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Posts Tagged ‘Khaw Boon Wan’

Making MRT Great Again

In Infrastructure, S'pore Inc on 19/10/2017 at 5:31 am

“Win back our trust”. Taz what Khaw, and the chairman and paper general CEO at SMRT should be doing to make Our MRT Great Again.

First world country.
First world transportation.
First world ethics.

Not the usual suspects KPKBing “PAP is always wrong”.

Someone by the name of Eugene Weeposted u/m on FB. Although he isn’t at present living overseas, he’s spot on on his take of SMRT and what needs to be done.

I think Singaporeans are an understanding bunch.

Yes, we complain like mad when the train service is delayed because in more ways than one, it affects our daily lives and jobs.

But this does not mean we are on a witch hunt to get people fired.

We have been brought up in a culture of honesty and responsibility, and we expect the same from the highest levels of management or government. I believe we are simply looking for an honest response, admission of the issue and a credible solution.

We are more than happy to move on.

But what is unacceptable is when problems remain unaddressed, and worse still, its getting more common.

In light of these, of course there is a swelling ground discontent. but what makes me really uncomfortable is the responses to the public are nothing more than PR spins… get the public to be grateful, look at the hardworking people, to empathize with the workers etc etc.

These PR stunts are not only failing to address our concerns but also basically missing the point, not to mention eroding public trust.

We are not blaming the workers; what we are saying is that the only affordable form of public transport (that the majority of Singaporeans relies on for their bread and butter) is not reliable and please fix it – that is the management’s role.

Yes, we get it. Transportation is not an easy role, and we are not saying it is. But please don’t whitewash or brush it over with some convenient statistics of how more reliable it is when it is not.

If we believe Singapore’s education is top notch; we too, have to believe that Singaporeans are not that gullible to believe in selective statistics, and ignore the day to day disruptions.

If we aim to uphold our values as a first world country that takes pride in what we do, then please don’t give third world responses.

Take issue with the problems at hand, fix it, stop pushing the blame and definately not passing the buck down the line.

We are better than this.

Please don’t take aim at the ground workers, it is not only an appalling display of poor leadership but a clear indication of a lack of moral courage to be there for your people.

And please don’t talk about increasing public transportation fares or increasing salaries till you can increase reliability.

We know it’s an uphill climb, but important sacrifices have to be made in the higher echelon and communications have to be more sincere.

Win back our trust.

First world country.
First world transportation.
First world ethics.

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy.

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Where’s Khaw? (cont’d)

In Temasek, Corporate governance, Infrastructure, Public Administration on 17/10/2017 at 6:59 am

Since I wrote Where’s Khaw? on Sunday, he’s resurfaced like a submarine. From a flooded MRT tunnel isit?

And he’s not blaming the constructive nation-building media or new media or even commuters for misrepresenting the truth about the “ponding” at Bishan. Instead

In his first comments on the unprecedented flooding-induced train outage on Oct 7, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan apologised to commuters but pinned the blame squarely on operator SMRT’s maintenance regime.

But there’s more:

Chairman of SMRT Corporation and SMRT Trains Seah Moon Ming bowed and apologised to the public for the underground flooding incident along the North-South Line (NSL) on Oct 7-8 that resulted in a 20-hour disruption. 

But SMRT’s president and group chief executive officer Desmond Kuek, while expressing regret, did no apologies or bowing:

“Much progress has been made with the inculcation of a positive work culture, but there remain some deep-seated cultural issues within the company that has needed more time than anticipated to root out.”

Hello he became the President and Group Chief Executive Officer of SMRT Corporation Limited (SMRT) on 1 October 2012.

So it’s been a good five years since he took charge. He now owns the culture and all other bits of SMRT. SMRT’s history pre October 2012, is no longer an acceptable, reasonable excuse.

But in S’pore scholars don’t get sacked do they? Meritocracy? What meritocracy? Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy.

Here life is good for scholars. Multi-millionaire salaries but not accountable for results: juz for trying hard it seems.

 

Where’s Khaw?

In Infrastructure on 15/10/2017 at 5:38 am

They seek him here, they seek him there,
Those MRT commuters seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Khaw*.

I mean until last weekend, whenever there was a breakdown in SMRT service, Batman Super Khaw would come out swinging defending SMRT.

Kerpow! The constructive, nation-building MSM for pointing out that commuters were delayed.

Thwack! Social media for posting commuters’ complaints.

Zap! Commuters don’t appreciate SMRT when it doesn’t breakdown

Crunch! Kick all the above in the balls for KPKBing.

But, he’s been silent (MIA? AWOL?) since rainwater flooded tunnels on the North-South Line and causing a disruption between Ang Mo Kio and Newton MRT stations between Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

He posted on FB but on other things.

Meanwhile

Vivian Balakrishnan

Our bus and train staff from SBS and SMRT work tirelessly to provide good service for us all. Some of them even wake as early at 3 AM to catch the company shuttle so that they can start the daily services bright and early. They work six days a week for long hours. Their jobs are difficult and challenging.

Mayor Teo Ho Pin, Mr Liang Eng Hwa, and I hosted breakfast for them as a small gesture of appreciation this morning. Remember to give them a smile the next time you see them 🙂

Image may contain: 9 people, people sitting
Image may contain: 19 people, people smiling, people standing
Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing
Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people sitting and table
 Maybe there’s going to be a new transport minister? And VivianB is the chosen one?
But maybe Khaw had other things to do. He hosted the 23rd ASEAN Transport Ministers meeting on 12 October.
Or maybe, SMRT is preparing to announce something major? Like the CEO committing hari-kiri. But don’t hold yr breath. Scholars and other PAPpies do not do Japanese despite GCT telling us to follow the Japanese Learn from Japanese — set example leh elites

————————————-

*Apologies to the original

We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel.

Sir Percy Blakeney, Baronet

Tan Kin Lian is absolutely right

In Infrastructure on 30/07/2017 at 4:42 am

This blog is anti-TKL because in 2011 he was clowning around (albeit on the advice and instigation of one Goh Meng Seng) and doing the PAP’s work in depriving Dr Tan Cheng Bock of the presidency. Though they never got the thirty pieces of silver.

Transport minister Khaw BW held a media briefing to announce the rail reliability target for 2020. The journalists asked him some questions about the current train breakdown in Singapore.

The minister chided the journalists. He said that it is not easy to fix the engineering problems. He challenged them to try to solve the problem if they are so smart.
I find the minister’s remarks to be deplorable. The journalists are required to do their job as journalists. They are not supposed to be experts in engineering.

The transport ministry, the Land Transport Authority and the train operators are supposed to employ the engineering experts. They are supposed to identify the problems and to find the solutions.

The correct benchmark is the breakdown frequency in other train systems around the world. Do these train systems break down as often as has happened in Singapore. Some of these systems are older than our train system.
If our engineers are not up to mark, the transport minister should look for other engineers to fix the problem. He should not rely on journalists to give him the solution.

It is absurb for the minister to speak in this manner.

Sad to say, this is the quality of the ministers and the top officials that are appointed by PM Lee HL to run Singapore. It seemed that paying top salaries, in the millions of dollars, does not provide the answer.

We do need a change of government.

Sad there is viable alternative in sight.

Khaw: Personal beliefs and governance in a secular state

In Political governance on 15/02/2015 at 4:33 am

Of all the PAP dogs ministers, I like Khaw best. (Btw, I do wish the anti-PAP cyber-nuts stop calling the PAP “dogs”, while implying that dogs have a nasty, brutish lives. All the dogs I know live great lives. But that’s why I guess these born losers are cyber-nuts. They don’t even know the truth about how well dogs live here because most of the time they are in la-la land with M Ravi.)

Sorry, coming back to Khaw, I hate his referring to the depth of his religious feelings when he carries out his ministerial duties. He did this again when denying S&C fees to AHPETC*: “I’m also a very religious man.”**

What have his personal belies have to do with the price of eggs? If my mum’s egg seller keeps on harping that he is a religious man while reassuring her that the eggs are from chickens that are not fed with antibiotics , she’ll worry that she is getting eggs filled with antibiotics because they come from chickens fed only on antibiotics.

Which takes me to the role personal beliefs play in the governance of a secular state.

Mr Cuomo, a Roman Catholic, offered an eloquent defence of abortion. He spoke out against an “unyielding adherence to an absolute prohibition”, and explained that his faith did not mean he had to comply with church teachings in his role as politician. “To assure our freedom we must allow others the same freedom, even if occasionally it produces conduct by them which we would hold to be sinful.” He asked his listeners at Notre Dame University, a Catholic institution, “Are we asking government to make criminal what we believe to be sinful because we ourselves can’t stop committing the sin”? The church was not pleased. For a time there was talk of excommunication.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2015/01/remembering-mario-cuomo

*Given that the WP doesn’t even bother denying that its accounting system is not fit for purpose, he can’t be faulted for doing shumething that helps the PAP as distinct from the PAP administration in the performance of his ministerial duties.

**Which reminds me of Mathew 23, something that may have crossed the minds of WP’s MPs: at least the ones who know their bible. :

23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thoublind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute themfrom city to city: 35 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

HDB: “affordability” and “market-based land costs” redefined”?

In Political governance, Property on 27/10/2011 at 5:51 pm

“Mr Khaw said that a typical two-room Build-To-Order flat, which has an income ceiling of S$2,000, would cost less than three years of income, factoring in the grants available. Meanwhile, larger four or five-room flats – with an income ceiling of S$10,000 – cost less than five years of income,” it was reported last Friday. (Translated into $. 2-room flats: $72,000, 5-room flats up to $600,000.  All before subsidies.)

Err who can devote 100% of monthly salary for 3- 5 years to pay for flats? More likely kanna strech payments for 30 years (Comrade Mah’s assumption). So talking of the cost of flats in terms of salaries for 3- 5 years sounds like another variation of Minister Mah’s, “No cash outlay” where he forgot to mention the more and for a longer duration money is deducted from CPF accounts, the less home owners have to retire on.

Remember Minister’s Mah rants about “reserves being raided” if the land on which HDB flats were built were not valued at “market-based land costs”? Well Minister Khaw may have redefined “market-based land costs”, without the “reserves being raided”.

The possibility that there is a new definition of “market-based land costs” was spotted and commented on by a ST journalist, Li Xueying (Good for her).In a piece on 20 October 2011, “Chance lost on clearing hows and whys of flat pricing”, she wrote, Mr Khaw spoke of how, since May, the Government had stabilised the prices of 13,000 flats in three [Build-to-Order] launches. This, even as prices in the private and resale market rose, albeit at a slowing pace … ‘We have moderated price changes such that after adjusting for differences in location, amenities and other physical attributes, the May, July and September BTO prices were roughly comparable to the prices of similar units in the April BTO launch.’

The BTO launch next month will repeat this pattern, he promised … ‘As long as construction costs do not rise dramatically, the BTO prices will stabilise.’

As long as construction costs do not rise dramatically. This raises a question.

What about the second component that the Housing Board factors in in pricing its new flats, that is, land costs?

More specifically, market-based land costs – a formula that has drawn so much angst in the past, given that it is pegged to the gyrations of the private market.

(Market-based pricing of land is done based on prices of state land located within HDB estates sold to the private sector.) …

But it is telling that Mr Khaw also spoke of how his ministry had moderated the prices of the BTO projects such that the prices of those launched last month were comparable with the prices of those launched in April, even though prices in the private market rose over the same period.

Has the market-based pricing formula been quietly tweaked behind closed doors? Or did the Government just decide to deploy an interim measure of pegging new prices to April’s levels, given the unhappiness over spiralling flat prices? …

But the speed with which the minister has done so – never mind the market – does raise questions on how exactly the Government prices its flats.

… MP Zainudin Nordin also queried this, calling for the pricing formula to be as transparent as possible.

Doing so will assure Singaporeans that ‘the Government is not out to make a profit through the sale of public housing’, he said.

Unfortunately, Mr Zainudin and his colleagues did not manage to seize the opportunity to seek this clarification from Mr Khaw yesterday.

She ends with remarks that the prime minister especially should take heed of, Going ahead, the need to be more open and transparent with information will continue to be an imperative that the Government has to struggle with, given a more questioning electorate.

Voters no longer want to be told just the answer – the what. They also want to understand the hows and the whys.