NParks officer in Brompton bikes purchase suspended: public cant be conned

The majority of Singaporeans were upset over NParks imprudent purchase of high-end foldable Brompton bicycles.

Even my normally placid friend George lashed out, pronouncing the whole saga as “fishy”. But National Development Minister Khaw fended off criticism with claims that the procurement process was in order and that such high-end bikes would aid productivity.

However, the suspension of the NParks officer involved in the purchase of the bikes is a hint that the procurement process was somehow not quite right after all.

If you are observant you can see many examples of wasteful expenditure of taxpayers’ money, money that people still have to cough up even though they may be struggling to make ends meet.

Part of Yio Chu Kang Road is being upgraded. But I can see that the road appears narrower now than before and aside from cosmetic effects, what’s the big difference? It probably costs taxpayers a million dollars for the questionable project.

As a long-time cyclist (not on a Brompton but a cheap store-bought bike), I notice many things that our million-dollar Ministers cocooned in their ivory towers don’t.

I’ve observed that a sort of anti-slip mats have been installed on pedestrian paths, even at locations where there’s no human traffic. Obviously it’s to prevent clumsy people from slipping and keeling over into the path of a car. Truth be told, I have yet to see a single instance of such a dramatic occurrence.

Another example of wasteful expenditure of public funds. The contractor involved must be laughing all the way to the bank.

The money saved on questionable and vanity projects could be better used in creating jobs for jobless or elderly Singaporeans. For example, the creation of temporary library assistant posts for older job seekers in community clubs is a good idea.

Behind the outcry over the bike controversy, we must be mindful of the real issue: that government should not waste public funds.

Even though the money is there.

Wasteful spending: only cosmetic difference

Indiscriminate: is there a great danger of anyone slipping here?


17 Responses to “NParks officer in Brompton bikes purchase suspended: public cant be conned”

  1. I think those ‘anti-slip’ mats are actually for the blind and gives them notice that there’s a junction or side road to be aware of.

    • You are right.

      Anti slip mats for industrial safety are similar. Since these mats are installed almost everywhere, one can safely assume they are for anti slip purpose.

      • I think it is quite clear these were installed for the safety and convenience of the visually impaired. I agree with your overall tone but in this one instance I think you are barking up the wrong tree and there are much clearer – and more correct – examples of public-funds-wastage.

      • Is the population of the visually handicapped so huge that the anti slip mats must be plastered all over Singapore, even on pavements where there’s hardly any human traffic and where vehicles obstruct and in industrial estates.

        You ever seen the blind roaming around?

        Just google and you can see similar mats.

        I’ve shown the picture to some people and their response is the same as mine.

        If they are for the blind I support the initiative but I doubt.

        It’s the meaning which you missed. The tone is irrelevant. Please read more carefully.

        Roger Poh

  2. […] Expectations – Musings From the Lion City: Worth Applauding – SpotlightOnSingapore: NParks officer in Brompton bikes purchase suspended: public cant be conned – Yahoo: NUS law professor in sex-for-grades probe […]

  3. Here you go:
    You do write about things that are relevant in today’s socio-political and economic environment and I am more often than not in agreement with you. Thank you for that.

    • Just lending a voice particularly to the elderly poor.

      Just making some noise.

      I take my hat off to those in the firing line who stand up to be counted.

      Everyone contributes to the marketplace of ideas.

      Roger Poh

  4. The money should be put into good use .. like upgrading hougang estate. One must remember, regardless of politicial afflication, we are all one Singaporean.

  5. The rough floormat like thing on footpaths before roads is for blind people not ordinary pedestrians.

  6. Actually, those dotted yellow mats are not anti slip mats. They’re fort visually impaired people, it indicates that they’re walking onto the road.

  7. The suspension and investigation into the Brompton case was due to the “evidence” dug out and posted on some local forum showing all the various connection of who’s who in the whole fiasco. Now the same beloved minister is claiming credit that he was the one who dug things up and ordered the investigation as a resuly. But in the first place he defended the purchase a few weeks back! Go figure.

  8. The amount of upgrading going on at hawker centres are also ridiculous. And most of them hardly serve any purpose. I think they have reach a point where they need to justify their own existence, and create work that aren’t really necessary. Why don’t they spend the money building more hawker centres instead ?

  9. Fyi the non slip mat is for blind people to know when to stop.

  10. To your previous point, if handicapped population is small does that mean we doubt build as many handicap friendly ramps? It’s important as a country with older age population to have such amenities. Agreed with the rest of your article, but suggest you retract on the non slip mats.

  11. Great article. I see from the comments that some people are quite hung up on the anti-slip mats example, which is a pity, as your message, that of wasteful spending of taxpayers’ monies, is very relevant and affects us all. I am sure we can all see prevalent examples of this happening all around us.

  12. What about the tiled path in the parks?
    Joggers, roller-bladers, cyclists avoid them as they are “bumpy”.
    And the tiles pop up adding to maintenance cost!
    What’s wrong with using plain concrete or bitumen? Cheaper to build and maintain.
    Another weird choice – tearing down concrete bridges and replacing with wooden bridges!
    The planks are beginning to pop-up in less than a year!
    Looks like all these “upgrades” are done in the interest of the contractors!!

  13. Can i add.. Cameras with Certis logo in lifts that are dummy.. How much are we charged for that.. and failed investment in lehman brothers from Town councils.. Now they have the cheek to say conservancy fee may increase soon..

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