The Flipside

‘Singaporeans genuinely unaffected by latest breakdown’

In "The FlipSide", local blogger Belmont Lay lets loose on local politics, culture and society. To be taken with a pinch of salt. Parental permission is advised. In this post, he talks about why Singaporeans are no longer bothered by train disruptions.

Local blogger Belmont Lay says that Singaporeans are no longer affected by the Circle line disruptions. (AFP file photo)Local blogger Belmont Lay says that Singaporeans are no longer affected by the Circle line disruptions. (AFP file …

Singaporeans were genuinely not affected at all by the latest Circle Line train disruption that occurred on Oct. 25 around 1030pm, where about 10,500 people were reportedly affected.

This is in stark contrast to the aftermath of last December's series of major train breakdowns in a long time, where the public became impatient and enraged enough to set social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook ablaze with hate messages.

One commuter, who found himself in the midst of buttocks-against-crotch action on Friday, as crowds tried to disperse from affected Circle Line train stations that have shut down for the night, said stoically: "Oh really, train breakdown? I wouldn't have guessed."

However, another commuter, who claimed he is no longer peeved when trains suffer from PMS and call it a day, explained: "I've gotten pretty used to the malfunctioning. Like how I've gotten used to car prices increasing. And my salary stagnating."

In the past, it was not uncommon to see regular Facebook and Twitter updates that denounced the entire public transport system each time the trains went down without warning.

"#smrtfail How could this happen to First World Singapore?"

"I want my money back!"

"If the MRT is a Facebook update or tweet, it will end mid..."

However, the common response from commuters facing train breakdowns these days?

"Oh well."

"Not surprised. Because guess what? My 3G was down as well!"

"I am definitely a cat. Because if I had to kill myself each time I get caught in a train disruption, I'll have nine lives."

But there are also others who are trying to see beyond the precise technical reason for the latest breakdown.

One commuter, instead applauded the various transport authorities for their modesty when it came to providing estimates.

He said: "The trains in both directions were mostly shut down after 1030pm on the eve of Hari Raya Haji. They also were scheduled to run later than normal."

He explained some more: "Therefore, saying that I believe only 10,500 people were affected overall, is like saying I believe Britney Spears was going to stay a virgin until she got married."

Others, though, are trying to remain optimistic about the situation.

Another commuter, rather calmly, said philosophically: "The only reason trains can break down is because we actually have a train system to begin with."

He continued: "It's like people cracking their iPhone screen and feeling distraught. They tend to forget that they are rich enough to even afford a smartphone in the first place."

Belmont Lay is the editor of New Nation, an online publication that specialises in half-truths because that is what people like to read.