SINGAPORE - Does the postman have too many letters and parcels to deliver?
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 27) that there is no cap on how many mailboxes each postman has to cover.
But he also noted that SingPost has recently reviewed its delivery routes to ensure that the load is fairly distributed among all postmen. Currently, each postman delivers mail to about 2,000 dwelling units, or roughly 20 Housing Board blocks, on a daily basis.
Dr Yaacob said SingPost also ensures that each postman is able to complete the deliveries within standard windows of six hours, and engages temporary workers during peak periods when delivery volume is high.
SingPost is expected to optimise its operations to meet the Infocomm Media Development Authority's (IMDA) Quality of Service standards, he said, whereby all basic letters have to be delivered within two working days after posting. Action, such as imposing financial penalties, will be taken in cases where standards are breached.
He also noted that SingPost has raised the salaries of postmen recently, and the Ministry of Manpower has not received any valid salary-related complaints over the past five years.
Dr Yaacob was replying to a question from Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) on what is being done to ease the workload of postmen. This has come under the spotlight after SingPost dismissed one of its postmen earlier this month, after he was spotted discarding returned letters and direct mail.
A video that went viral showed the postman being confronted by a member of the public, who also took a video of what happened.
The postman replied in Mandarin: "I'll tell you about a real problem. It's not that we want to throw it away or are irresponsible. I have over 2,600 letterboxes (to cover)... every day. Actually I wanted to go and see a doctor today as my leg hurts."
IMDA had said in response to media reports that it will conduct a full investigation into the matter and determine whether measures have been taken to prevent such incidents from recurring.
In Parliament, Dr Yaacob said the IMDA probe into the incident earlier this month is still ongoing and will provide updates on its outcome. Asked by Mr Ng if steps will be taken to review the workload of postmen, he said that IMDA will ask SingPost to comply with further remedial measures that need to be taken, if there are any.