In response to unhappiness over the record 7% fare raise, ex-Malaysian PAP Minister Janil Puthucheary defended the government saying that the fare raise is to help the poor access more subsidies:
“The fare increases over the past two years have allowed for concessions to be extended to more people.”
The latest fare increase however will see adults paying 9 cents more per trip, while concession-eligible commuters pay 4 cents more per trip. It is unknown how the PAP minister arrived to the conclusion that the poor will be “helped” by paying more fares.
The PAP millionaire minister, in a state media interview by government radio 93.8, then pushed the blame to polytechnic students claiming that giving them concessions is a factor behind the exorbitant fare hike:
“This has allowed polytechnic students – who previously had to pay adult fares – to enjoy student concessions, which will see their fares capped at 63 cents per trip, as with junior college and Institute of Technical Education students.”
Minister Janil Puthucheary also tried to argue that raising the fares is to help Singaporeans pay less taxes:
“Taxpayers in Singapore subsidise about S$1 for every trip made on buses and trains here… (so) commuters must continue to pay an amount that is fair.”
This is however not true, as the GST will still be raised by 2021.
The government’s Public Transport Council announced earlier this week on Tuesday (Oct 8), that the fare will be raised by 7% to make the state-owned duopolies – SBS Transit and SMRT – profitable.
SMRT, under former army general Neo Kian Hong, went into record losses of S$155 million in this year’s financial report. SBS Transit, also ran by government cronies and military generals, posted S$125 million losses in the Downtown Line they manage.