I am disappointed and somewhat surprised that the Singapore government has not responded officially in relation to the parking saga that hit headlines over the course of the last few weeks. Many social media posts have been uploaded decrying the privilege as unfair and disproportionate.
On the face of things, it is manifestly unjust. An annual fee of SGD365 to park at so many car parks across the country when everyone else has to pay triple that or more just because you are an elected MP seems way too excessive.
I understand that MPs do "constituency work" but to put things in perspective, they are well remunerated to do the job. In this regard, how are they different from any other person who drives to work? If you choose to drive to work, you have to pay for it. Honestly, I can't see the difference?
Contrast this with teachers who are also public servants. Arguably, they are doing an even more valuable job by educating the young (some of them would be children of these same elected MPs). Why then do they have to pay triple the amount that the elected MPs pays?
I know that many people have already written about this but before we move on, we do need to ask some very basic questions and ensure that they are addressed.
Firstly, as elected MPs voted in to serve the people, why didn't they raise this parking issue in Parliament? It is very clearly a much lower fee than what other people are paying and the elected MPs can't possibly pretend that they are not aware of parking costs in land scarce Singapore. Surely, they ought to have queried this heavily subsidised parking fee in the first place? I am disappointed that this information took so long to even be disclosed to the public and am even more disappointed that the elected MPs who are well remunerated never once questioned this arguably unethical benefit.
Secondly, why hasn't anyone from the government issued a public statement on this? Surely it is worth addressing? Especially in the face of other civil servants such as teachers being told that their salaries needed to be clean? How can no statement be issued? This is tantamount to ignoring public concerns and dismissing our understandable indignance on the issue.
Last but not least, are our elected MPs going to do anything about this unfair practice? Are they going to end this practice? Honestly, they really should. It cannot be one rule for MPs and another for everyone else. They are just doing a paid job like everyone else. Unless MPs view themselves as superior and therefore deserving of privileges that other Singaporeans do not? If so, this attitude of superiority really has to end NOW. It kinda stinks.