Just when we thought that no one can beat the absurd postulation that our elderly collect cardboard boxes to exercise (they can go to the gym for $1.50 now), Mr Sitoh (who was elected by the once courageous folks at Potong Pasir) hit us with a shocker.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of a public engagement exercise for the next Land Transport Master Plan, Mr Sitoh said that many Singaporeans have adopted the concept of a car-lite society and the Walk Cycle Ride way of travel into their lives. It’s not difficult to test Mr Sitoh’s fashionable theory. Abolish COE. Remove ERP. All of a sudden, it’s going to be fashionable to own cars again. I can go on with more illustrations and examples, but I guess that would be underestimating the intelligence of my readers. We all know why it’s not “fashionable” to own cars. It’s even more “fashionable” to wear school uniforms to school. Everyone is doing it.
Nevertheless, there is still some truth in Mr Sitoh’s statement. Just the other day, I was nearly knocked down by a youngster on an e-scooter going at probably 80km/h on a footpath. Of course, I didn’t manage to get his name and NRIC number, but I didn’t fail to hear the loud music, see the flashing LED lights and the lighted cigarette hanging from his mouth.
Yes, I can see how it got to be so cool and “fashionable”, but encouraging and empowering inconsiderate people this way is a recipe for disaster. Mr Sitoh should realise that apart from voting for him, the kiasu, kiasi and gian png people who did so are capable of many other self-serving antics. Once they’ve got that cool piece of machine in their grip and under their feet, it’s party time. The hell with the immaterial walkers and joggers. With the declaration that all this is “fashionable” from someone who represents the authorities, my wish that these killing machines get banned, is most unlikely to come true even if more accidents were reported. It’s all part of a Master Plan. You don’t expect them to scrap a Master Plan because of a few insignificant lives like your and mine. It’s all a worthwhile sacrifice for the sake of speedy and efficient private transport, right?
Much as I hate to acknowledge it, Mr Sitoh’s statement finally clarifies some of the questions that had baffled me. Have there not been enough complaints about killer bikes and scooters? What was the response? Why was the danger to footpath users simply brushed aside or painted over as it were? There is indeed support from the authorities and now it has even become official. It’s part of a Master Plan! They would only deal with those who ride on public roads. They are not interested in the safety of footpath users. We can stop complaining now because we are the problem, standing in the way of progress and fashion. But then, since it’s so fashionable to zip around on pavements and footpaths, why aren’t our ministers following the trend? Some folks may be honoured to be knocked down by a minister.
© Chan Joon Yee