Wasteful expenditure of taxpayer money: NParks’ purchase of $2200 Brompton bicycles

NParks’ purchase of 26 Brompton foldable bicycles, each costing $2200, has raised a few eyebrows, including mine. Such foldable bikes are so expensive that I see very few of them on the PCN.

This is another example of wasteful expenditure of taxpayer money. Just because the money is there, does NParks have to be so extravagant?

What’s wrong with an ordinary bicycle? A $99 bicycle from NTUC is just as practicable and good.

Or if NParks officers scoff at a cheap bike how about a $475 Dahon bike then?

I have had such ordinary bicycles for years. I can easily ride to Changi beach and back covering a distance of 40km without any problem. These cheap bicycles, contrary to the views of some snobs, are just reliable and tough.

Taxpayer money must be used wisely. In this case, there’s no doubt in my mind NParks has been wasteful and extravagant. There are other foldable bikes costing 10 times less and just as good.

Has NParks been taken for a ride by some brand conscious officers? NParks did not lose sleep over the $57,200 of public money?

If it had bought a $99 bike they’d have cost only $2574 in all, saving the government a whopping $54,626

If NParks is not convinced, I can demonstrate the capabilities of a cheap $99 bicycle (even cheaper with promotional offers) on a ride to Changi Village via its PCN starting at Gerald Drive.

National Development Minister Kwaw Boon Wan who has defended NParks’
purchase of the bikes can come along for the ride. But he has to get medical clearance first.

In action: my cheap $99 foldable bike at Punggol Point

My Dahon tackling the slopes of Mt Faber


16 Responses to “Wasteful expenditure of taxpayer money: NParks’ purchase of $2200 Brompton bicycles”

  1. Is it necessary to buy foldable bike?
    Why buy such expensive bikes?

  2. very simp[e case of Bureaucracy 101 where almost everything now goes under tender due to the SLA case in the past.

    Officers afraid to call friends in case they get hauled up for questioning.

    So you want more regulations etc, this is the result.

    you may argues budgets to be set, in that case, chase after the senior manager in charge not
    the Minister.

    You seem to expect people to micromanage, well not sure whether you would like to be micromanaged yourself.

    • The issue is whether is whether the purchase of such costly bikes is justifiable not whether anyone wishes to be micromanaged.

      The Minister defends it on grounds of greater productivity whatever that means.

  3. […] Housing Matters: Value for Money – Spotlight on Singapore: Wasteful expenditure of taxpayer money: NParks’ purchase of $2200 Brompton bicycles – Singapore Notes: Not My Own Money – Anonmous_X: Brompton Bicycle … Matters? […]

  4. Foldable because it must be able to go on buses or trains.
    So how much distance are they really talking about? 30-40km on bike + public transport?
    Is this for everyday usage, like the Postman do? So is SingPost going to upgrade their bikes now for “productivity sake’?
    The designer chairs are life-time warranty. Is this designer bike life-time warranty too that Khaw can say is value-for-money? How much do the expensive spare parts cost? These are small production bikes, hand crafted, so how much of customization will go into replacement?
    Don’t take us for a ride, Mr Khaw.

  5. How lian…that’s the reason.

  6. Get an electric bike at much less than half the price. No need to fold and bring on board public transport.

    • That’s a good alternative. Less physically demanding so it can boost productivity.

  7. it is atotal waste of money despite the explaination by khaw.

  8. CPIB should look into this. If your “friend” is selling something really really expensive, you can always work with him to make sure that the so called “requirements” only match with one of his unique products so that he can make a lot a lot of money.

    • Agreed. Many share your misgiving.

      I’ve just received an email from a friend, who usually can’t be bothered with this sort of things,saying that it sounds “fishy”.

  9. The thread on the Minister’s explanation on his MND facebook has disappeared.

    • Another vanishing act? This implies that his explanation was manifestly absurd.

      He can run but he can’t hide. Thanks for the contribution.

  10. i think people should check properly before making silly statements. threads are right there:
    kbw facebook

    Mnd facebook

    i saw on tv how their officers work. they ride bus/mrt to park, cycle and dismount to check trees/park connectors, then cycle again. after that, take bus/mrt, cross overhead bridge, to another park and continue again. the officer on tv is female, and petite. really siong. not like recreational cyclists, who can cycle all the way w/o stopping.

    there’s a saying 一分钱一分货 (pay for quality). can your $99 bike last as long as brompton if you use it every day? can your dahon fold into compact shape?

    imho, if the bikes really help them do their work properly then go ahead.

    • I am fully aware of yi fen qian yi fen huo.

      In India and China, people use cheap bikes to carry heavy loads with my own eyes and they can last and last. They use such bikes day in day out without any problem. So don’t look down upon such humble bikes.

      That NParks officers dismounting and carrying their bikes is reason enough for the purchase of a Brompton is laughable.

      I’ve owned cheap bikes, compared to a Brompton, which I’ve put through hardier tests in forests, dirt tracks, mountain bike trails in Tampines and Pulau Ubin and the bikes are still standing!

      As to whether my Dahon can fold can fold compactly is another indication of your ignorance.

      I’ve been cycling for more than 20 years and own 7 bicycles.

      The bottom line is the government should not waste taxpayers’ money.

      The litmus test is if NParks officers are to fork out their own money to buy a bike, I’ve not the slightest doubt they would head for NTUC, Carrefour or Giant.

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