Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The voices of the few

If there is one thing about Singapore above all else, it must be the raw efficiency of the place, and I don't mean that in a positive manner. Take for example the night market in Changi Village. It has reportedly ceased operations from 19th December 2009, after being there for well over a year. And the reasons given for the forced closure?

1. Visitors' vehicles are parked indiscriminately along the short and narrow roads, thus contributing to congestion. The question is, how come it took all of 18 months to effect the solution (i.e. close the night market). Was the problem that serious? And I thought the obvious solution rather is to issue parking tickets, not close the market? You'd apply ointment to a wounded finger, not chop it off? But the local Singapore authorities can be ruthless and efficient, if a little late. Just chop off the damn thing!

2. Shopkeepers complain that businesses is being taken away from them. Question: ditto above. How come it took all of 18 months to bleed business before the solution (i.e. close the night market) was implemented? (NB: Shopkeepers that the press spoke to insist that the night market has actually been GOOD for their businesses, having driven human traffic to that sleepy corner of the island.) So who/which businesses complained? How many of them?

So the one big mystery that is begging an answer: Why was the night market shut down? What exactly was the complaint? What has been done in the last one year to address the complaints before it was decided that this drastic action was the only solution? 

Transparency on this island? Hardly.

I used to visit this part of the island. Sadly, there is one less reason to do so now.


Anonymous said...

Why must we always ask so many questions whenever a decision is taken? I feel there should be more trust in the government that it has done the right thing. The Singapore government is rated one of the best if not the best in the world and has transformed Singapore from a sleepy fishing village to a first world global city.

Anonymous said...

Live by one rule.

"Be Skeptical"

epilogos said...

Past successes do not confer the mantel of infallibility. Blind acceptance of government policy decisions and actions condemns us to more of the same.

We must respectfully question that which is inconsistent with common sense. Otherwise, we may as well be mindless automatons swaying with every government directive, whether right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

The Singapore government is not infallible. MM Lee Kuan Yew just recently declared that he erred in thinking that people could master 2 languages at the same. Khaw Boon Wan apologised for not going ahead with the construction of the Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital 2 years earlier...