Have you read the news reports of Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s remarks on Tuesday on the genesis of the Bukit Panjang LRT?
If you have, did you pick up on how our dear transport minister had sneakily suggested to Bukit Panjang residents that this is “you asked for it one hor….”.
Don’t believe me? See this extracts from ST’s article :
“In 1991, when the Government announced that it would build the MRT line to Woodlands, residents of Bukit Panjang had asked for an extension to their town.
However, transport planners determined it was not feasible, but the Government promised the residents that it would explore alternative means to meet their commuting needs, said then Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan Keng Yam in a speech in 1996 during a ground-breaking for the BPLRT.”
So according to Khaw Boon Wan, the Bukit Panjang people asked for a solution to their commuting needs. They were promised by then-DPM Tony Tan during the ground-breaking ceremony speech that the government would look into it even if transport planners determined it would not be feasible to bring MRT to their town.
Uh-huh, Lo and Behold! They got the first LRT in Singapore a really problematic mode of transport that kept breaking and which seemed to give Minister Khaw dizziness when he rode it (we don’t care if he feels dizzy taking it once, really).
Also, little was known about another reality on the ground back then. Back in 1999, when the LRT was completed, some feeder buses that residents relied on were removed or had their frequency reduced, essentially forcing them to use the LRT.
So did the government fulfil its promise to the residents in Bukit Panjang to have their commuting needs met? We hardly think so. It’s a once-off headache ride for Khaw. The residents have lived with this no-choice-got-to-take ride every day since 1999. Really wonder who is the one with the headache!
Let’s throw this back to Khaw – you suggested the people had arm-twisted the government into giving them this cannot-make-it system. Now that there are residents asking you to scrap the system, you say cannot be scrapped. So I guess, really is everything also you say one lor.
Actually, we all know it is a bad design. It would have been better to just be man enough to own up and say, it was a mistake, and then resolve it rather than try to “taichi” the root cause to the residents.
Whatever the case, let’s wait and see now. The BPLRT is supposed to be “overhauled”.
Until they can resolve the regular breakdowns, whatever Khaw says are just smokescreens to distract the people from the real issue here, i.e. the LRT is a daily pain in the a** for every Bukit Panjang dweller.