So what’s new? The worst MRT breakdown to date occurred on 7th July 2015, bringing services on the North-South and East-West Lines to a complete halt for several hours during evening rush hour. All night, my Facebook feed was full of status updates from friends who were stuck in the quagmire. An estimated 250,000 people are believed to have been affected. The relevant and even not so relevant authorities apologised profusely and ordered a full investigation into the cause of the breakdown. From words like “extremely concerned” to “unacceptable”, I was so touched by the leaders and bosses’ sense of duty and regret that I wished someone could hide Mr Khaw Boon Wan’s Japanese knives.
To date, however, no root cause for the massive breakdown has been found. Singapore’s most notorious child prodigy suggested that it could be a act of God.
Yes, yes… I fully admit. I am solely responsible for the breakdown of the MRT tracks.
An act of blasphemy, whereupon the eternal, unforgivable sin of insulting the sacred, inviolable name of the great lord, Jesus Christ.
However, instead of initiating the prescribed penalties of stoning or eternal damnation as underlined in scripture, the magistrate disobeyed the lord’s command, and chose to let the heretic free, thus committing an act of treason and heresy.
So God said unto man, ‘Let there be an SMRT breakdown’
And there was an SMRT breakdown.
That’s Amos Yee doing what he does best, but on a more serious note, a former SMRT engineer wrote a letter explaining why he had to resign. It’s quite a long letter and you can read it at The Online Citizen, but this is the part that frightens me most:
I cannot, with good conscience, continue to work here any more. I greatly fear if the current working practices continue, a serious incident may happen in future, and I have no desire to be a party for the occurrence.
Will SMRT dig him up and sue him for ruining the reputation of the company which is answerable to thousands of shareholders? I’m not sure how that is going to stop further breakdowns and repair SMRT’s reputation, but it’s certainly going to stop ex-engineers from speaking out.
This debacle notwithstanding, the timing could have been worse. Yes, imagine how votes can swing if this happens on the eve of Polling Day for GE2015. As long as the root cause for the breakdown is not found, Amos Yee’s prophecy of God punishing the authorities for not prescribing a sacred stoning session for him may just come true once more. Below is a picture of the front page of Today newsPAPer:
The meat of the article, however, tells us that this has happened 2 months ago. How’s that for “late news”? Anyway, the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee have been given “guidelines” to draw up smaller GRCs and maintain at least 12 SMCs. You can check out 5 predictions on how the boundaries are going to be drawn (redrawn) on Mothership. I believe the lines have already been set in elastic bands, pending final adjustments. But even without knowing that, many of us would have already guessed that GE2015 (and not GE 2016) is very likely to happen since March this year.
The scene of mind-boggling crowds and mourners who cried till they fainted outside Parliament House was a good indicator that the ground is sweet. Legends become idols when they pass on. Clueless folks go as far back as Confucius for answers to their daily problems even though he wasn’t very successful in his time. The state of Qin would turn out victorious among the warring states – not Confucius’ state of Lu. People still worship Confucius, but not all. Telling a journalist that coming all the way from Hongkong doesn’t earn him the right to interview him, Amos Yee is an arrogant, self-centred and narcissistic teenager. He stands out like a black sheep amongst the docile flock which only cares about having grass to chew on. Well, that’s your typical kiasu, kiasi and gian png Singaporean who will decide the future of this country – not those who stand out. If the flock can be directed to assemble on whatever pasture the shepherd dictates, the ground must be sweet.
What’s more, we just hosted the SEA Games and achieved an unprecedented SEA Games medal haul. Though many people won’t be watching it, this year’s NDP is probably going to shock and awe the susceptible. The cost and effort invested into generating the euphoria would all be wasted if it’s going to be GE2016. In recent weeks, the media has also been churning out political commentaries which assume that readers have an IQ significantly lower than that of the journalists. Fortunately or unfortunately, the journalists are probably right. Addressing the issue of compassion (or the perceived lack of it), we had a minister who visited our aged cardboard collectors and concluded that they may not be as destitute as they appear. Veteran journalist Sumiko Tan followed up with a supporting article challenged by filmmaker Lynn Lee. To Lynn Lee’s letter, Sumiko wrote:
…there are many things to be grateful about in Singapore. Too often, I feel, Singapore gets a bad press from its own people. Just wanted to balance the view.
I wonder who is balancing the view amid all this SG50 euphoria.
On a more pragmatic side, 10% more COEs will be on offer next quarter. And of course, McDonald’s is selling SG50 Hello Kitty collectibles. All these signs point to GE2015.
GE2015 should happen sometime in September 2015. Even Hello Kitty says so.
© Chan Joon Yee