Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The harmful effects of the tender system

Singapore was a low cost country 50 years ago. It became a high cost country over the past 30 years. We are now one of the most expensive countries in the world!

This journey to become a high cost country has been bad for our character and is destroying the future for our next generation.

A major contributing factor is the belief that "tendering" is the best way to allocate resources. This is a mistaken belief. It has allowed certain opportunists to make a lot of money at the expense of the general public - in the price of homes, shops, contracting work, etc.

Instead of reducing cost, it has allowed certain well connected people to make excessive profits. It has also led to corrupt practices - for example, some of the recent cases that were prosecuted. This must be the tip of the iceberg.

The tender system has also lead to bad workmanship and lower standards. Look at the poor quality of our HDB flats at one time, and now the frequent breakdown of the MRT trains.

Our COE system, for tendering of the expensive piece of paper, has also gone haywire.

There is a better way than the tender system. If only our well paid civil servants and political leadership use their common sense and think differently.

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