Tan How Chuan wrote to the Straits Times Forum to suggest that the Police should penalise drivers who cause rear end collisions. He lamented the lack of enforcement action by the Police on drivers who float the traffic rules and engage in tailgating.
I agree with him. Many Singapore drivers have bad habits. They are impatient, sound the horn unnecessary and tailgate.
I observe that there are insufficient policemen on the road. It could be due to a desire to reduce the cost of the public sector. This is a short sighted measure. In a well managed society, there should be a certain ratio of policemen to the population. If the population increases, we need more policemen. The exception is when the people behaves well, reducing the need for policing. I do not see any evidence of such a good trend.
The situation is made worse when the top civil servants are rewarded on a KPI which includes the ability to reduce manpower cost, without regard to the negative impact on society. I wonder if this could be a reason?
Another possibility explanation is the inability to recruit people to take up the job of policemen, especially if it involves outdoor work. I know that many people aspire to join the banks or enter the financial sector, or even to take up jobs as property or insurance agents. They are able to earn more from these jobs, even though they do not add value to the wealth of the economy, except to help inflate asset bubbles.
Quite likely, it is a combination of both factors.
I expect the standard of safety and low crime rate to deteriorate in the future. This will be sad trend, as Singapore had the quality of being clean, green and safe - and they are now disappearing. Already, we are seeing criminal gang activities among the young. I suspect that the actual crime situation is worse than what has been reported in the newspapers.
Tan Kin Lian
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