Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Wednesday October 30th 2019

Mass boycott of public transport on 20 October (Sunday)

We urge all Singaporeans aghast by the recent announcement of record-high increase in transport fare to boycott MRT and bus transport on 20th October (Sunday) in a civil protest against this move. The two transport monopolies will jack up transport fare by 7% wef December 28 representing close to 9 cents per trip for adult fare.

DO NOT take the train or bus on this boycott weekend – stay at home if you can or walk the distance to show your support for this mass consumer boycott of corporate greed. Write to us or like our article to show your support if you are with us.

We choose the weekend to boycott because you have a choice not to go out on that day compared to a weekday of which you have no choice but to go to work. Carpool or take Grab on this weekend to show solidarity against this transport fare hike.

SBS Transit for the record has being making huge net profit of $80 million last year though SMRT made losses of $155 million due to higher operating cost.

Another reason for our gripe is that the fare hikes come in tandem with announcements that record amounts of tax have been collected in 2017 and 2018.

According to a report on the Singapore Business Review, tax revenue collected in FY 2018/19 climbed 4.4% to $52.4b from $50.2b in the previous fiscal year, according to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

As consumers, we are already struggling with all kinds of livelihood issues and yesterday’s announcement of record-high transport fare hike pushes one to the brim of desperation. There is a saying that in Singapore, everything goes up in cost except your salary!

We also enjoy the unwelcomed tag of being the number one country for having the highest cost of living. The unemployment rate among our workforce has being climbing and a recession is already hitting our shore so this fare hike is a untimely slap to our face and pocket.

It is the highest fare increase implemented since 1998 driven largely by fuel and energy costs but seriously will the fare go down if fuel cost decreases?! Not by a chance…

Granted that there are slight reprieve for polytechnic students who have just received the nod for concessionary travel and there are all kinds of concession for needy/poor travel but to constantly make the bulk of consumers pay for any fare increase in monopolised public transportation is both mercenary and un-compassionate! There is no other mode of alternative transportation for office workers so commuters can only grunt and resign to their fate.

Our government has being urging us to forsake the cars for public transportation as it is both convenient and cost-efficient but with the recent hike, a train hike may be inching close to $2 per trip. Any increase in our cost of living is also not cushioned by a mysterious lack of a minimum wage for our low-income workers who will naturally suffer the full brunt of any transport fare hike.

Moreover, we have hundreds of billions stashed away with our two government-owned funds in GIC and Temasek Holdings and Singaporeans have absolutely no clue how the money is being used for the good of the country.

It is time for Singaporeans to rise up together to go against this latest record-high transport fare hike as we may be paying $3 per trip in future if we kept quiet about it.

Are you with me Singapore?

Written by: Gilbert Goh

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