Govt-run train system will be more people-oriented

I agree with Professor Kishore Mahbubani that the Government should consider running the nation's public transport system, like it had done in the past (" 'Let Govt manage public transport' "; Oct 30).

In a small nation like Singapore, having the public transport system run by private companies cannot be justified.

In the report, Prof Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, also mentioned that private corporations have less of an incentive to spend on long-term maintenance.

SMRT and SBS Transit, being listed companies, have to answer to their shareholders. Their performance is based on their earnings.

If the Government takes over the train transport system, there is no doubt that there will be tighter controls and regulations involving finances to reinvest and maintain existing infrastructure.

A government-run train system would be more people-oriented than profit-oriented, as it should be, like with the civil service.

The public transport system is the backbone of the nation and it is what keeps the country moving.

We should not be at the mercy of private companies whose goal is to turn public transport services into money-spinning businesses.

Daniel Koh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2015, with the headline 'Govt-run train system will be more people-oriented'. Print Edition | Subscribe