|You want 8.5% GST izzit?|
According to them the problem started way before Lim took over the ministry on 30 May 2006. He only began to screw up royally after that fateful day.
The screw up began in 1996, when Mah Bow Tan was Communications Minister and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) released a White Paper entitled A World Class Land Transport System which aimed to create a denser rail network and committed to launching one major rail project a year.
In 1999, Yeo Cheow Tong screwed up by tweaking development goals, such as extending rail line targets. "He didn't follow Mr Mah's plan very well, " claimed Associate Professor Lee Der Horng of NUS. Transport economist Michael Li of the Nanyang Business School said Yeo focused more on developing the air transport sector. He was gazing skywards instead of paying attention to the ground. SIA business class has to be more sexy than MRT train rides.
In 2000, Mah screwed up as the National Development Minister by projecting that the population would rise from 3.9 million in 2000 to 5.5 million by 2040 or 2050. He must have been gazing elsewhere too when the population surpassed 5.0 million last year. Someone in charge of immigration at ICA also screwed up by issuing citizenships like it was going out of style (Foo Mee Har got hers "within days", remember?) - that had be to the the Home Affairs Minister, a.k.a."population czar".
"My feeling is that the current spike caught the Government off guard," said Associate Professor Gopinathan Menon of NTU, stopping just short of laying the blame for the humongous screw up at the feet of the guy in overall charge of the Government.
All this theorizing is just too heavy for the common man, crammed daily into over crowded buses and trains. All they remember is Raymond Lim threatening to raise the GST if they even dare suggest a lower tariff in transportation charges.