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Thread: White elephants

  1. #21
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw
    I guess you don't pay taxes then? If the company is loss making then EVERYONE pays, not just the commuters.
    Loss?? With other 50 station making the profit..

  2. #22
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlim
    Why call it public transport? It is more appropriate to call it private transport since profit is the first priority, above people's needs.

    We are already disappointed with the usual replies from the higher authorities, delaying the operation of the station is seen as being efficient for the company without any regard to the difficulties faced by the people who lives there. Now, this is inefficiency in daily transport for the people.
    Its called "public" transport because members of the public have access to it, as opposed to "private" transport when only members/owners of a cooperative/organisation/vehicle can use it. SMRT is not the only profit making "public" transport company in the world. Are you willing for YOUR tax dollars to subsidise the commuters of Buangkok? On a small level, I don't mind, but with that kind of mindset the whole thing can multiply and escalate and soon your GST and income taxes will be raised.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by soma
    Loss?? With other 50 station making the profit..
    Exactly, so what is the problem if SMRT wants to run the system efficiently (including NOT opening the Buangkok station) so that they are NOT loss making? You are not getting the point of the argument.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw
    Exactly, so what is the problem if SMRT wants to run the system efficiently (including NOT opening the Buangkok station) so that they are NOT loss making? You are not getting the point of the argument.
    What argument? It a discussion on why is it call public transport when the main purpose is making profit.

    You define this 'public transport' mean.

    Can change name to profit transport
    ( i spit on the floor so many time until it floor the long gang)

  5. #25

    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw
    Its called "public" transport because members of the public have access to it, as opposed to "private" transport when only members/owners of a cooperative/organisation/vehicle can use it. SMRT is not the only profit making "public" transport company in the world. Are you willing for YOUR tax dollars to subsidise the commuters of Buangkok? On a small level, I don't mind, but with that kind of mindset the whole thing can multiply and escalate and soon your GST and income taxes will be raised.
    If opening that single station will incur losses for the company, I suggest the government take over the company to provide the service. Singapore is too small to allow these Big companies to make Big profit!There are many stations that are being built now at other area of this island. So, I think they are going to do the same thing by accessing the situation in different places before opening these new stations.

    Yeah, these government- owned companies probably earn peanut profit in this tiny island. They monopolized the transport sectors, you really think they are losing money? They cannot expand overseas(incapable), so they raise fairs to meet their annual profit targets?

  6. #26

    Default Re: White elephants

    I'm shocked. Shocked that 40 riot policemen were not there to prevent them from placing the elephants

  7. #27
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by soma
    What argument? It a discussion on why is it call public transport when the main purpose is making profit.

    You define this 'public transport' mean.

    Can change name to profit transport
    ( i spit on the floor so many time until it floor the long gang)
    Alright, lets have a "discussion".

    How about "public" utilities like gas, electricity and water? Arguably more critical for daily living than transport, yes? I guess these companies should not be run for profit either, right?

    How about healthcare? Heaven forbid that doctors or healthcare professionals should try and make a decent living, yes?

    Education? Should teachers even be paid, considering they are performing a "public" service.

    When you add this all up, if you expect the government to provide some or all of these at subsidised cost, can you imagine the tax bill?

    Don't you get it? Just because a something is a "public" service does not mean that there should not be any attempt at cost recovery, that their employees cannot be well paid or that a company providing it cannot make a profit.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlim
    If opening that single station will incur losses for the company, I suggest the government take over the company to provide the service. Singapore is too small to allow these Big companies to make Big profit!There are many stations that are being built now at other area of this island. So, I think they are going to do the same thing by accessing the situation in different places before opening these new stations.

    Yeah, these government- owned companies probably earn peanut profit in this tiny island. They monopolized the transport sectors, you really think they are losing money? They cannot expand overseas(incapable), so they raise fairs to meet their annual profit targets?
    Thats why I said I do not mind on a limited scale. However, where do you draw the line? If you open one unprofitable station, how about opening one more, and another....How about subsidising fuel costs for bus companies, subsidising electricity bills, more subsidy for education, more for healthcare, more more more......Who pays for it all eventually? YOU, through taxes or GST. Worse still, if they don't have to turn a profit, the have little accountability, you just wait for the service standards to drop.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw
    Alright, lets have a "discussion".

    How about "public" utilities like gas, electricity and water? Arguably more critical for daily living than transport, yes? I guess these companies should not be run for profit either, right?

    How about healthcare? Heaven forbid that doctors or healthcare professionals should try and make a decent living, yes?

    Education? Should teachers even be paid, considering they are performing a "public" service.

    When you add this all up, if you expect the government to provide some or all of these at subsidised cost, can you imagine the tax bill?

    Don't you get it? Just because a something is a "public" service does not mean that there should not be any attempt at cost recovery, that their employees cannot be well paid or that a company providing it cannot make a profit.
    You are asking for volunteers for Charitable Organisation here not public services.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by soma
    Other country mean a transport system for the public nothing on PROFIT OR LOSSES.
    Nope, you are wrong.

    Polish bus transport -->

    http://www.eaue.de/winuwd/150.htm

    I quote from the above;

    "Results and Impacts
    The effects of the semi-privatisation of the Kalisz Municipal Bus Transport are as follows:

    abetter network. The length of the network was increased from 175 km to 209 km.
    a reduction of the fleet from 98 to 73 (1994) and to 68 (1997). The number of buses was reduced as a result of the reorganisation of the network and the more efficient use of the buses.
    an increase of vehicle kilometres from 385,000 to 441,000 during 1997.
    a change in employment level from 366 to 258 employees occurred over 3 months during 1997. This change went together with the introduction of an alternative employment policy. The dismissed employees were offered work with the companies which are responsible for cleaning the buses and the offices. Some loans given to dismissed workers to start their own business.
    the introduction of a new management structure with financial and commercial sections.
    the introduction of annual contracts as a new system of financial and performance accountability between the Company and the City Authority.
    an increase in wages by 164% from 133.66 ECU to 352.83 ECU per month between 1994 and 1997. (one of the highest average wages in that sector in Poland).
    an increase in passenger numbers from 9,390,000 (1993) to 14,093,000 by 1997. The number of passengers during 1997 reached 20,215,000.
    the overhaul of 22 buses and the purchase of 6 new buses (from the firms Volvo and MAN)
    the implementation of reinvestment programmes in buildings, energy (ecological boiler house), equipment, high-tech resources and training.
    The company was turned from deficit (1993) to profit making (1996) as a result of the dedication of the employees, the foreign partner's know-how; and the support of the city management.
    "

    Privatisation works to improve service standards, improve employee morale and pay, and actually turn a profit.

    ===================

    5 "public" bus companies in HK, almost all run for profit. -->

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpo...n_in_Hong_Kong

    ===================

    Plenty of other examples. A "public" transport system run by private companies for a profit is far from rare.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by Hommie
    You are asking for volunteers for Charitable Organisation here not public services.
    Hommie, I was being ironic in that post. My point was precisely that public services should not be treated be treated as a charatible service.

    Cheers

  12. #32

    Default Re: White elephants

    From the looks of it, I wonder how much would taking a bus, train or taxi cost in 10 to 15 years time. How much will an ordinary man on the street take home?

  13. #33

    Default Re: White elephants

    I think most people here do not believe the company will suffer significant losses in their transport business just because they said so! We don't ask for all kind of unreasonable subsidies, what we want to know is how far they can go before they really run into problems. Just look at NKF, nobody knew the financial status of the organisation and it grew more & more aggressive until the truth is revealed.

    The fact is that no profitable company will claim that they have made enough money and therefore charge lesser from their customers. Their profit margins are going to widen year after year. How about normal average workers' salaries? These workers receive very low wages to subsidise multi-national companies' operation here. The salaries of higher paid jobs increase yearly and yet no increase for those in the lower job category. These workers are actually subsidising the cost of operation of all these companies if we take into consideration of the high standard of living in Singapore. How to make ends meet by earning $800-$1000(before CPF) monthly in Singapore?

    As Singapore economy progress further, are these people going to earn $1000 monthly (unchanged) in the next 5 to 10 years? At that time, a plate of chicken rice may cost $5 or even more, who knows? Is the government going to give the same reason that to stay competitive, these workers should receive the same salaries?

  14. #34
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder
    From the looks of it, I wonder how much would taking a bus, train or taxi cost in 10 to 15 years time. How much will an ordinary man on the street take home?
    The point is you will have to pay for it one way or another: A) efficiently via an open or semi-open market, with healthy transport companies; or B) in-efficiently via your taxes, with loss-making, customer unfriendly, state-owned transport companies with little accountability. Your choice. Even an ex-communist state like Poland went the semi-private route with good results. AFAIAC, this is a no-brainer.

    If you want to talk about help for the poor, then it is a totally separate matter. The poor are definitely deserving of financial aid and here I think the 'garment' can do more. But the aid needs to be focussed and directed. They need help more than just public transport, but also for utilities, housing and education. Fare control on the MRT is a grossly inefficient way of aiding them and the benefits are badly diluted.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlim
    I think most people here do not believe the company will suffer significant losses in their transport business just because they said so! We don't ask for all kind of unreasonable subsidies, what we want to know is how far they can go before they really run into problems. :
    Plenty of transport companies have failed in the past, both here and overseas. You really want to put your theory to the test?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlim
    The fact is that no profitable company will claim that they have made enough money and therefore charge lesser from their customers. Their profit margins are going to widen year after year.
    Being a listed company, their profits are a matter of public record, unless you are accusing them of understating their profits. Last year SMRT made some record profits, but still asked for a fare hike. Justified? I don't know, but their profits need to be viewed from the point of return on assets and revenue. Who's to say they won't make a loss next year?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlim
    How about normal average workers' salaries?
    Don't SMRT employ a large number of Singaporeans? I suspect these are mostly from the lower wage earning group. If the company is not run efficiently and makes a profit, how do THEIR salaries increase?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlim
    These workers receive very low wages to subsidise multi-national companies' operation here. These workers are actually subsidising the cost of operation of all these companies if we take into consideration of the high standard of living in Singapore. How to make ends meet by earning $800-$1000(before CPF) monthly in Singapore?
    I hate to say this, but this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. So the workers in China, India and Vietname are subsidising the costs of operations of Singapore companies based there? Companies will find the most cost-effective place the run their operations, and if the cost is too high they simply don't come. So the guy making $800-$1000 a month will be making........$0.


    Quote Originally Posted by johnlim
    As Singapore economy progress further, are these people going to earn $1000 monthly (unchanged) in the next 5 to 10 years? At that time, a plate of chicken rice may cost $5 or even more, who knows? Is the government going to give the same reason that to stay competitive, these workers should receive the same salaries?
    So if the government were to dictate by law, that henceforth, all our workers salaries must be doubled, suddenly all our problems will be solved? The government does not provide the bulk of jobs here, the private companies do. There is NOTHING the government can do to FORCE any private company from setting up shop here. If we are too expensive, they will leave, simple as that. They did not say we must control our salaries, they say that we must be COMPETITIVE, either work better, smarter, more efficiently, more creatively, or failing which, working cheaper. That is the ugly reality, the government can only do so much to protect us.
    Last edited by dkw; 29th August 2005 at 07:07 PM.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: White elephants

    So... if they built the station... and dont use it... it generates zero $$$ from it but suffers from depreciation..... how can it be justified... not considering public or private company.... instead, you end up increasing fares across the board... what gives?

    Sounds like poor planning....

    Btw, anyone notice that the NE line build quality is worst the than the original MRT... not so precise, when the train stops, the gap between the station and the train is quite wide.

    Just my useless 1/3 f-stop...

  17. #37
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by Zplus
    So... if they built the station... and dont use it... it generates zero $$$ from it but suffers from depreciation..... how can it be justified... not considering public or private company.... instead, you end up increasing fares across the board... what gives?

    Sounds like poor planning....
    Zplus,
    if you were building infrastructure like roads and train lines, it makes sense to plan ahead and forecast usage, and if possible, build redundancies into the system. If you notice, on some of our expressway flyovers, you get weird little extensions hanging out into nowhere. Then suddenly, 5 years later, it all comes together when new road extensions are built.

    Take the case of the Dover MRT station. When they eventually built it they had to build AROUND the track, disrupting service to a small degree and no doubt much more inconvenient to construct than having built it in the first place.

    In the case of Buangkok, no doubt they had anticipated that it would be open eventually due to forecast urban planning, so it would have made great sense to have put up the physical structure in the first place when building the line rather than post-hoc, and much cheaper too. However, if they were to open without the requisite critical mass of population, far from generating $$$, they would probably be losing money from operating the place, with electricity cost, staffing, maintenance etc. Currently, if they don't have electronics in place, the maintenance is minimal and so is the depreciation, at least in relation to what it would cost to operate the place.
    Last edited by dkw; 29th August 2005 at 07:03 PM.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw
    Zplus,
    if you were building infrastructure like roads and train lines, it makes sense to plan ahead and forecast usage, and if possible, build redundancies into the system. If you notice, on some of our expressway flyovers, you get weird little extensions hanging out into nowhere. Then suddenly, 5 years later, it all comes together when new road extensions are built.

    Take the case of the Dover MRT station. When they eventually built it they had to build AROUND the track, disrupting service to a small degree and no doubt much more inconvenient to construct than having built it in the first place.

    In the case of Buangkok, no doubt they had anticipated that it would be open eventually due to forecast urban planning, so it would have made great sense to have put up the physical structure in the first place when building the line rather than post-hoc, and much cheaper too. However, if they were to open without the requisite critical mass of population, far from generating $$$, they would probably be losing money from operating the place, with electricity cost, staffing, maintenance etc. Currently, if they don't have electronics in place, the maintenance is minimal and so is the depreciation, at least in relation to what it would cost to operate the place.
    You are a great person for running a company. Too bad you will run the country like a company too and the people are suffering.

  19. #39

    Default Re: White elephants

    One phase complete the life here...

    No Money No Talk,
    Money Not Enough Also No Talk!!

  20. #40
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    Default Re: White elephants

    Quote Originally Posted by soma
    You are a great person for running a company. Too bad you will run the country like a company too and the people are suffering.
    Oh great! Degenerated to personal attacks, have we? Guess you have run out of ideas then. Lets see, from your profile you own a D70 (+ some lenses I guess), and list travel as your interest, but I guess its too much for you to take if SMRT makes some profit so that they can pay their staff (most of whom could not dream of owning a DSLR) properly and won't be a burden on the taxpayer right? May I ask how much you are "suffering", since you are making so much noise on the behalf of the downtrodden and oppressed?
    Last edited by dkw; 29th August 2005 at 10:30 PM.

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