Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SMRT Chief is misleading!

As to what SMRT plans to do as trains seem to be maxing out their capacity, she said: 'Trains will be crowded during peak hours. The question is, how crowded?'

She did not think that trains here are as packed as those in cities like Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai.

Even at its most crowded, an SMRT train carries 1,400 passengers, she said.

This is 'not crush load', where a train is carrying more passengers than the standing load it is designed to carry under normal circumstances.

Crush load happens when a train carries more than 2,000 passengers.

'People can board the train - it is whether they choose to,' she said.

SMRT chief executive officer and president Saw Phaik Hwa in Sunday ST report "SMRT: Tighter security will not mean higher fare" has claimed that while trains may be crowded, they are not at 'crush load' and 'people can board the train - it is whether they choose to'. She used the example of Hong Kong MTR trains' ability to take in 2000 people during peak hours as compared to singapore's MRT train of 1400 people during peak hours to support her view.

Ms Saw is either misleading or ignorant. HK MTR trains have EIGHT cabins. Singapore's trains have only six cabins! How could she use it as a comparison to Singapore's train system is really beyond my comprehension!

On average, each HK MTR train cabin could take in about 250 people. If we use 250 people as an indicator, Singapore's train would only able to take in about 1500 during peak. This is not very far from the present situation.

This calculations is perfectly relevant and reflect accurately to what we are experiencing on the ground. i.e. the trains are just too packed!

I would advise Ms Saw, as the chief of SMRT, should walk out of her Ivory Tower and dependency on some blind statistics and experience herself first hand the situation on the ground. Apparently she is taking statistics from other places VERY BLINDLY without even understanding the differences involved to make up her IMAGINARY conclusions that Singapore's trains are not at "crush load"!

Goh Meng Seng

P.S. Added information for maximum capacity for a train cabin in HK:

Seats: 46 Standing: 268 Total maximum capacity is 314.

According our SMRT Chief Ms Saw, Crush Load is 2000 per train with six cabin. Means, each cabin will have 333 passengers! How could that be?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Caught off Guard Ministers' Ranking

Mr. Tan Kin Lian did a survey on "how well ministers are doing their jobs"

It seems that almost all the "Caught Off Guard" ministers have the lowest ranking, from Raymon Lim (Public Transport) to MBT (HDB).

Goh Meng Seng

Survey: Rating of Ministers, June 2010

Based on 100 replies

13 Mr KHAW Boon Wan (Health) 51.53
7 Mr George YEO (Foreign Affairs) 42.35
6 Mr TEO Chee Hean (DPM and Defence) 39.29
14 Mr Tharman SHANMUGARATNAM (Finance) 38.01
3 Mr LEE Kuan Yew (Minister Mentor) 35.97
1 Mr LEE Hsien Loong (Prime Minister) 33.93
2 Mr GOH Chok Tong (Senior Minister) 33.42
4 Prof S. JAYAKUMAR (Senior Minister) 31.7
15 Dr NG Eng Hen (Education and Defence) 29.64
10 Mr LIM Hng Kiang (Trade & Industry) 27.55
21 Mr LUI Tuck Yew (Information, Comm and Arts) 26.79
18 Mr K Shanmugam (Law and Home Affairs) 25.26
19 Mr GAN Kim Yong (Manpower) 24.74
16 Dr Vivian BALAKRISHNAN (Comm Development) 23.98
20 Mrs LIM Hwee Hua (PM Office, Finance, Transport) 22.19
11 Mr LIM Swee Say (PM Office) 21.43
17 Mr Raymond LIM Siang Keat (Transport) 20.36
9 Mr LIM Boon Heng (PM Office) 17.35
12 Dr YAACOB Ibrahim (Environment & Water) 17.09
5 Mr WONG Kan Seng (DPM and Home Affairs) 15.31
8 Mr MAH Bow Tan (National Development) 12.5

(note: first column denotes what TKL calls "seniority")

Sunday, June 27, 2010

NEA under Yaacob disturbing Opposition Parties instead...

We were at Bendemeer market selling our North Star this morning. Someone called up the NEA to come down and check on us. While I keep asking the two nice officers to carry out their duties to summon us and I would admit to selling our papers, they did not take action. NEA under Dr Yaacob should spend more time to check the longkang for debris instead of disturbing opposition parties...

This problem about "illegal hawking" for opposition parties when they go for their ground work and sell their newspaper/newsletter must be solved once and for all.

SDP has tried to apply "hawking license" to sell their papers Democrats before but application was rejected. Most likely nobody in NEA dares to grant that kind of license to opposition parties.

So I would urge NEA to DO THE RIGHT THING, carry out their duties and summon all of us. We will not pay for the summon. We prefer to go to court and go to jail and let the whole world see how PAP government is set to deter opposition parties to carry out their political work on the ground.

Fine all opposition party members, including Mr. Low TK for "illegal hawking". Let's settle this issue once and for all. But in spite of my constant persuasion to the officers to summon us, they have refused and walk away. I actually feel very sorry for them. Someone has sabo them and burn their weekend. Calling their office and sending them down for nothing!

I will let NEA knows where we are going to conduct our "illegal hawking" next Sunday in advance and hope that they carry out their duties properly.

Goh Meng Seng

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Press Statement on recent Floods

I have been in self-imposed retreat for quite a while now. I intended to stay off my blog and the media just for a little longer but it seems that this unbearable reoccurring of floods around the island has forced me to cut short my peaceful retreat. I have issued the following Press Statement on behalf of NSP:

Setup A Committee of Inquiry to look into improving drainage & weather warning system

NSP shares the frustration and disappointment of many Singaporeans whose lives have been severely disrupted by the reoccurring floods in recent days.

The Ministry of Environment and Water Resources under Minister Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim has reportedly spent billions in improvement works on the various canals on this island. However it seems that the situation seems to have little, marginal improvement over the years.

In 2009, when flood hit Bukit Timah, Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim has claimed that it is a once in 50 year happening. We know that this is pure exaggeration as flash floods were happening quite often in that area in the 1970s and 1980s. But since 1990s, millions, if not billions have been spent on improvement works on the Bukit Timah Canal and we would expect floods of such magnitude should be a thing of the past.

On 16 June 2010, Orchard Road was flooded, causing millions of dollars of damage to private properties and businesses. The ministry under Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim has given the excuse of debris blockade.

Today, floods appear again, not only in Orchard Road and Bukit Timah, but in various places around Singapore. What could be the excuse then?

Back in 1999, an article in New Paper has once boasted that Orchard will never flood because of the Stamford Canal. It was said that it will take a COMBINATION of hide tide and 100mm of rainfall within an hour to flood Orchard. But since the Marina Barrage has been built, high tide should not be the main issue here anymore. Could the Marina Barrage be the main issue then?

The first incidence of flooding in Bukit Timah could be excused as Act of God. The second flood in Orchard Road could be excused on the blame of debris. How about the third one? Isn’t it too much of an excuse for such floods to keep reoccurring? Could it be too much of a coincidence that such floods occur after the Marina Barrage has been built?

We hope that the government would form an Independent Committee of Inquiry on this matter. This committee should consist of people who have the expertise to review the whole drainage system in Singapore. Singaporeans should deserve better accountability from the highly paid minister and civil servants instead of resigning to praying to heaven for not flooding Singapore.

On top of that, we would also like to urge the authority and the Committee of Inquiry to look into the possibility of implementing a colour coded weather warning system. This is necessary to reduce the risks of people being exposed to adverse weathers like heavy rains and floods. A Red code rain weather warning would mean that young kids will not have to attend kindergarten while a Black code rain weather warning would mean that all classes in schools should stop. This should reduce the risk of young children being endangered by adverse weather.

Singaporeans want the government to ACT NOW to resolve and improve the drainage as well as weather forecast systems. We hope that the PAP government would respond promptly to this call.

Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General of the 13th CEC