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Transport Minister Mr Lui Tuck Yew saysthat bus fares may have to go up in order to accommodate wageincreases of bus drivers. The SDP makes it clear that such a move isreprehensible and unacceptable.$CUT$
The reason is two-fold: One, transportoperators have been registering healthy profits in past years to thetune of tens of millions of dollars on the back of the Singaporeanpublic. At the same time, bus drivers have been deprived of fairwages.
Now that the PAP Government is facinglabour discontent, instead of doing the right thing by increasingwages and accepting smaller profit-margins, Mr Lui is threatening toraise fares for commuters.
Two, for a national enterprise such astransport providers to operate as profit-making companies whilesimultaneously punishing workers going on a strike because publictransportation is deemed an essential service is for the Governmentto have its cake and eat it too.
If public transport is an essentialservice like the police or fire-fighters, then it cannot at the sametime be a profit-making enterprise. The Government cannot have itboth ways.
Mr Lui must remember that he is aminister elected by the people to serve them, not a businessman whoconstantly thinks of how much money to make. He needs to care for thewell-being of ordinary Singaporeans, not profit off them.
He needs to realise users of busservices are under tremendous financial pressure from the high costof living in Singapore. It is unconscionable to add to their burden.
The SDP registers its outrage againstthe move by the Minister. We say an emphatic no to the fare increase.Singaporeans must actively and clearly tell Mr Lui that he must notallow bus fares to be raised on account of paying just wages to busdrivers.
This is an opportune time to remindSingaporeans that without an effective opposition in Parliament, thePAP Government will continue to govern in its own interests at theexpense of the people.
The Singaporean people must resistsuccumbing to threats and yield to enticement and boldly elect theSDP into Parliament so that they have a voice and a party that willstand up for them and safeguard their rights and interests.