By: B Goode
If say tomorrow something was to happen to the power supply at one of NKF’s dialysis centre causing the machines to stop working, would they be getting any flak from members of public to the extent of calling for heads to roll and stomachs to be disembowelled? I doubt so.
But if something was to happen to the MRT systems, all hell breaks loose.
Perhaps I am comparing apples to oranges, but as far as the two MRT systems are concerned, there is really nothing else to compare them with. They are that `special’.
We have to admit that our MRT systems, despite the occasional glitches, are one of the best in the world as far as doing what they are supposed to do is concerned, and that is to ferry huge number of people from one place to another. We might complain about overcrowding and the fares simply because we have yet to take the trains in Tokyo, London and New York and of course India.
So why do we unleash the curse of a million camels on the two transport operators when something goes wrong?
It has got something to do with goodwill. Apparently good work alone is not good enough without a dose of goodwill.
The NKF for instance, has it in abundance. For decades they have been tirelessly serving the society so much so that the emotional account that they have with the people is so huge that I cannot imagine them getting any flak should something goes awry. Even during TT Durai’s case, the people’s anger was directed at him and not the NKF.
The same could not be said of the two transport operators. They have zero goodwill. In fact, their emotional account is in the negative so much so that we are all waiting for something to go wrong to whack them good.
They have wandered into the `hated’ territory.
They are so profit-driven that they have almost forgotten about their social responsibilities. Yearly fare increases despite record profits and for this year at least, despite low fuel cost. The CEOs getting hefty bonuses based solely on financial success despite the trains being overcrowded because hey! the more people we could cram in, the more fares we would get thus more profit.
And goodwill is also the reason why the Workers party (WP) will retain Aljuneid despite the problems they are having with AHPETC.
The government can spin the issue until the cows come home. Everyone knows the issue and that is, the WP has mismanaged AHPETC. They have not done a good job.
But the WP can draw on the emotional account that they have with the constituents. They have the goodwill and thus the support of the voters and the PAP’s constant harping on the AHPETC issue only serves to bolster the perception that the PAP is all about money money money.
As long as the transport operators and consequently the PAP are not able to link up emotionally with the people despite all the good work that they have done, they will remain on tenterhooks with the people who will be waiting in the shadows to pounce on them at the most opportune moment.
Such as the coming General Elections.