Friday, January 06, 2017

What is expected of the transport minister

Dear Mr. Tan
I have read several of your postings regarding the lack of display of the next bus stop and the faulty tracking device in some buses.

You blame these faults on the transport minister. You even went so far as to call him "useless". Do you honestly expect the minister to pay attention to such small issues? Surely this can be left to lower level civil servants? I expect the minister to pay attention to the big issues, such as transport policy and infrastructure.

I expect the transport minister to pay attention to the big policy issues and to the "small issues" that affect the ordinary people.

I do not expect the minister to personally inspect the tracking devices in the buses. However, if there are reports that many of the devices are faulty, I expect the minister to ask the question to his civil servants - how many devices are faulty? will they be replaced?

Just by asking this question, the problem will be fixed. Singaporeans are very good at execution. They may not do anything until the minister says so, but when the minister takes an interest, the problem will be fixed quite quickly.

The transport minister has a large staff in his ministry. He has one or two personal assistants. They can check the mainstream and social media for feedback. When someone raise an issue, the assistant could contact that person and get more details. They can pass the feedback to the minister, if it warrants attention.

It is quite shameful that nobody bothers about the faulty tracking devices for years. What is the point of installing the tracking devices and paying millions of dollars to install them, when you do not use it fully?

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