Glaring examples of incompetency of an overpriced Government machinery

“No ministers resigned or sacked until Election Year. For more than 5 years, National Development and HDB cocks up; Public transportation seizes; Singapore flooded with foreigners and pondings. Geez, if those millionaire ministers were sacked or resigned earlier, Singapore may not be plagued by the current property and transportation mess that we have now! Yes, it is indeed troublesome to sack deadwoods in PAP!” – Feed Me To The Fish

Make life & living simple; It’s sad that every solutions are layered like the ‘Kueh Lapis’ assistance schemes, the multi-layered car taxes including COEs & ERPs, the CHAs + Pioneer status conversion, the public transport fares factor in distance + time! the list goes on…Every department is doing ‘job enlargement’ to keep their position safe! It’s “just going through the motion”. I pondered, & is still pondering, if a stick warrants setting another department to overlook so many existing ones?” – McPeekay Tomcat

 Other than those examples mentioned above, as I read The Straits Times 14 Aor 2012, one forumer Yeo Chee Kean wrote “Use interest rates to control inflation” and an ST reporter Aaron Low wrote “Is monetary policy enough to fight inflation?“, coincidentally, both argue about the “potential” wrong medicine dished out by the MAS (de facto Central Bank). Just because the strong SGD worked in the 2008, it does not mean that it will work this time round. The last round was a global inflation, thus the strong SGD worked wonder, this time round the main cause of the effect was due to internal policy missteps which results in demands exceeding supplies, thus increases in COEs, property prices, rentals, taxes etc, how does a strong dollar able to help that? The right medicine is likely be a combination of raised interest rates, increased land supplies, reduction of taxes, careful labour rationing and a milder strong SGD to stem the inflation monster. I hope not to hear another dumb declaration such as that of Lim Hng Kiang’s Headline inflation is expected to remain at 5 per cent for the next few months but the majority of Singaporean households will not be directly affected, this is because inflation is largely driven by imputed rentals from owner-occupied accommodation and car prices, and most Singaporean households own their own homes while new car buyers are in the minority.(see MAS’s reply: “COE prices cannot be ignored because of the spillover effects on consumer prices. Indeed, the CPI captures the effects of higher COE premiums transmitting to the prices of other goods and services, including public road transport”.)

“If NParks had intended to buy cheaper bicycles, a simpler process – the request for quotation, in which only three quotations were needed – would have sufficed. So why resort to a tender process when a simpler one was available?”  – Tan Buck Yam

[Updated 7 Jul 2011: In his blog post this week, Minister Khaw Boon Wan defended the outrage over public tender to purchase 26pcs of luxury foldable bikes each costing $2400 for NParks’ stuff to do field inspections. He took the face value explanation and backed the Park’s Decision. In the forum letter “Seeking clarity over $2,200-bike purchase“, the writer correctly pointed out that just because of the lack of response of the tender, the Government employees should not take short cut. In instances like this, the right thing to do is to ask for three quotes from a few suppliers. I am surprised by Khaw’s simplicity to just accept the explanation by his officers and accepted their reasonings at its face value. Even a $200-$300 foldable bike is of good quality here and I am not even talking about further discount possible resulted from bulk purchase like this particular incident. This incident is quite out of his shrewd character and does not bode well with the dwindling trust of the public on the growing extravagance by the public employees funded out of tax payers’ money.]

[Updated 21Aug2012: In a Todayonline’s forum letter: “Why did HDB engage top private law firm?” today, the reader questioned the use of public money to sue a small time lessee. The writer questioned 1) why not the use of cheaper competent lawyer that can do the job that cost much less rather than top lawyer that charges an arm and a leg 2) Why HDB does not use its own full-time legal group, including a litigation and enforcement department, why the need to outsource?  3) since it is a statutory board, it could engage State Counsel from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to help in its defence, if its legal dept is not up to the mark. This is another glaring example of incompetence in the public sector to play it safe, bo-chap attitude, mindless outsourcing or a combination of the above. This case is not unique, one can easily find tons of such examples. Jack Neo’s movie “Follow the law” has a few of such idiotic examples happening in our public sectors.

[Updated 7 Sep 2012] Painting of double zig zag yellow lines (another brilliant “invention” that are inconveient and ugly) which is not practicable and not enforcible at Raffles City slip road. (Source)

And the latest hoo-ha over the purchases of the luxury chairs and expensive foldable bicycles by various Government agencies. Various Government agencies were trying to investigate or justify if the procedures are being followed or crimes being commited, thinking that they can explain away the indiscriminate use of public money. As a reader pointed out, it is not whether the purchases follow the procedures, but the prudence in using public money. Stupid.


real issue is prudence

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Obviously the top dollars paid to these million dollar ministers and bureaucrats do not push them to think harder and produce better life for the people.

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My favourite quote today

"I am afraid the cruise ship is over capacity limit, and it used to be a luxury cruise ship. The designer’s claim that it is not sinkable, the name is Titanic. There are not enough life boats, no preparation or provision for failure. Thank you Mr Goh for reminding us." - Low Thia Khiang

"Till today, I am still puzzled by why the PAP cannot fight a fair election without gerrymandering, abusing the GRC system, basically, making sure they enter into a boxing ring with an opponent who is expected to fight them with hands tied behind the back. There is a reason why bullies are not popular in schools. Why not be the school prefect?" - Alvinology

"The question to ask is what lies at the root of the discontent or the disengagement between the G and the people. I am going to stick my neck out and say that it is ministerial salaries. I consider it the root of all evil. Serious. It reduces what should be a social compact into a business contract. " - Bertha Henson