Cow Beh Cow Bu

VEP Tit-for-Tat: Ultimately the Common Folk Lose!

image

When I was working in government service, we were taught to always think about the impact of any proposed policy changes: socio-economic impact, impact on the environment and so on.

In this instance, I wonder if the brains proposing the revision of tolls at Causeway have seriously considered the impact such a raise would have on the lives of the everyday man, particularly the scores of Malaysian workers plying to and from Singapore everyday, and bearing in mind we depend on a number of these Malaysian workers for so many of our industries?

I mean, just look at these charges, it’s no wonder we’ve had stories of bus drivers who stop short of the Causeway and telling passengers to disembark and walk over to the other side, and Malaysian delivery trucks turning around and refusing to make their daily deliveries over to Singapore — and of course, the inevitable price increases for food products coming in from Malaysia: “Eh, more expensive for Malaysia to send over chicken, duck, etc… lah, that’s why need to increase your price.”

image

I’ve always thought Singapore and Malaysia, despite their love-hate relationship, had a symbiotic relationship: like squabbling siblings, our fates have been intertwined since day one, and in reality, we need each other to survive. One side will time to time claim the other is the more dependent one, but in truth, the reason why both countries are where they are today is because of all the daily dealings — small transactions and telecommuting of the common folk, not the “I’m-so-sorry-we-had-to-leave-sob-sob” or the usual taunting between the leaders of the two sides in at the high-level politics end.

Ultimately, it’s the common folk who have to bear the grunt of any tit-for-tat policy changes because it’s their daily livelihoods we’re talking about, particularly when it’s implemented by half-baked policy makers who fail to take an all inclusive consideration of the possible impact of something as simple as raising toll charges at the Causeway. And mind you, we’re not talking increments of a few cents– look at the table again: it’s daylight robbery, if you asked me!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To Top