Would you pay more in bus fares so that transport operators can pay their bus drivers higher salaries?
An overwhelming 84 per cent of more than 3,000 Yahoo! Singapore readers who participated in its poll on the topic said they would not, believing that transport companies should absorb the resulting increase in costs.
A significant majority of more than 120 comments posted on Yahoo! Singapore’s Facebook page also clamoured for bus operators SMRT and SBS Transit to restructure their organisations, or cut the pay of their senior executives in order to compensate the increase in their bus drivers’ salaries.
“Cut management bonuses and shareholders’ dividends,” wrote Facebook user Mark Chan. “Why should a small minority benefit at the expense of the public and the hundreds of drivers who perform an essential public service?”
Agreeing with Chan, user Eugene Cheong added, “They should review, remove ‘redundancy’ and restructure internally to achieve savings, rather than conveniently
Blog Posts by Jeanette Tan
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Tue, Dec 11, 2012
Would you pay more in bus fares so that transport operators can pay their bus drivers higher salaries?Read More »from 84% oppose bus fare hikes for higher driver wages: Y! Poll
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Fri, Dec 7, 2012
The issue of bus drivers’ wages has been dragged into the harsh scrutiny of Singapore’s public eye following the rare two-day strike by more than 180 Chinese bus drivers working for transport operator SMRT late last month.Read More »from Should bus fares go up in order to pay for higher wages?
Speaking for the first time on the protest, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told local media on Thursday that public transport costs have risen faster than fares.
He reportedly noted that fares have increased by 0.3 per cent over past years as compared to fuel and wage costs, which went up by 30 per cent over the same period, adding that the public transport fare review that will take place next year will need to factor in this “significant mismatch”.
Separately, SMRT reported early last month that its net profit from its second quarter fiscal year had dipped despite earning higher revenue. Its bus transport business saw operating losses jump to $6.6 million for the period from $2.6 million the year before as basic salaries and head count rose.
We want to know what your
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Fri, Dec 7, 2012
Four Singaporeans on Friday visited the Chinese embassy to complain of the recent spate of labour protests staged by workers from China in Singapore.Read More »from S'poreans protest recent labour action by Chinese workers
The four, who say they have no political affiliation, came together on Thursday, the same day as two construction workers from China mounted a crane in Jurong Port to demand unpaid back wages and a week after more than 180 SMRT bus drivers from China held a short-lived strike that government officials have declared as “illegal”.
Entering the Chinese embassy on Tanglin Road, businessmen Bashir Alazhamatkan and Nazem Suki, marine surveyor Muhammad Nazlee and a retiree who wanted to be known only as Joe brought with them a single-page letter addressed to Chinese president Hu Jintao asking his government to "intervene by taking action" against its citizens working in Singapore who partake in "unlawful and uncivilised action".
Citing the strike by Chinese bus drivers and a trade union protest at Singapore’s embassy in Hong Kong to demand the
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Wed, Dec 5, 2012
Member of Parliament Foo Mee Har has resigned from the top banking post she held at Standard Chartered Bank to focus on constituency work and other interests.Read More »from MP Foo Mee Har resigns from top banking post
In a post on her Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon, Foo said she spent 19 years with the bank, leaving her post as global head for priority and international banking “to pursue other interests” and resuming a non-executive role.
“I am excited about this new direction in my life,” she wrote. “Amongst other things, I am looking forward to spending time on a number of initiatives in the pipeline for the Ayer Rajah constituency,” she added.
Foo previously served as president and CEO of the bank’s Thai branch from 2006 to 2008, as well as the country head of consumer banking in China between 2003 and 2005 and the global head of premium banking in Singapore.
A new MP, she was first elected in last year’s general election to represent West Coast GRC. She sits on the finance, trade and industry as well as manpower government parliamentary
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Fri, Nov 30, 2012
A gay couple on Friday filed a legal challenge in Singapore’s High Court against a law that criminalises sex between men.
Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee, who have been together for 15 years, are seeking the repeal of the country’s landmark Section 377A of its Penal Code.
In a statement sent to the media, Chee said he did not live in fear of being caught by the police for his relationship with Lim, but said he knows that "s 377A labels me a criminal".Read More »from Couple files challenge to S'pore law criminalising gay sex
Lim added that even though lawmakers have said that the law will not be "pro-actively" enforced, the fact that the law exists "leaves the possibility of 'passive enforcement', should someone decide to make a complaint against us one day".
Lim and Chee are represented by senior counsel Peter Low, assisted by Choo Zheng Xi and Indulekshmi Rajeswari.
Section 377A of the Penal Code, which is still in force, rules that acts of "gross indecency" between two men is punishable, carrying a jail term of up to two years.
A heated debate on the issue began in
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Wed, Nov 28, 2012
UPDATE on Wed 28/11: All but six bus drivers from China reported to work on Wednesday, said an SMRT spokesperson. Meanwhile, local media reported some bus drivers were called in by police Wednesday though no arrests were made.While bus captains from China do work the same hours as drivers of other nationalities, it's fair that they are paid less because they get transportation and housing, say some SMRT bus drivers.
Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore on an anonymous basis on Tuesday, several Singaporean and Malaysian bus drivers in general voiced this sentiment in the wake of Monday’s full-day Chinese bus drivers’ strike.Read More »from Bus driver community split over mass labour strike
“(Chinese bus drivers) shouldn’t be paid the same amount (as Malaysians) because they have lodging here,” said one Singaporean driver who has been with SMRT for four years. “They also have transport to and fro, whereas Malaysians have to travel back home across the Causeway every day.”
“They (Chinese and Malaysian nationals) probably shouldn’t be earning the same amount
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Mon, Nov 26, 2012
[UPDATE 28/11: All but six bus drivers from China reported to work on Wednesday, said an SMRT spokesperson.]
SMRT bus drivers from China that started a strike on Monday did so illegally, Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin said on Tuesday.
"By taking matters into their own hands the drivers have clearly crossed the line," Tan said, noting that strikes are illegal for "essential services" unless they give the employer 14 days of notice of the intent to go on strike.
"These workers have disrupted public transport services and Singapore's industrial harmony. The government views these disruptions very seriously," he said.
Police, he added, are investigating the illegal strike.Read More »from SMRT bus drivers' strike illegal: Tan Chuan Jin
"Taking the law into your own hands is wrong. This illegal strike is not acceptable and would be dealt with in accordance to the law," he asserted.
Tan made the remarks in a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon. Yahoo! Singapore had not been invited to the briefing but received a copy of his remarks from the ministry
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Fri, Nov 23, 2012
It was his fifth and final morning spent on the stand, but it didn’t go much easier for former Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) director Ng Boon Gay than in previous days.Read More »from Ng Boon Gay trial adjourns
State prosecutors challenged a visibly-drained Ng over his testimony relating to his awareness of Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)’s involvement in a second tender he approved and his understanding of what exactly Hitachi dealt in.
He was also asked why he was able to disclose detailed information about the additional sexual encounters with Cecilia Sue, who had worked as an IT sales executive with Hitachi, when he was unable to recall it when his statements were recorded at the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).
This brings the total number of discrepancies highlighted by the prosecution to 10, adding to an initial seven it raised on Thursday when it applied for the impeachment of Ng as a credible witness.
Ng was first accused of giving contradictory evidence on his knowledge that the main contractor for the CNB’s
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Thu, Nov 22, 2012
State prosecutors on Thursday sought to impeach former Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) director Ng Boon Gay as a credible witness, citing seven separate discrepancies between his testimonies in court and his statements made to investigating officers.Read More »from Prosecution attacks credibility of Ng Boon Gay as witness
This means that District Judge Siva Shanmugam will need to decide which parts of Ng's evidence to take into account for his summary judgement at the end of the case.
In the afternoon of Ng's fourth day on the stand, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee successfully applied to call into question the 46-year-old's testimony in court, compared side-by-side with statements from three separate recorded interviews he sat down to at the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).
These discrepancies touched on Ng's knowledge of former IT sales manager Cecilia Sue's previous employer Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)'s involvement in projects undertaken by CNB, conversations he had with Sue about IT products that CNB ended up acquiring, as well as
- Jeanette Tan | Yahoo! Newsroom – Wed, Nov 21, 2012
Prosecution in the sex-for-favours case against Ng Boon Gay spent a large part of Wednesday pressing the former Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) chief on the point of conflict of interest in his approval for the awarding of two IT contracts.Read More »from Prosecution grills Ng Boon Gay on contracts
Throughout, Ng maintained that there was no actual conflict of interest in the first contract as he was not fully aware that Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), which then employed his alleged lover Cecilia Sue, was involved.
However, under heavy grilling by deputy public prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee, Ng admitted on hindsight that he should have not taken part in the procurement process for the second contract as he knew by then that Hitachi and Sue were directly involved in the project, by way of HDS’s technology used in the Storage Resource Management System (SRMS) that was eventually adopted.
On Tuesday, Ng said that because Sue was working for Hitachi, which was a sub-contractor in the two deals, the conflict that could have arisen was a "perceived" one instead