Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Emperor's New Clothes

Everyday occurrence is a good gauge of the state of 'health' of our local policies. Policy makers have lost touch with reality and folks at the ground. They are in a perpetual state of self-delusion that their policy 'works' in the 'best interest' of the country. Just like in the children story on 'The Emperor's New Cloth', the Emperor just wanted to believe what he loved to hear, regardless of the reality. It is only when he became the laughing stock of all before he realised his self-importance is his own undoing.

We have had quite a number of drastic 360 degree turn around in policies in recent years. From the overweight of importance given to studying of 'Mother Tongue' implemented in the 1970s, to the recent proposal to eliminate 'Mother Tongue' from the compulsory weightage of PSLE marks. Then the punitive measures against family with more the 2 children in the days of population control, to the current bountiful of incentives given to couples who have more children. Reversing of policy is not easy as damage is already done. So to patch up the potholes created, we have import in loads of foreign workers.

It is so crowded nowadays. That day, I waited till the 3rd MRT train before I could board it. The trains are so pack nowadays. Then at the MRT station, crowd of people were at the escalator waiting for their turn to take it. Even before crowd had dispersed, the next train arrived.

It takes only common sense to know our basic transport infrastructure cannot support 6 millions folks, we are not there yet and it is so bad already. You cannot keep increasing the frequency of train without compromising safety. Besides, there will be heavy congestion at the station, before the previous train passengers could leave the station, the next train arrives with another load of folks.

Suggest these policy makers get down to the ground level and take the public transport everday to work for 3 months before they come up with practical changes to 'improve' the system.

Thus, it is important that policies makers do not just sit in their high chairs to come out with drastic policies base on projection numbers. Oftentimes, these projections can be way off the mark. Damage control decades down the road may not undo the harm done over the years.

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