Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Tipping Point

In recent days, I observe signs that things are coming to a brew.

A boiling point. A tipping point, so to speak.

From the pages of wikipedia, I quote

“In science, a tipping point is the point at which a system is displaced from a state of stable equilibrium into a different state.

Examples are:

Tipping point (physics), in which the system is the position of a physical object
Tipping point (sociology), is the event of a previously rare phenomenon becoming rapidly and dramatically more common.
Tipping point (climatology), in which the system is the global climate”

Many things in Singapore have come to a tipping point.

In May 2011, Singapore’s opposition party the Worker’s Party won the first ever GRC (Group Representation Constituency) in Aljunied . The first ever win for the Opposition in what was considered the ruling PAP (People’s Action Party) stronghold over the opposition. At election rallies, there was such a ground swell of building resentment over what citiizens felt was an accumulation of years of political arrogance.

On 25th October 2011, Singapore witnessed it’s 5th death reported within 5 months at the same Bedok Reservoir. Suicides or at least unnatural deaths had become so common there that the our ex-Foreign Minister and several religious leaders held a prayer and spiritual ceremony at the location. Signboards with SOS helplines were also erected around the reservoir grounds.

On Thursday, 15th December 2011, Singapore’s rail transit system, the SMRT broke down along the North South Line during evening peak hours, affecting 127,000 commuters during the 5-hour shutdown, where several trains that stalled had passengers stuck inside with little ventilation, a lack of air, and some without any light. In one train, a passenger had to break the glass window with a fire extinguisher so that air could come inside the carriage. Two days later, on Saturday 17 December, the SMRT broke down again along the North South Line for seven hours, affecting 94,000 commuters. Prior to this massive breakdown, the SMRT broke down on the Circle line on Wednesday 14th December for some 40 minutes and also for 4 hours in September.

Public transport is very dear to Singaporeans. Both literally and figuratively. The Public Transport Council had approved a 1% increase in bus and train fares that took effect on 8 October 2011, despite many protests (not phyical ones which are outlawed). Then on 12 December 2011, Singapore’s major taxi operator Comfort Delgro announced it’s increase in taxi fares.

Add to this the latest SMRT fiasco, and I can imagine a tipping point coming soon. Things will not be hunky dory or same old same old anymore.

People are starting to question how things are being run. People with pink colored ICs (Identity Cards) as well as blue colored ICs. Heck even the huge numbers bearing the different work passes cannot be mollycoddled.

The strains of packing in so many people on a tiny island in such a short span of time is showing.

When the fat lady sings, how will it all pan out?

For those who wish to hold accountable those responsible for the SMRT breakdowns, you may like to visit the link below to put your name to a petition

Give up your seat Petition | GoPetition

And I had a compelling urge to link this article to another blog which had a masterpiece of satirical writing. A classic. A beautifully composed blog on Singapore titled

Manifestations of the Singaporean Rot