Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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DisComfort over taxi fares – Delayed Article

 I held back this article as part of a little prank. Now the prank is over and the article is still of relevance, my editor’s pen has allowed this article to be published with the following addendum.

Recent increases in taxi fares have proven that the cab companies are pushing taxi drivers over the edge. if the cab companies truly wish that their cab drivers can have a decent living, they should be doing something about their daily cab rental rates.

Amidst the furore over the recent hikes in taxi fares, there were little whispers that they (cab companies) were not going to increase the cab rental again. 🙂  how true is this statement i won’t know. I will let history be the judge.

As to whether or not the cab companies are making too much money? 🙂 I will let the figures revealed below speak for themselves.

Once upon a time.

Taxi fares were only S$1.20 for flag down rate.

I remember this when i was young. My maths was not too good then but i could understand how my mother would always say to me and my brothers… “taking a cab when you have enough people sharing it makes sense” it did make sense, i did recall the most of the trips ended up with only S$2.50 to S$3.00 in fares.

Then came an insidious plan to raise cab fares. i realised then yellow top (private) cabs were still aplenty, and the number of NTUC cabs and SBS cabs plus a white yellow green cabs were slowly groding in number. I recall the government begin its long often quoted excuse of citing “because our cab fares still lag behind the the world’s major cities it is time we increase them.”

I remembered an increase of flag down fare to S$2.20.

Then all of a sudden, the taxi commuters revolted. People stopped taking taxis. Many people stopped taking taxis. The powers that be had no choice but to reduce the taxi flag down rate to S$1.60.

I recall that this was roughly in 1981-1982. A time when the Singaporean people had a bit more will. A time when the Singaporean had a bit more pride.

Coincidentally, 1981 saw the election of JB Jeyaretnam to the Anson Seat in the Anson By-election.

Coincidentally, in 1984 there was a re-election of Mr. JB Jeyaretnam to Anson and Mr Chiam See Tong to Potong Pasir in the 1984 General Election.

Taxi fares have creeped up after that without anybody realising or rather without anyone bothering enough to care.

My last understanding is that the flag down fair is S$2.40. As if this was not bad enough, this must be coupled with the peak hour charges, the ERP, the other possible charges which may spring up to surprise the unsuspecting commuter.

I had once travelled from my office to the subordinate courts during one of my lazy moods, i flagged down a cab.

A 4 minute ride probably for less than 1.2km set me back S$6.50! Now that shocked me.

i would have taken less than 15 mins to cover the distance on foot at a leisurely pace.

Today we see Comfort Delgro giving the excuse of having to need to recover the higher cost of Euro IV standard vehicles from the commuter.

New Hyundai Sonatas costing S$57,000 each.

Lets do the figures:

S$88 daily rental to S$98.

At $88 rental per day, the total amount of revenue produced by a cab for its 10 year lifespan would be: S$88 x 365 days  x 10 years = S$321,200/-

At $98 per day, it would be:

S$98 x 365 days x 10 years = S$357,700/-

This means that each vehicle would be producing more than 5 times of its cost of purchase 🙂

Now it is not so difficult to disbelieve Comfort Delgro when it says that it needs to increase public transport fares to be accountable to its shareholders is it not? 🙂 Money talks. The figures showing the amount of money going into certain pockets says even more. 🙂

December 19, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Reluctant PAP politicians – My Ass :)

The Straits Times article of 12th December 2007 is referred to. This time its Mr. Dhanabalan over here 🙂 

Many a time, you would read of how PAP candidates have to turn down offers to for them to stand for election on the party ticket, be persuaded cajoled and begged into entering the political arena.

Offhand i can remember people who have staked such claims, LKY of Goh Chok Tong, Ng Eng Hen of himself, various other PAP candidates in the last election and days of yore.

So unusual is such a adverse reaction to standing on an almost sure ticket to a Parliamentary Seat and also the amazing riches that come along. 🙂

Also unusual are leaders of this same ruling party bending electoral rules and boundaries to secure victory after victory to stay in a job they all so hate. 🙂

Also unusual is the need to threaten and bribe an electorate into voting them and keeping them in the job they all so resent. 🙂

Also unusually thick-skinned is the brazen self – glorification and self-reward that has brought their salaries to the world’s highest – and even higher as of this coming January.

AND YET they claim that this is a thankless job that is needed to Save Singapore and keep people with agendas from entering politics.

Of course all of us remember the Bargain Hen’s “i can work less hard and make 5 times that amount outside” claim, to which i believe many of us have had very good laughter and entertainment.

We can also remember the oft quoted fist and knuckleduster statements by Lee Kuan Yew on how to treat his political opponents.

I have seen on TV how then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew sobbed on 9th August 1965.

I have heard of how Labour Chief Lim Boon Heng shed a tear for what Goh Chok Tong has done for him on 1st May 2005.

We also remember how present Labour Chief Lim Swee Say shed tears of relief when Holland Bukit Timah GRC was not contested resulting in a walkover victory.

Amidst all these reluctance towards leadership with rewards, i wonder how many more instances were there reluctance in their acts:

1. Suing political opponents? 🙂

2. Detaining political opponents? 🙂

3. Levying GST increases  which cuts the badly bleeded poor? 🙂

4. Rewarding thyself with multimillion dollar salaries – Now the PM will receive SGD3.7million per year and MPs SGD225K or was it SGD275K? 🙂

Dear PAP leaders and friends, i have no issues about how you wish to glorify your political achievements and actions. I have to say that i very much wish to believe you with all my heart as to your reluctance and disavowing of your thirst for less than glorifying acts. However, my belief in your statements is not paramount.

On the day we all face judgment, let us look at our creator in the face and beseech him for his belief in us of all the reluctant acts that we have done.

To the Ruling People’s Action Party, I pray for your salvation and for the Mercy of God to be on you.

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Politics | 2 Comments

Human Rights’ Day

I have come from being an inactive citizen to an active citizen to an opposition politician and back to active citzenry. At the core of citizenship is the question of how much rights a citizen has. How much rights a citizen has usually is linked to how much the state accords to humans under their care.

Wandering on the edge of politics is this question of human rights.

How much are human rights pertinent to the well being of a Singaporean? Lets take this journey together 🙂 please also refer to www.sghumanrights.org in the days to come. 🙂

December 3, 2007 Posted by | Life, Politics | 1 Comment

The Apple Ipod :)

I must say that i undersestimated this little piece of equipment. The Apple Ipod.

I bought mine a 60Gb version for roughly SGD700 almost 2 years back. Being a crazed audiophile then, i basically thought of this hand held harddisk as a fad which might prove a little useful to me to catalogue my songs.

I was getting old. 8 years as a lawyer has gotten into my life energy, i no longer had the kind of zest to dig through and choose from 700 CDs to listen on a weekend or at times when i could be free to squeeze in 1/2 an hour of listening, this made sure that my CD collection was undisturbed, gathering dust, dirt. clogging up the room.

 When i finally opened the Ipod packaging when the 1-year warranty was almost over, i was thinking to myself “shit. have I repeated the same mistake with my audio equipment here?” As i unwrapped the packaging, I realised that i was staring at 60 thousand dollars of idle audio equipment, and i had spend another 700 bucks on a latest fad only to let it lie idle for almost a year and letting it sit through almost its entire warranty.

 i finally completed loading 700 CDs over a period of 5 months. the 60GB capacity was more than enough twice over. 7552 songs occupied only 29Gb plus of space. I have realised that this little contraption has become my constant companion. In the gym, in the train, in bed even. I have never used a portable stereo to such an extent before, not even my previous 3 walkmans.

Times have changed, i have begun to use my cheapest piece of self-sufficient audio equipment most! More than the usage of all the rest of the equipment combined. It looks like i could do with the letting go of some stuff and creating a healthier balance in my bank account. 🙂 I could look at downsizing to something newer and more exciting which i like. Clear a little space, free up cash all at one go. Is it not great?

This little contraption – a portable harddisk – is nothing less than life-changing 🙂 Kudos to the guys at apple who came up with this.

December 2, 2007 Posted by | audiophilia, Life | 1 Comment