Last week, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan posted a blog entry celebrating 100 disruption-free days on the North-South Line.
Clearly no one ever told him about the whole ‘celebrating too early’ thing, because less than a week later, two rail service disruptions happened within a 12-hour period.
The PAP government seems to have this habit of prematurely patting themselves on the back and having to backtrack later. Here are four times the government came spoke too soon:
- ‘Unprecedented’ disruptions
The aforementioned train incident that affected three MRT lines and an LRT line. Interestingly, Straits Times’ headline suggests that SMRT had called it an ‘unprecedented’ breakdown. But in an interview with CNA last year on the massive rail breakdown of July 2015, SMRT also called the disruption ‘unprecedented’.
How many precedents do we need before a breakdown no longer becomes ‘unprecedented’? One can only guess.
- Floods that happen once in 50 years
Then-Minister for Environment and Water Resources Yaacob Ibrahim called the November 2009 knee-high floods in Bukit Timah a ‘freak’ event that happened once in 50 years.
Apparently, 50 years is a lot shorter than it used to be. Just six months after his comments, the infamous Orchard Road flash flood happened, triggering all sorts of hilarious photos and even anguished cries from Hermes fans. We even got our very own Wikipedia page that recorded the subsequent more-frequent-than-50-years flooding incidents in Singapore.
On the bright side, at least this time round, the government didn’t call it ‘ponding’.
- Integrity and indiscretions
When Leader of the House Minister Grace Fu chided WP Lee Li Lian earlier this year for being less than responsible and accountable to her voters by rejecting the NCMP position, she probably never expected the David Ong ‘personal indiscretion’ saga to happen a mere two months after her statement.
Then again, it probably also came as a surprise to others like DPM Teo Chee Hean, who spoke about fielding only candidates with integrity and residents’ interests at heart, as well as the various PAP politicians who have been criticising WP over their mismanagement of AHPETC funds.
- State-of-the-art grass problems
The Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth called the $1.33 billion Sports Hub a ‘state-of-the-art, full-integrated’ hub for sports, entertainment and lifestyle. The venue’s crown jewel, the top-notch National Stadium, was supposed to showcase Singapore to the world, but was instead plagued by a series of grassy problems that turned out to be rather costly. And that was just one of many issues the venue faced.
At least we now know about some of the football field grass types, and can go around throwing out terms like Eclipsed Stabilised Turf and the Desso Grassmaster. Hello, Pub Trivia Night!