Mr Lui really, really doesn’t get it!

A few weeks ago, I wrote that our Transport Minister, Mr Lui Tuck Yew, and those who create and run our transport system and infrastructure just don’t get it. (read it here )

In his latest comment on runaway certificate of entitlement prices for cars, Mr Lui has double confirmed — to me at least — that he simply doesn’t get it, just like many of those who put up our road signages. But that’s another story.

The story in this post is what Mr Lui said — or least what’s reported today on the Straits Times free online pages. (see below the extracted report)

What Mr Lui said is factually true. But his factual statement is as sensitive as what ex-SMRT CEO Ms Saw Phaik Hwa once said re folks finding it difficult to board trains: “”People can board the trains, it is whether they choose to.”

Yup, COE prices are rising because the economy is good. But Mr Lui should know that not all are benefitting from our great economic growth. And if benefitting, not in equal share, OK. Otherwise, there won’t be need for more and more help centres, Comcare, Workfare and an endless run of fund raising activities.

Mr Lui should also ponder why despite going strong for 10 years, The ST Pocket Money Fund ain’t winding down but is instead growing by leaps and bounds?

Indeed among the many growth sectors, our charity sector appears to be one that’s recession proofed and on an unstoppable trajectory of growth!

Oh sure, I quite agree that COEs and their prices should be the furthest from the minds of those needing charity and state handouts to survive.

But Mr Lui shouldn’t overlook that there’s a huge sandwich class — sandwiched between the super rich 10% and super poor (in SG not sub-Sahara terms, lah) bottom 20%!

I think many of the 70% needing to replace their cars would find it a pinch to buy a COE priced close to the cost of a 30-year leasehold HDB granny flat 😥 That’s be4 paying for the car itself!

Perhaps those feeling this pinch should choose to give up their cars and not bellyache about the run-away COEs? 😆

After all, if people with the moolah and dealers with new cars are all buying in anticipation, what can poor Mr Lui and indeed the Government do, huh?

Mayb not a lot but for a start, let me suggest: how about not subjecting taxis to COEs? That way will allow for more Cat A COEs for those who can afford only a basic car for driving around. Also it will allow for lower taxi fares and encourage more people to take taxis. OK, if anyone should abuse this COE-free taxi system, jail those caught and throw away the key! (I was going to say hang the culprits caught but I’m basically anti-death penalty, believe it or not!)

Another way the government can do something to make car-ownership more accessible to all is to cap car ownership to just two cars per household. To those who need more, then they can only rent. That will create a new niche business but such companies will only be allowed to bid for Open Category — like when I’m Transport Minister or when the cows sing Come Back to Sorento 😆

An even more egatarian way is to allow those without cars to buy on behalf of those who need more than two cars and so allow those who choose to be without cars to benefit from the transaction. Such households should be allowed one go only — to stop rampant profiteering.

These are just outlines but I’m sure Mr Lui with his wide brain trust in LTA and Mintransport should have no problem knocking down my suggestions or — (hope springs eternal) fleshing them into reality.

Also, there may be many more other ways to skin the cat.

Mr Lui, don’t wring your hands and imply, we can choose to give up our cars — if we can’t afford the sky high COEs.

Lastly, I must confess I’ve a huge vested interest in this issue. This is because I’m an angsty auntie who just paid $1,050 to a workshop uncle to put my bone shaker into better shape to withstand another 3.3 years of my idiosyncratic driving ! 

The Straits Times
Published on Apr 16, 2012

COE prices up because economy is doing well, says Lui


By Goh Chin Lian

COE prices are soaring because the economy is doing well and not because the Government is further slowing the growth in the vehicle population to 0.5 per cent, as that kicks in only in August, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said on Sunday.

He was responding to a steady stream of complaints about certificate of entitlement (COE) prices – now at their highest in more than a decade – from residents during a walkabout in Cheng San.

Mr Lui said high COE prices are due to strong demand – with wages still on the rise, dealers introducing new car models and more people bidding now in expectation that premiums may rise further.

Come August, the annual allowable vehicle population growth rate goes down to 0.5 per cent, from 1.5 per cent today and 3 per cent before 2009.


6 thoughts on “Mr Lui really, really doesn’t get it!

  1. Hahaha! I think you better keep your bone shaker lah! If you scrap it you won’t be able to buy another car. If if u can afford why shld u fill up govt’s coffers?

  2. Auntielucia:

    if oni 20% in the Cabinet CAN think like You, the people at large will definitely complain much less and most will be happy too.

    Unfortunately for Singaporeans, our Government (formed mainly by the Men In White)
    has a big hand in the Commercial Sector. The Government should just leave the Market Place to the Business People and assists them to market their products as far and wide around the World.
    It shall then collect the tax and excise to administer the State and the Citizenry to the best It could for a peaceful and happy society.

    But, alas it was not to be, the State privatized many State Run Essential Services and Goods, runs them like any commercial entities and some vital ones were sold to foreigners in the process. It has also came out with many out of the World practices such as COE, ERP, 10 year vehicle life, after which the vehicle will be subjected to a set of rulings. There were/are changing CPF Contribution Rate, Interest Rate and varying Withdrawal age, Healthcare and Medical Service are commercialized. Villagers were resettled and the State became the Biggest Realtor. Being one and all and with full Authority, the leaders are like any other businessmen and they will talk and behave like one.

    Today, though many foreigners own Singapore property, product and service provided in Singapore, there are more that Singapore can offer. So, so long there is money to be made, no opportunity will be wasted. Dare I say, be prepared for more true words from our Men In White


  3. Uncle Patriot, see my response to your comment on previous post. Thanks again! 😀

    Gintai, my car is 6.7 years old; no, I don’t want to splurge that sort of money on a new car, even if the money were going directly to my fav charity, Breadline. All of us shld spend our $ in ways that give us the biggest bang for our buck!

  4. Auntie lucia

    Well, if the coming induced recession, for those with jobs and cash should be happy and those who lose it will end up complaining more.
    So if COEs come down, we will see.


  5. Pingback: Mr Lui continues not to get it!! | FOOD fuels me to talk…

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