Be reasonable​, like commuters elsewhere

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 21 Dec 2011 letter by Ms Anju Tiwari.

Having lived in many countries, Ms Tiwari wonders if Singaporeans know that they live in an awesome country. Perhaps Ms Tiwari has been living mostly in Third World countries, which is why a First World country like Singapore appears awesome to her. Perhaps if Ms Tiwari has been living mostly in First World countries instead, she wouldn’t find Singapore as awesome.

Ms Tiwari credits forward thinking leadership for nurturing Singapore’s diversity and economic growth. Is Ms Tiwari crediting Sir Stamford Raffles’ forward thinking in founding Singapore? Is Ms Tiwari paying tribute to our early colonial masters whose import of Sepoys from India and coolies from China became the basis of our diversity today? Is Ms Tiwari crediting Dr Albert Winsemius for gifting Singapore with the export strategy that would become the basis of our economic growth?

Ms Tiwari thinks it is ludicrous to ask SMRT CEO to resign or to ask for free rides in compensation for disrupted rides. Ms Tiwari must have never lived in First World countries where CEOs take responsibility for mistakes by resigning without being asked to.

Ms Tiwari doesn’t seem to understand that train disruptions in London is not a big deal and do not trigger resignations because the government in London doesn’t make a big deal out of trains and doesn’t boast ever so often of having the best or one of the best trains in the world. On the other hand, Ms Tiwari should understand that train disruptions in Singapore is a big deal because the Singapore government makes a big deal out of trains and boasts ever so often of having the best or one of the best trains in the world.

Ms Tiwari blames the public of looking for an opportunity to attack the government and prove its under-performance. Ms Tiwari should understand that every opportunity to critique the government balances every opportunity for the government to self-praise.

Ms Tiwari wants Singaporeans to consider what the government has achieved as though we the citizens played no part in those achievements.

Ms Tiwari wants Singaporeans to expect disruptions given infrastructure growth without realising that such massive disruptions if extrapolated to the scale of London’s or New York’s train systems would have crippled those systems.

Ms Tiwari is confident service reliability would have increased next year and expects us to bear with service unreliability for a year.

Ms Tiwari sprouts such rhetoric as the best plans in life fails as though she knows that SMRT plans that have resulted in recent train failures is the best yet.

Ms Tiwari shares with us the key to proud citizenry as having reasonable sense of awareness as though telling us we can always stand tall and proud so long as we find some other country worse off to compare with.

Ms Tiwari encourages us to be constructively demanding rather than constantly criticising. Ms Tiwari may not be aware, if every Singaporean criticises, there will be three million criticisms. Thus, three million criticisms may seem like constant criticism but is not. Don’t forget, we must also factor in criticisms from tourists too such as the one from Mr Byron E Barrett (ST Forum, 21 Dec 2011, “Notes from an American tourist”).


4 Responses to “Be reasonable​, like commuters elsewhere”

  1. Ginko Lee Says:

    male sporeans give up 2 years of their lives and are committed to in camp training anually on the condition that the nation will take care of them on several levels. Nothing is free. Expecting an efficiently run transport system and getting a well paying job is part of the exchange local Sporeans have made with the party in power – “we give up our freedoms and give our sons over to the system for 2 years and you give us the good life”. Cabinet ministers are paid very well.

    All these sacrifices and perks are based on the assumption that the party in power will deliver. If they dont, the minimum requirement is resignation of those responsible. SMRT screw ups and other costly howlers come at a price – the departure of super paid high flyers who screw up. Nothing is free

  2. Saycheese Says:

    Perhaps this Anju Tiwari is just trying too hard to be noticed to enhance her chances of joining the exclusive dignified club of stratospheric salary earners or failing that, to pick off some meaty crumbs like the famous Chua sisters from our incredible Shat Times.

  3. Bishan Says:

    Maybe is a PR waiting to get pink IC?

    If people see criticism as a feedback (for their self-improvement) then they will regard them as constructive.
    If people see criticism as an attack (that triggers their defensive guilt trip) then they will regard them as destructive.
    How people respond to them says a lot about their attitude.

  4. Jenny Says:

    When it comes to a rise in fares, they say you’re paying for the best. When it comes to lapse, you should suck it up. All these crooks in cahoots, overloading trains by stuffing them to the max. They really deserve the backlash don’t they?

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