Khaw Boon Wan: Need to guard against regulatory bias

A photo taken on Sept 9, 2018, showing rail maintenance works being done at Boon Lay MRT station. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that a unified approach between regulator and regulated was required in tackling rail issues.
A photo taken on Sept 9, 2018, showing rail maintenance works being done at Boon Lay MRT station. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that a unified approach between regulator and regulated was required in tackling rail issues.PHOTO: ST FILE

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has warned of regulatory capture, where the regulator becomes too cosy with the regulated.

"A regulator working closely with the industry to advance consumer welfare is good. But a regulator getting too comfortable with the industry, neglecting consumer welfare, will be crossing a redline," he said yesterday.

Mr Khaw was speaking at the Eighth Joint Forum on Infrastructure Maintenance at the Land Transport Authority's headquarters in Hampshire Road, where he emphasised the need to focus on cost efficiency.

He also said Singapore has corrected the underinvestment in operations and maintenance "in our recent past history, when some operators got distracted", and added that striking a balance would require sound judgment.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2019, with the headline 'Khaw: Need to guard against regulatory bias'. Print Edition | Subscribe