Overthinking It

Thank Yew – Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew steps down

In our series The Road to #SGElections, we did warn you that the election fervour will intensify and that the Jubilee Celebrations over the weekend was but just a respite.

This afternoon – Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced that he will be stepping down and leaving politics.

Social media chatter became a (train) wreck and GE speculators nearly had a (train) break down

(pun intended . . get it ?)

lui_tuck_yews_letter_1_of_2 lui_tuck_yews_letter_2_of_2

Lui Tuck Yew was every Singaporean favourite minister to haul abuse at; MRT breakdown – (F) Tuck Yew, over crowding – (F) Tuck Yew, SMRT late or delayed – (F) Tuck Yew, Fare increase – (F) Tuck Yew, COE skyrocketed – (F) Tuck Yew

Everything also we say (F) Tuck Yew and blame it on poor him. We are ashame to admit this but we too were part of that group – Everything also (F) Tuck Yew



What has Lui Tuck Yew done in retaliation? – Nothing.

Instead, he bowed and nodded, he went to the ground, got his hands dirty and lead from the front. He assured us that he understood our problems and that he will do his best to minimise the inconvenience.



Instead of lashing out at the hatred, taking it out on social media or glorying his past achievements,  he worked harder.

  • The Downtown Line 2 opened ahead of schedule in December well ahead of its 2016 timeline. (Source)
  • The number of new trains have nearly doubled since 2011 and as a result commuters now experience shorter waiting times during peak and non-peak periods. (Source)
  • The rail network has been upgraded to increase the frequency of the trains and improve its reliability (Source)
  • There are now more connections than ever before to help connect Singaporeans reach their destinations all over Singapore. (Source)
  • There are now more free wifi access at station platforms (Source)
  • In light of these improvements, he also continued to fight for lower transport fares and manage to lower it by 1.9% during the latest price adjustment. A move which meant the world to the lower income group.(Source)

Lui Tuck Yew really had the odds stacked against him, when he first took over as Minister for Transport, he was already facing two main issues – overcrowding and infrastructural reliability.

He tried to overcome overcrowding by getting more trains and networks  and increase each and every of the trains frequency.

For infrastructural reliability, he drilled into SMRT operators a rigorous maintenance regime. Checklists were digitised to minimise human error and they adopted the ‘predict and prevent’ approach to solve the breakdown issues.

You see, Lui Tuck Yew was a military man – he was a Chief of Navy and in the Navy, they don’t quit. They fight for the men who fought next them. Lui Tuck Yew with all his resources,  fought for all Singaporeans to have a better transport system.

Singaporeans just refused to see that this was possible from a PAP Minister

On multiple times, Lui Tuck Yew tried explaining to Singaporeans that we are indeed a fortunate bunch, that our breakdowns were nothing as compared to other first world countries, that our fares are relatively cheaper than all other first world countries. That we have freaking air-con in all our buses and trains.  That all of them are wheelchair friendly.

#FACT Singapore Transport System IS one of the most efficient in the world 

As news broke that Lui Tuck Yew has stepped down as Transport Minister. Netizens speculated that he was running away or that he was fired for doing a poor job.

11882587_1219078218107164_905320494365450839_o(Pic by SGAG)

Singaporeans demand a system that never breaks down and to enjoy maximum convenience in all aspects (the more the better). They demand all these while insisting that it is their birth right to have fares pegged to 1990s standard. (i.e 50 cents)

Lui Tuck Yew did not run away. Neither was he fired.

The truth is actually much closer to the heart.

Lui Tuck Yew has put in place plans that will not only manage today’s challenges but also tomorrow’s demands. He has nothing to prove to Singaporeans because Singapore transport system is already one of the best in the in the region. What he lacks is perhaps time to see his plans come to fruitation.

Singaporeans need to stop believing the propaganda that they have created for themselves about our transport system (i.e our transport cannot make it) and stop and look at our transport in its totality.

Lui Tuck Yew, we salute you. You gave your best and that is all that matters.

On this note – if Singaporeans think that opposition MPs (e.g Low Thia Kiang, Goh Meng Seng, etc)  can do a better job, we would like to see them try.


  1. Roger Lim

    What he had contributed during his Navy days, it had already gave a striking lasting impression when he attended the funerals of the servicemen who died in the RSS Courageous accident. He showed deep compassion to the families and was sincere in every aspect sharing the updates. His tears for the servicemen during the sending-off funeral was heart-felt by all across the RSN.

    I’d like to dedicate my thanks to him as the Transport Minister and I disagree with his critics outright and question these keyboard warriors for their scathing remarks, whether they have compared correctly him with other transport ministers from the rest of the world.

    Stop using “because Singapore Ministers are highest paid” as the reason to “crucify” the minister because lowly paid ministers will be even more demotivated to work and worse, giving chance to further corruption right down to the bottom hierarchy.

    How much are the rest of the transport ministers are being paid with tagging them to their transport efficiency in their respective country? How many of these critics has done this research?

    Ask yourself (critics) honestly, if u find yourself short-changed in salary comparing to your peers, would you still be working with alot of drive? Be realistic.

  2. tan Peng Yong

    He was, is, and will be an Officer and Gentleman. Always ready to help his fellow men and always very patient.
    He cared for his men in the Navy. He cared for his constituents. He cared for his co-workers in HDB and the Ministry of Transport. He cared for the people of Singapore who use the roads and public transport.
    The rising expectations of Singaporeans make them thankless and ungrateful. We have the best public transport system, infra structure and road network in the world, and credit should go to Lui Tuck Yew.
    Thank you Mr. Lui for your contributions to Singapore.
    As a colleague and friend in the Navy, I salute you, and wish you ” fair winds and following seas”

  3. Faiz Chen

    Blah blah blah, changing the perspective does not change the facts, blah blah, he still sucks big time.


  5. CK Ng

    Haiz Chen – I feel more sorry for you than Minister Lui. Haiz indeed.

  6. Anon

    He is paid millions. He couldn’t deliver. He decided to resign. This is the right thing to do.
    No sympathy, he was part of the team that created the mess.
    At least he has the courage to set this example for others.

  7. no excuses. 4 years is a long time to fix things and he failed. don’t understand why so many people felt bad for him after he resigned but my logical question is: who feel bad for the old uncles, aunties and working people who are stucked in the MRT break-downs again and again??????????????

    • keyboard warrior NOT

      You should stop with your mindset of being a self-entitled prick. Singapore has created many self-entitled pricks like you because the government has made almost everything so easily available – transport (public/private), education, jobs, entertainments, medical facilities, banking facilities, housing, amenities (not just basic ones but more complex ones like sports complex or even neighbourhood malls to make the community around to be self-sufficient, just to quote you example and not making them up). Relating back to LTY, if you are appreciative enough, you should be glad that they are trying to solve the problem by doing their part. MoT has no say to put a stop or regulate the high flow of human traffic in Singapore, whenever problems arose, they tried to solve within their means in their best capacity. Satisfying every individual’s expectation is difficult, if you think you are only satisfied with your definition of world-class transport with zero faults and provides all transports that sends you right to your doorstep, then perhaps, lowering your expectation will make you a happier, friendly person instead of a bitter, petty man who just barks when things are not going in your way.

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