Monday, 21 May 2012

Taxi without Airbags: That is the maximum Desmond can offer.

Only u HG 不离不弃后港情8

Vehicle airbags have been around for more than 20 years. It is longer than the Hougang voters elected WP to represent them in the Parliament. Now almost all private cars in Singapore are equipped with airbags for safety reasons.  It really comes with a shock our taxis have no airbags – LTA does nothing about it, passengers don’t know about it except the taxi operators and tax drivers.

Both the operators and drivers know the situation but due to cost and rental factors, they remain silent as both want to save money.  So, the drivers have to risk their life and the only thing they can do is to drive carefully.  No matter how careful, accident is an accident.  So, the risk also extends to the passengers who have no knowledge about it.   

When Desmond said he was his own man and an independent man, was he the driver or passenger or operator?  Since he is part of the establishment, member of the PAP – the ruling party, he should have more knowledge than ordinary citizens – the passengers.  Will he inform the passengers there is no airbags in the taxi?    Does he see his duty to inform passengers the truth?  Or will he continue to co-operative with the operators to remain silence?

Desmond has yet to be elected and there is no way to prove his independence from the PAP.  Unless he is not a member of the PAP, a true independent standing in the by-election with his own political logo, then we can give credit to his words he is his own man.  However, when you look at the existing PAP MPs, who can be called independent?  Why Desmond makes himself so special?

Unfortunately, he is likely to be associated with the PAP.  Just like the taxi drivers, they will continue to rent the taxis from NTUC Comfort, SMRT, and others.  Even the drivers prefer to have airbags, even they voice out, but the ultimate decision will still be made by the operators (and the government).  This must be a well kept secret for more than 20 years and passengers have been subjected to such a risk without any knowledge.

Desmond has given a lot of promises to Hougang residents.  But will he provide all information openly to the residents? For whatever reasons, he will hide some information, as pointed by WP – his funding for his programs, his use of government facilities and money as an adviser, his wet market proposal, etc.

There are many similar cases of taxi without airbags in Singapore? If not for the recent unfortunate accident which claimed 3 lives, passengers may still be in the dark.  Taxi is a common transport mean and is used by many people.  In fact, due to its long hours on the road, taxi has higher risk than private cars and even public transport.  

Not necessarily big operators will install airbags.  Small operator (Prime) in fact has airbags for all its taxis:  

<<Prime Taxi, which has a fleet of 700, is the exception - all its taxis have airbags.And it will introduce a new Toyota Prius model which will be fitted with six airbags for front passengers and drivers by the end of this month.Its general manager, Mr Eric Ang, feels that continuous upgrades are necessary to ensure the safety of its drivers.He said: "Of course, it (upgrading of safety features in taxis) is costly. But our drivers' safety is more important."A check with other taxi operators here revealed that older models of taxis have no airbags installed.TransCab general manager Jasmine Tan had earlier told the media that its fleet of 1,890 older Toyota Crowns, which have no airbags, will be gradually phased out by 2014.Similarly, SMRT Taxis director Tony Heng said that its older models will be "replaced progressively with new taxis that are equipped with airbags". (TNP, 21 May 2012)>>

Why small operator can do it and big ones cannot or reluctant to do it? This is like asking town councils, why small TC like Hougang, Potong Pasir (under Chiam CS) and even Aljunied-Hougang can keep the towns clean and even reduces their maintenance charges?  Why the PAP TCs have to increase charges?

Small operators have to care about drivers’ safety then they can attract drivers to rent taxi from them. Of curse, they will also have to offer competitive rental.  This is how Hougang and Potong Pasir (under Chiam) TCs survived in the past. There is a human touch and caring for the people.  

Back to taxi without airbags, Desmond will not give you the full picture – not even telling you whether there are airbags or not.  If you don’t ask, that is fine Desmond will not provide you the information. If you ask, then Desmond will say I am only a driver, what can I do I am only earning a living? How can I fight the big operators and the union, can you expect them to do anything?

Hougang voters as well as voters in Singapore must realise that without airbags are OK if there is no accident.  However, should you be given the airbags information in advance as your rights whether you are passengers or not?  Desmond, likes the PAP government, will not answer you if you never ask. Not only that they will hide the truth, just like the immigration policy, population strategy, CPF, foreign scholarships, foreign talents, etc.

Just like the former SMRT CEO, had she disclosed everything in the COI? Or was she asked to answer details of the MRT breakdowns? The open inquiry has lasted so long and people have stated to forget about COI and the real meanings. 

From taxi without airbags, town management, to parliament, do you think Desmond as a PAP candidate can be different from other PAP MPs. Desmond is a unionist, why can’t he care about the safety of taxi drivers and the passengers at large?   He, after all, is still co-operating and assisting the taxi operators and the government.      

The most that Desmond can provide is a taxi without airbags.  You are safe and enjoy your trip if there is no accident.  If there is an accident, Desmond cannot provide the airbags to protect you.  You need to buy an insurance to protect yourself or you can act as a co-driver to remind the driver to drive carefully.  By now, you should know the co-driver and from whom to buy insurance.    

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