS FROM PUB ITSELVES.. are aware of the root caused of the floods. IF ONLY THE TOP DOWN GIVING DIRECTIVES FROM PUB, are ready to LOWER THEIR DIGNITIES AND REQUEST FOR THEIR ASSISTANCES TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS.
    DUE TO THE ARROGANCE OF PUB TOP MANAGEMENTS, WHERE THEY ARE FULLY AWARE THAT THIS METHOD IN ENGAGING LOCALS COULD BE DONE, BUT PREFERRED TO CHOSE OTHERWISE, TO SPEND EXTRAVAGENCELY BY APPOINTING OUTSIDERS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE EXPERTS ACCORDING TO PUB, WHEREBY THEY MAY NEED TO HAVE TO TAKE A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME THAN USUAL TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS.
    FOR ANY CLEAR MINDED PEOPLE OR LOGICALLY IN ALL OPINION UNITL OR UNLESS OUR LOCALS ARE NOT ABLE TO DO THE JOB OR DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPABLTIES TO RESOLVE OUR OWN PROBLEMS THAN WE WILL TRY OUTSOURCING METHODS WITH CONDITIONS TO EXPEDITE.
    WE CANNOT WAIT INDEFINATELY, AND BEAR IN MIND THAT PATIENCES CAN ALSO RUN OUT OF PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY SINGAPORE AND IT CITIZENS.

  6. i hardly go down to orchard road. so my trip there a week ago
    was mouth opening. the place is incredibly built up. there are
    so Many more buildings, and they all seem squeezed together,
    so much so it felt rather claustrophobic. if there is nowhere for
    water to go, it can only just sit around and …”pond”.

    it is time to stop piling on more and more buildings in the area.

    a stop should also be done in the city/shenton way area before
    that too starts experiencing “ponding”. oh what the heck, before
    we start seeing floods there as well! last there, a couple of months
    ago, i noted several weeny green patches with landscaping being
    offered up for tender.

    a major rethink about how singapore will move forward needs to be
    done – by citizens, as the govt has shown it dare not take the steps
    it needs to take outside its daft planned path.

    it is good the PAP is still in govt, so IT can sort out the mess it’s gotten
    this country into.

    • Floods worse in area around intersection of Scotts and Orhard. Remember the grass patch and slope opposite Tangs where the Filipino maids used to picnic?

      And the car parks opposite Centrepoint?

      Built up.

  7. The PUB had to resort to calling the incident ponding. If the LTA had agreed to naming the thoroughfare Orchard Canal…

  8. So when it rains they will be rename as “overflow from the sky”. It does does not matter how they are being phrased it, as long as the problems can be resolve, what is the use of having to rename flood by ponding, its like taking your money from your right pocket to the left pocket, so what is the difference, its only paper work with insurance policy just additional word “PONDING” to be added just in case you are insured for flood.
    Whether PONDING, OVERFLOW OR FLOODING, how are the Authorities going to solve the mentioned and when are the responsible parties going to solve the problem is important. So this is not due to 50 years in a matter of less than one year or ACT OF GOD, but due to human error, imcompetantcy and complacency trying to take all the short cuts.

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