Wednesday, 21 March 2012

iSaw - A rare opportunity to know how the government thinks and works


We should welcome the blog of Saw Phaik Hwa and thank her for sharing with us her experience in running a GLC.  Looking back, we have not seen any one from any GLC who are willing to stand forward to be assessed and evaluated. We certainly like to see and hear the success story of Temasek Holdings, but will there be one? Will Temasek CEO share with you how the billions dollars are invested?

So, at least Saw dares to step forward and provides her side of story.  Good or bad, right or wrong we respect her views and appreciate her sharing. 

Certainly, SMRT is related to the government and its operations and services are the reflections of the PAP mindsets towards voters. We can see how a listed public company making use of monopoly, public facilities, funds and finance to enrich the public and themselves. We hope to read the philosophy of (SMRT) public service in Singapore and the attitude of government towards its citizens in basic transport services.  

Perhaps, Saw is too proud of what she had done at SMRT and by sharing her experience and achievement with us; she can then justify her “high or not so high?” salary. Readers will judge her performance with other stated owned metro corporations in the world and understand the motive and rational for making a public good profitable.

We hope she can share more and disclose more management issues and service philosophy. This will certainly make a good case study for business schools and management consultancy. We rarely and hardly see a profitable public transport company in the world.  The case of SMRT will prove to the world that it is possible to make public transport profitable and it can be a quality standard and benchmark for business excellence in communications sector.   

Not to forget, the efficiency of our public transport system is one of the key factors that Singapore achieved high standing in international competitiveness.  So, there is a good reason to read iSaw and find out the secret success recipe of our mass rapid transit system.  

Saw talked about how she prevented “huge fare increases” by raising revenue.  It will be interesting to hear from her the $1.1 billion buses subsidy to SBS and SMRT.  Is this because there is no more way to increase revenue anymore? Have all the SMRT retail spaces already been used and developed? If she can prevent huge subsidy from government to SMRT, then her million dollar compensation is really worth paying for.  And more importantly, SMRT should re-employ and reinstate her CEO position as she can help to save public money for unnecessary subsidy.             

We look forward for more interesting revelations from iSaw. And we hope the government will not stop iSaw for doing so.  Unfortunately, there is a possibility that the more she reveals, there more uncomfortable and embarrass the government will be - just like how she shows off her luxury life style to the public! 

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