Sigh, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew has announced that he is stepping down after the coming election. No reasons given, but it sounded like the transport portfolio has finally taken its toll on the man.
The reaction online were mixed – many acknowledged his effort and contributions towards solving the transport problems, while some people online were of course glad to see the back of Lui.
Ministers and MPs – from both the PAPpies and WeePies camp – also spoke up and paid tribute to Lui. While most of them shared their different experiences and encounters with Lui, one common theme seem to emerge – that Lui is an honest, earnest and determined man who tried his hardest to solve difficult transport problems.
Yes, there were breakdowns, but should we really pin all the blame on one man? Oh, and make fun of his name in the process?
I’m not too sure about that.
Afterall, this is a guy who identified two big issues with our public transport back in 2011 – overcrowding and old infrastructure – and set about fixing them.
On overcrowding, Lui pushed the government to invest more than $1 billion in buying buses for the public. He also imported more trains for the MRT system, while breaking the ground for entire new lines like the Downtown Line and Thomson Line. The Downtown Line even overcame the bankruptcy of a major contractor to open in time later this year.
Infrastructural problems are difficult to solve, and it seemed like these were the ones which caused the major breakdowns. Unlike other politicians overseas, Lui never seemed to shy from the trouble and always visited the affected stations to observe the situation.
And he’s not just an observer. Have you heard the constant announcements that trains are moving slower now because of track renewal works? That’s his team trying to fix the infrastructure problems. Things take time, and he has started work on it a long time ago.
Unfortunately, personal abuse never stopped and we’ve now lost a full minister. Our impatience has a price tag – an honest, earnest and determined man who tried his best to solve a difficult problem.