2012 in general has been a good year for some people (on this island), and was not something worth shouting about for the multitude. Just a brief recap on some of the highlights for the past year:
Somewhere around the anniversary of the recurrent MRT outage, there were a few technical glitches that involved several stations, once again causing inconvenience to the average Joes & Janes.
The earlier inquiry for the outages (in 2011) concluded with concerns over poor maintenance & malpractice for some people, and saw the sudden resignation of the former chief. Now, with the newly instated bureaucratic boss, who prompted that failures were due to inferior materials implemented, which then bewilders the public, if the people responsible at the start stage were making educated decisions at all.
If the thought is to suggest an overhaul & replacement of all “inferior” materials, I shudder at the thought of how much time & cost it will amount to. Not to mention, how the public commute will swing into mayhem, while new underground subway lines are concurrently tunneled & laid. It’s anybody’s guess what horror awaits should the thought be implemented.
Subsequently, there was talk about some billion dollars funding towards public transportation, to aid the procurement of additional bus fleet, as well as maintenance of the incumbent stop-gap remedies for the railway lines, in lieu of poor maintenance and/or malpractice.
The epic sky high figures for public funded housing development for the almost million dollar high-rise prison cell saga; saw a new record high towards the end of the year. For some weird reason, the people just can’t stop buying despite the rapid increased pricing. We can only deduce that these buyers are truly cash rich, or, they are diving deep into debts in order to afford the over-rated pigeon holes.
Certificate of Entitlement (COE) for car ownership set a new record high, and is fast approaching the 100k mark. Given the influx of foreign labor (regardless of all income tiers), increased citizenship & residency, and with a vision to increase the population to go beyond 6mio, the rapid growth in numbers is fast proving that the COE & ERP (electronic road pricing) are failures in curbing traffic congestions.
To date, people are forfeiting several hours of much needed sleep in order to set off before sunrise, only to find themselves stacked in the crawling traffic into the city, before the ERP goes in service. And in the evenings, there is no incentive to leave work on time to spend more quality time with family, because the ERP remains in service till late. Hence, people are putting in more hours at the workplace, with minimized time for sleep.
When rest is not even on the books, when stress level is bottled to the neck, it’s no wonder that procreation is not on the to-do-list.
So now, the calendar has flipped, the Aztec people proven wrong, the movie makers also wrong. No need to pop the champagne yet, for there’s nothing much worthy to celebrate about, or for.
Though there may be periodic bits of stop-gap measures rolled out in feeble attempt to undo the decade of lackluster operations in the scope of public transportation & housing. The recent efforts are still falling short of the actual demands that have snowballed over the past decade, let alone the rising demands of incoming foreign labor, foreign students/scholars, residents & new citizens.
The recent taboo that surfaced, involving the ostracizing of 1 town council, escalating to the revelation of 14 town councils involved with a said $2 registered company headed by 3 ex-ruling party members, remains a mystery if the dealings are permissible in the eyes of law.
More head rattling news ring the headlines of $2mio public funded housing development penthouse. Reported was; that the parents aided the young couple with the down payment, and is said that the unit is large enough to house 4 nucleus families. Was it strategic planning to house their extended families within, or purely a vested interest to flip the property shall only be hatched in due time.
One thing is for certain, blood pressure is without doubt on the rise. The people shall have to grit their teeth, keep their fingers, toes & inert crossed for a good year ahead.