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Transport Woes...


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S Iswaran - one of the main architects of CECA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement) between Singapore and India.
The Minister justifying the editorial integrity of SPH.
The Minister employing a retired PAP MP, Khaw Boon Wan, as chairman of SPH.
The Minister for Transport w.e.f. 15 May 2021

Singapore looking forward to conclude CECA with India: Iswaran
Ashraf Jamal Tuesday, May 16th 2017

To promote bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India and strengthen business relations, S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) has said that Singapore is looking forward for concluding the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India.
Iswaran said, “We remain engaged and are prepared to conclude the CECA. We have also indicated to the Indian government that we would like to conclude it as that is another important platform for bilateral economic engagement between the two countries.”

S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry)

S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) of Singapore. Photo courtesy: Youtube
He added, “There is enough of basis there for us to conclude it and take it to the next level. We are waiting for the Indian government to sign off on this.”
Pointedly, Singapore-India CECA is a bilateral free-trade agreement covering areas such as tariff concessions and the facilitation of movement of professionals. The agreement concluded in 2005. Both the countries have been in discussions over the past six years on an expansion of the scope of the agreement.
However, there were reports in the Singapore media last month that the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry said the review of the pact has not been put on hold and that “the agreement continues in force”. However, the Indian authorities noted that “recent policy measures by Singapore” that do not respect the movement of natural persons “are a cause of concern and are being discussed with the Government of Singapore”.
There were also reports in Indian media that New Delhi had placed on hold the review of the CECA with Singapore because of restrictions placed on visas for Indian IT professionals to work in the city-state.
Iswaran has clarified to Singapore-based newspaper Today, “Our position has been consistent; which is, we apply the rules equally to everyone. The companies that operate here have to work in compliance with our rules, and our rules include the fair consideration framework which is applied equally. There is no differentiation based on source markets.”
He noted that Singapore had not received any specific representation officially or through any formal channels on any particular violation of the pact.
In CECA’s clauses on movement of natural persons, business visitors, short-term service suppliers, professionals as well as employees transferred within companies can gain temporary entry into both countries.


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Pritam, Iswaran spar on funding, editorial independence of SPH's new media entity
Mr Singh holding up a printout of a New Paper front page from the 1997 election in Parliament on Monday (May 10). He asked what the Government would do to foster a culture of editorial independence across SPH’s titles after the media restructuring.

Mr Singh holding up a printout of a New Paper front page from the 1997 election in Parliament on Monday (May 10). He asked what the Government would do to foster a culture of editorial independence across SPH’s titles after the media restructuring.PHOTO: GOV.SG

Justin Ong
Political Correspondent

MAY 10, 2021

SINGAPORE - Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC) on Monday (May 10) clashed with Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran over the Government's potential funding as well as the editorial independence of Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) new media entity.
The Workers' Party chief was responding to a ministerial statement in Parliament by Mr Iswaran on SPH's proposal to hive off its media business to a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (CLG). The Government has backed the move and said it is prepared to provide funding for the entity.
Mr Singh's pressing for more details of funding towards the end of the debate saw Mr Iswaran telling him not to "miss the wood for the trees" or make "political capital" out of the matter.
Mr Singh, who rose twice to seek clarifications, asked what the Government would do to ensure the independence of the CLG from possible government interference, and to foster a culture of editorial independence across SPH's titles.
He also asked if the Government would consider forming a select committee to allow members of the public to express what editorial standards they expect from the CLG's taxpayer-funded mainstream media, and to express their views on how best the SPH CLG can ensure editorial independence from any government of the day.
Pritam, Iswaran spar on funding, editorial independence of SPH's new media entity

In response, Mr Iswaran said he would venture that a culture of editorial independence already exists in Singapore's news media.

"We do a disservice to our journalists and editors to suggest anything to the contrary," he said.
On the suggestion of a select committee, Mr Iswaran said: "If I understand correctly, it's about enabling people to express their views. I would say Singaporeans have already expressed their views. Because, first, when it comes to trust surveys, Singapore scores highly. Singaporeans have been quick to point out that they trust our news media, both print and broadcast."
The minister pointed to surveys he had highlighted in his ministerial statement earlier. A 2020 survey by British polling firm YouGov found seven in 10 Singaporeans trusted reporting by local media on Covid-19, compared with three in 10 people in Britain who trusted reporting by British newspapers on the virus. The 2021 Edelman trust barometer also reported Singaporeans' trust in local media at 62 per cent, above the global average of 51 per cent, 45 per cent in the United States, and 37 per cent in Britain and France.
"The fact is, as I said and I want to re-emphasise, the SPH news organisations in aggregate have not just maintained but have grown their reach and readership when you combine the digital and the physical," said Mr Iswaran.

"That would not be the case if Singaporeans did not feel that they could trust the news organisation. So I think the people have spoken, and I think it's our job now to make sure the object of their trust continues to succeed."

Making a second set of clarifications towards the end of the debate, Mr Singh presented a printout of a New Paper front page from the 1997 General Election.
"It was a checklist to help you decide how to vote," he said. "Minister spoke earlier about objectivity and balance. The only thing objective about this cover page is the EPL (English Premier League) scores - no win for Liverpool and also for Manchester United.
"The checklist essentially told the voters what you're voting for if you vote for the PAP (People's Action Party): You are voting for upgrading, Edusave, and MPs of acceptable character."
Public should have a say in what they expect from SPH's new media entity, says Pritam Singh

Mr Singh then pointed out how SPH's The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao had, in recent weeks, offered varying perspectives on Singapore's fourth-generation leadership transition.
"There can be different views on the quality and standards of journalism in Singapore, and it is for that reason that I put my earlier question to the Minister about a select committee, and to try and get some understanding from the public what they expect of a taxpayer-funded CLG," he said.
Mr Iswaran replied: "I'm disappointed that the Leader of the Opposition has decided to make political capital out of something that I think is quite fundamentally important to us.
"Even in the examples that he cites, he has already illustrated the point that I'm making. He went back to 1997 to bring out an example. And then he says the Chinese media put forward one point of view and the English media put out another point of view.
"Isn't this the diversity that the Leader of the Opposition has been talking about?" Mr Iswaran asked. "So, I am not very clear why he thinks the current model is not succeeding. Is it perfect? No. I would challenge him to show me a model that works and that is perfect. But is it one that works in our context? I think it does, with some areas for improvement, certainly, but it's an evolutionary process."
He added: "What we want at the end of the day is not posturing, but substance. If we can achieve that not just in the news media but also in this Chamber, I think we would have gone a long way to building a stronger country and nation."

Earlier, Mr Singh asked when the Government had first informed SPH that it was prepared to extend grants to support its media business; and what the size of the funding would be. "Does the Government aim to cap the grants it extends with the expectation that the CLG would also secure other sources of funding from the private sector, for example?" Mr Singh added.
Mr Iswaran replied that the Government has always been willing to support investments in capability development. "And then it is up to the respective organisations to develop their plan, and to put forward their proposals to us. In the case of SPH, specifically, as I mentioned, last year they received the JSS (Jobs Support Scheme)," he said.
"In addition, we were prepared to offer extra help if it was required, but the restructuring proposal was put to us."
The minister said it would be premature to specify the exact numbers that would go into the Government's funding of the CLG.
"(It) is not because we are reluctant to talk about them, but it's simply because first, this is still a matter before the shareholders of SPH. They have to decide whether they want to approve this. It is only after that, that we can really get into a more detailed discussion," said Mr Iswaran.
"We also need the new CLG to then formulate its plans and put on the table what it sees as its strategic business direction going forward," added the minister.
"Not-for-profit does not mean that the entity does not pursue its business on a commercial basis, and we fully expect the entity to seek out advertising revenue, circulation or subscription revenue, and other sources of funding. But we fully expect that Government funding will be a component of that funding matrix for the CLG."
Mr Singh later said he "would be surprised if the Government hadn't considered what would be the extent of the grant that it would extend to the CLG".
He asked for a ballpark figure, but Mr Iswaran said this was "precisely the problem" - that any range of figures provided would only lead to more requests to narrow it down further.
"I think we should be talking about these sorts of matters when we have greater clarity," he said. "When the funding is finally decided upon, it will have to come back to this Chamber, because it will be part of the budget of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the member and his party would have ample opportunity to ask all the specific questions," said Mr Iswaran.
"It's not about the details right now, it's about the overall thrust of what we are trying to do."

Mr Singh also asked if MCI considered SPH's contribution to the CLG to be a reasonable one.
SPH will provide initial resources and funding by capitalising SPH Media with a cash injection of $80 million, $30 million worth of SPH shares and SPH Reit units, and SPH's stakes in four of its digital media investments.
Mr Iswaran stressed again that this was a matter to be put to the shareholders.
"I do not want to pre-empt any case that the management and the board will make, but I can say that the Government's focus has been very clearly on the news media business, and its viability going forward," he said.
"The medium- to long-term outlook remains challenging, and that is why we need to be clear that the Government will be prepared to come in to give support. But how much, how; I think these are the things that will need to be worked out in due course after the CLG has had a chance, subject to shareholder approval, to then develop a business plan and put the proposal to us."


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Khaw Boon Wan picked to chair new SPH entity because of 'proven track record': Iswaran to WP's Sylvia Lim
Former minister Khaw Boon Wan has a proven track record for taking on difficult issues, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran in reply to WP chairman Sylvia Lim, on May 10, 2021.

Former minister Khaw Boon Wan has a proven track record for taking on difficult issues, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran in reply to WP chairman Sylvia Lim, on May 10, 2021.PHOTOS: GOV.SG

Linette Lai
Political Correspondent

MAY 10, 2021

SINGAPORE - Mr Khaw Boon Wan, 68, has a proven track record for taking on difficult issues and is held in high standing in Singapore, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran on Monday (May 10).
This is why the former minister was picked to chair the new not-for-profit entity that will be set up after Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) restructures its media operations in a move to put it on a more sustainable financial footing.
"What you need is someone at the leadership level who has the gravitas, has the strategic vision and the experience in undertaking these sorts of major tasks," Mr Iswaran said. "And make no mistake about it - this is a major undertaking, and it is one that is of national importance."
He was responding in Parliament to Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC), who had questioned the choice of Mr Khaw for the post, given that he is former chairman of the ruling People's Action Party and former coordinating minister for infrastructure.
She had also asked if any other candidates were considered, and said the restructure was a "missed opportunity" to pick a chairman less closely linked to the Government.
Ms Lim said she welcomed Mr Iswaran's statements that the Government and media will not see eye to eye on every matter, adding that this is "as it should be if the newspapers are to be credible to readers".

"At the same time, he has acknowledged that due to the proposed change in funding, there are some concerns about the implications of government funding on the editorial direction of the newspaper," she noted.
Sylvia Lim asks about the choice of Khaw Boon Wan as chairman for new media entity

The not-for-profit entity will be a company limited by guarantee (CLG) and SPH's media business will come under its charge. Such CLGs are typically formed to carry out non-profit-making activities that have some public or national interest.
Mr Iswaran said the decision to appoint Mr Khaw has been discussed with SPH's current management shareholders - which include OCBC Bank, Great Eastern and Singtel - who have agreed that he is the right choice.
He made the point that the position is not one for which there is a very long shortlist, or where a global search is needed. "In the end, you have to decide on the basis of what is needed, what are the attributes we seek, and how do we go forward? And that's what happened here."
He added: "I think what would be a missed opportunity is if we allow political considerations to prevent us from making the right decision, in terms of the right person for the job, to get it done.
The minister added that the nub of Ms Lim's question was whether or not the appointment of Mr Khaw would create problems for editorial independence.
He pointed out that the current SPH chairman - Dr Lee Boon Yang - is a former Cabinet minister, and that the company has had other chairmen who have held similar posts or been former senior civil servants.
"And yet, we are where we are today... in terms of the credibility of our media, the trust that Singaporeans have in our media, through this array of leadership," Mr Iswaran said. "And I think we should therefore be very clear that what matters is not a perceived political hue in the appointments, but rather, the substance of the character and capability of the people who are involved."


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New Transport Minister S. Iswaran's ongoing journey to greater sustainability​

S. Iswaran will have to retain Singapore's position as an air and sea hub in the post-Covid-19 world.

S. Iswaran will have to retain Singapore's position as an air and sea hub "in the post-Covid-19 world".


Christopher Tan
Senior Transport Correspondent

May 15, 2021

SINGAPORE - As with most previous transport ministers, Mr S. Iswaran will have his work cut out for him.
As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said during the ministerial reshuffle on April 23, the latest transport minister will "continue improving the quality, affordability and environmental sustainability of our transport system", as well as retain Singapore's position as an air and sea hub "in the post-Covid-19 world".

Key challenges​

• Making trains safer and more attractive
The MRT system has become more reliable after decade-long efforts to replace major ageing assets. But engineering reliability is just one part of the equation to service quality.
Train frequency and train speeds can be increased so that travel time and comfort can improve.
This will make rail travel - the backbone of our public transport system - more attractive to those who are relying on private transport now, and is key to our aim to become a car-lite city.

It will also make commuting safer in a post-pandemic world.
Two system upgrades make this doable. The signalling system upgrade on the oldest and most heavily used North-South and East-West lines is done, while a power system upgrade on the two lines should be completed by 2024, if not earlier.
Similar upgrades are being rolled out on newer lines, but attention must be kept on all power-related components, which have been a major cause of disruptions of late.
Running emptier trains will cost more money. With a Bill passed to tap the private sector for major infrastructural project funding, more resources can be devoted to operational subsidies.
It is with improved service that fare rises become more acceptable.
• Electric vehicles
By 2030, no pure combustion engine cars can be registered here. And by 2040, all cars on the road will be partly or fully electric.
These targets are ambitious, but they must also apply to commercial vehicles and buses - the biggest polluters because of their sheer size and their high mileages.
Incentives are in place to nudge fleet owners to go electric, but deadlines must be set.
Accepting diesel-electric hybrid buses is not a good idea. The way buses ply the roads, they will rely mostly on their diesel powertrain.
Meanwhile, much more can be done to enforce existing emission rules. Smoky heavy vehicles and buses are still a common sight.

• Cycling
Conflict between cyclists, motorists and pedestrians is to be expected when infrastructure is inadequate.
Walkways must be widened, and the cycling path network expanded as quickly as possible.
Education on road etiquette must be reinforced, and the law must come down hard on reckless riders and drivers alike.
Active mobility not only shrinks our carbon footprint, it also reduces the load on our public transport system and leads to healthier individuals, which in turn reduces our healthcare bill.
If we had been reluctant to make cycling more conducive in the past, this is as good a time to play catch-up as any.

• Aviation aid
Everyone wants to see Changi Airport bustling again with flights and visitors. But much depends on how successful Singapore and the rest of the world are in combating Covid-19.
Relaxing travel restrictions prematurely can set us back on this fight severely. Meanwhile, government aid has to continue - in the form of financial assistance as well as job placements.
A recent McKinsey study says the aviation industry must change to get airborne again. This includes re-evaluating flight economics, network alterations, boosting cargo capacity, cabin reconfigurations and investing more in information technology and digitalisation.
The industry can make use of this prolonged downtime to make these changes so that it can be better poised to take flight again.


This fucker narrowly won his seat over TCB...51.7%.

Let him punish his fellow supporters...it's ok.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Welcome to your first day of work

Normal train services resume at Orchard MRT after platform door fault resolved​


Jessie Lim

May 15, 2021

SINGAPORE – A fault that prevented the platform screen doors at Orchard MRT Station from closing on Saturday morning (May 15) was rectified in the afternoon.
Operator SMRT said in a post at about 9.30am that platform doors on both bounds of the North-South Line at the station were affected.
It cautioned commuters to stay away from the doors for their safety, and deployed additional staff at the platform.
As a safety precaution, trains entering and leaving the station had to move at a slower speed, but train services were otherwise not disrupted.
In a 2.40pm update, SMRT said that platform screen doors were now operating normally and normal train services have resumed.
“Our engineers will continue to monitor (the situation) closely,” it added.



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Signalling fault between Lorong Chuan and Caldecott stations delays travel on Circle Line for about an hour​

The crowd at Serangoon station at 7.43am, on May 21, 2021. An announcement is made that service has resumed but it is still congested due to the previous train delay.

The crowd at Serangoon station at 7.43am, on May 21, 2021. An announcement is made that service has resumed but it is still congested due to the previous train delay. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

May 21, 2021

SINGAPORE - A signalling fault that occurred between Lorong Chuan and Caldecott on the Circle Line caused delays for commuters during the morning peak hour travel on Friday (May 21).
Alerting commuters about the delay on its Facebook page at 6.36am, SMRT wrote: "Our engineers were immediately deployed and are working to rectify the fault. Trains are moving at a much slower speed."
Delays lasted for an hour.
In a Twitter post at around 7.30am, SMRT wrote: "Train services have resumed. Free regular and bridging bus services have ceased. We are sorry for affecting your morning commute."
During the affected hour, the train operator made announcements in-train and at affected stations to advise commuters to add additional train travel time between Serangoon and Farrer Road.
Commuters were also advised to make alternative travel arrangements including taking other train lines - East-West Line, North-South Line, North-East Line and Downtown Line.

SMRT said that free regular and bridging bus services were available between Paya Lebar and Buona Vista MRT stations.
Some affected commuters, however, could not find the bridging services and made their unhappiness known on social media.

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Foreign-register lorry with unpaid fines killed a cyclist.

Cyclist, 14, killed in road accident in Marina East Drive​

The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.PHOTOS: SG ROAD VIGILANTE - SGRV/FACEBOOK

Jean Iau

Jun 2, 2021

SINGAPORE - A 14-year-old cyclist was killed in a road accident in Marina East Drive on Monday (May 31) afternoon.
The teen was pronounced dead at the scene by a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedic.
The police said on Wednesday that they were alerted to the fatal accident at about 4.25pm and a 37-year-old male driver was arrested for careless driving causing death.
Investigations are continuing.
Photos of the accident were uploaded onto Facebook group SG Road Vigilante - SGRV on Wednesday afternoon.
One showed a Malaysia-registered truck in front of a bicycle, which had broken into two, in the middle lane of the road.





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PMD fires often the result of battery short circuits: Experts​

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said preliminary investigations showed that the fire in the lift at Block 537 Woodlands Drive 16 was of electrical origin from the personal mobility device.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said preliminary investigations showed that the fire in the lift at Block 537 Woodlands Drive 16 was of electrical origin from the personal mobility device.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Natalie Tan

JUN 6, 2021

SINGAPORE - Personal mobility devices (PMDs) that catch fire usually do so because of batteries that have short-circuited, said experts The Sunday Times spoke to.
Associate Professor Palani Balaya from the department of mechanical engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS) told ST that using batteries from an unreliable source, overcharging PMDs, or using an incompatible charger are some reasons why lithium-ion batteries in PMDs can short-circuit.
Another issue is when PMDs do not meet safety standards, said experts.
There have been a significant number of fires related to non-compliant PMDs which do not have the compulsory UL2272 certificate. In 2019, there were 102 fires caused by non-compliant PMDs - almost double the 52 in 2018.
Last year, Mr Lam Pin Min, then Senior Minister of State for Transport, said it was worrying some people had started using non-compliant PMDs during the circuit breaker.
The Government banned electric scooters from footpaths in November 2019, following a spate of accidents related to PMDs.

Since the ban, the e-scooter population here has shrunk significantly, from a peak of about 100,000 in November 2019, to just 8,500 in March this year.
On Thursday's incident, Prof Palani said: "It was unfortunate this accident happened within the lift, because it is completely closed.
"The person... would have suffered from both burns and toxic gases that would have leaked from the battery."
He added that batteries in PMDs are often subject to vibrations which cause wear and tear. Separators within the battery, which prevent the positive and negative electrodes from touching, can be damaged, triggering short circuits.
Associate Professor Wang Qing from the department of materials science and engineering at NUS said it was rare for a PMD battery to catch fire while in a lift, as it would presumably be idle.
Prof Wang said: "Investigations should be conducted to understand the real cause - is it because of the battery itself or a malfunction of the PMD?"
Mr Chew Boon Hur, general manager of e-bike retailer Mobot, said certified PMDs rarely catch fire, since they go through extensive testing to ensure batteries and other components are safe.
He added: "Such incidents are rare because lithium-ion batteries (which power PMDs) are generally very safe - there are so many appliances which utilise them."

Mr Chew added that certified PMDs are fitted with a mechanism that shuts the PMD down once it senses the battery has been overheated. It is unclear whether the PMD which caught fire on Thursday had a UL2272 safety certification.

Mr Chew advised owners of non-certified PMDs to dispose of their devices while recycling services are still free.



Alfrescian (Inf)
S’pore Bus Captain Catches Cyclists Riding Closely Behind, Urges LTA To Take Action

S’pore Bus Captain Catches Cyclists Riding Closely Behind, Urges LTA To Take Action​

They allegedly kept up with the bus which was driving at 50km/h.
By Iqmall Hayat

1 Jul 2021

Bus Captain Catches Cyclists Riding Closely In Rear View Camera​

Due to various road safety concerns, cyclists have come under scrutiny these days. The trend doesn’t seem to be ending, as some of them invited the ire of a bus captain recently.
Footage circulating on social media shows 2 cyclists riding closely behind a bus in Singapore.
In the background, the bus captain can be heard explaining the difficult situation he was in as he showed the incriminating footage of the cyclists keeping up with the bus’s speed.

Bus captain shows driving speed & explains danger for cyclists​

On Thursday (1 Jul), a video of 2 cyclists riding closely behind a bus was shared on the Beh Chia Lor – Singapore Road Facebook page.

In the video, the bus driver showed that he was driving at roughly 50km/h and noted that the cyclists were keeping up with the speed.
He mentioned that this happened on Tanah Merah Coast road, which has a dedicated cycling lane seasoned cyclists often use.

But instead of using that lane, the driver highlighted that the cyclists were on the main road, tailing the bus a little too closely.

He added that should he have to brake suddenly, he’d likely have to take the blame for any accidents.
Towards the end of the video, a second man chipped in, urging the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to take action against these errant cyclists.
You can watch the whole video here.

MS News has reached out to LTA for comments and will update the article accordingly.

Cyclists should be responsible road users too​

While motorists make up the bulk of road users, the need to adhere to safety and traffic rules applies to all.

Cyclists should therefore be extra cautious on the road.
We hope that the authorities will look into this matter and step up regulations if need be. As for the cyclists, let this serve as a reminder to observe road safety rules so as not to put others in danger.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Enforce cycling speed limit at Rail Corridor​

JUN 22, 2021

I am a regular user of the cemented Rail Corridor for evening walks. It stretches from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands, winding through several housing estates.
The only safety concern I have encountered is the cyclists who are speeding and using the Rail Corridor as an obstacle racing track. These cycling enthusiasts often race through the track, passing walkers at a high speed. They are protected with gear and helmet, whereas people walking on the corridor are not and, therefore, are more vulnerable to serious injuries.
Cycling paths have a speed limit of 25kmh, while the limit is 10kmh on footpaths. The Rail Corridor is not marked, and there are no signboards indicating the speed limit for cyclists.
If it is designated as a footpath and not a park connector, then the 10kmh speed limit should be enforced using either cameras or officers.
The Rail Corridor has become a popular and pleasant footpath for nature lovers to take evening walks.
For the safety of all users of the Rail Corridor, the authorities should enforce a speed limit of 10kmh.

Frank Lim Choo Beng


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Forum: Better safety rules needed for walkers and bikers on park connectors​

JUN 23, 2021

I agree fully with the views of Mr Frank Lim Choo Beng (Enforce cycling speed limit at Rail Corridor, June 22). I use the Rail Corridor to walk with my wife, and cycle with my friends.
High-speed cyclists, mostly on road bikes, are indeed a grave safety threat. A few nearly knocked into me when I was there walking or biking.
But as a cyclist, I'm also annoyed by pedestrians who walk uncaringly two or three abreast on this path. They are inviting harm to themselves. My wife and I always walk single file.
A 69-year-old friend had a very bad accident recently. He was cycling leisurely at a park connector, when a pedestrian suddenly strayed into his path. To avoid the person, he had to swerve right, and a high-speed road bike going in the opposite direction crashed into him. As a result, both his legs were broken and he will be immobilised for four to six months.
Do set down better safety rules for both walkers and bikers on park connectors. Let's be courteous and share this wonderful network for all to enjoy safely.

Leong Horn Kee


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Forum: Reserve middle lane of park connectors for cyclists​

JUN 23, 2021

My boyfriend and I have become avid cyclists and park connector users. We are grateful for the amazing work done by the National Parks Board to create green spaces for the public.
At the same time, we have observed more cyclists speeding along lanes demarcated for them.
We believe there are insufficient signs to demarcate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists on some stretches of busier park connectors. This poses a danger.
Here are two suggestions to mitigate the situation.
First, the left and right sides of a park connector should be reserved for pedestrians, with the middle lane for cyclists.
This would make it very clear for non-cyclists which side of the path they should keep to. It would also help cyclists as they just need to stick to the middle lane.

Second, there needs to be education to change behaviour. It would be helpful to hold events to educate cyclists about safe cycling.
Awareness can also be raised in other ways. For instance, there are already vehicles making their rounds in some areas, broadcasting reminders for people to wear masks and maintain social distancing. The same vehicles can also broadcast reminders for cyclists not to speed.
Hopefully, these efforts will allow cyclists and non-cyclists alike to enjoy the tranquillity of park connectors.

Chen Wei Teng


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Forum: Park connector path markings need to be clearer​

JUN 25, 2021

I agree with the writers of two Forum letters on park connectors published on June 23 (Better safety rules needed for walkers and bikers on park connectors; and Reserve middle lane of park connectors for cyclists).
I would like to share my experience on the Sungei Serangoon Park Connector.
Previously, this park connector was demarcated properly with one lane clearly for cyclists and the other for walking, evident from the markings on the floor.
The path for cyclists was painted with a stick man on a bicycle at regular intervals, while the path for walking was depicted by a stick man walking.
However, in recent months, long stretches of this park connector have been repainted.
Two red lines were drawn to segregate a portion for cyclists. Outside the red lines, the painting of a walking stick man has been painted over with black paint.

Instead, a stick man on a personal mobility device (PMD) with a diagonal line across the picture - indicating that the activity is not allowed there - was painted on what used to be the dedicated walking path.
In addition, there were new signs erected saying that PMD riders should ride within the red lines.
While this revamped park connector seems to have clearly marked the path for PMD users, it has created confusion among park-goers.
I observed that cyclists frequently use what was the walking path to overtake other cyclists, riding at high speed and veering into people walking on the other side.
Joggers run on both sides of the park connector, sometimes blocking the faster-moving cyclists in their path.
I urge the authorities to clarify and put up obvious signs and path markings on how to use the park connector.
Should we all keep left and allow faster-moving cyclists and runners to overtake us on the right, or should we stick to the old path markings, where one side used to be allocated for cyclists and the other for walking and running?

Tan Eng Kim


Alfrescian (Inf)

Where do cyclists belong? Not on roads or pedestrian paths, a new survey finds​

In the survey commissioned by the programme Talking Point, many respondents also wanted more rules, as they felt there are more errant cyclists today on roads and pavements.


Cyclists in Singapore. (Photo: Yeo Kai Ting)
By Neo Chai Chin
Chan Luo Er
By Chan Luo Er@ChanLuoErCNA
08 Jul 2021

SINGAPORE: Even as an expert panel mulls over regulations for road cyclists, a survey has found cyclists to be between a rock and a hard place.
More than 90 per cent of 503 people surveyed think cyclists should be made to follow more rules. Yet, a majority do not want cyclists to be allowed on roads (59 per cent) and pedestrian paths (74 per cent).

More than 80 per cent of respondents also felt there are more errant cyclists today on both roads and pavements, found the online survey commissioned by the programme Talking Point.
Conducted between Apr 22 and Apr 27 by Mediacorp’s Media Research Consultants, it polled Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 18 to 64, of whom 68 per cent said they ride a bicycle, mainly for leisure or exercise.

A woman cycling past a row of shared bicycles parked outside Our Tampines Hub. (Photo: Facebook/Baey Yam Keng)

Talking Point will dive into the findings and more at 9.30pm today on Channel 5.

The discussion on this comes at a time when the Active Mobility Advisory Panel is reviewing rules for cyclists on roads and studying possible measures such as the registration of bicycles, licensing of cyclists and whether to make them take a theory test.

Senior Minister of State (Transport) Chee Hong Tat announced the review in April and said it could take a few months. The panel comprises members who represent groups such as senior citizens, youths, cyclists and motorists.
Cycling has become more popular in the last two years as people who are unable to travel seek out local adventures. The pool of food delivery riders has also grown.

Singapore’s cycling path network will expand from 460 km now to 800 km by 2023 and to more than 1,300 km by 2030, according to the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
These paths will connect homes to MRT stations, bus interchanges and nearby shopping malls and schools.

One of the cycling paths in Tampines, identified in 2009 as Singapore's first cycling town. (Photo: Facebook/Baey Yam Keng)

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In a densely populated city, however, tensions continue to bubble between cyclists and other users of roads and pavements. And examples of bad behaviour on the roads and pavements continue to go viral on social media.
The worst behaviour of cyclists cited by the survey respondents turned out not to be road-related. Instead, it was speeding on footpaths.
Other types of bad behaviour cited include: Ignoring traffic lights, road-hogging, cycling on pedestrian footpaths and cycling against the flow of traffic on the roads.
On rules that should be implemented, nearly a quarter of the respondents agreed that road cyclists should take a standard theory test.


About one in five felt that cycling should be banned on some roads, while 15 per cent said it should be banned on all roads.
Others were in favour of registering all bicycles (18 per cent), mandating that cyclists wear bright clothes when riding (12 per cent) or making insurance with third-party coverage a requirement (9 per cent).
The LTA said in 2016 that it had studied cyclist and bicycle licensing. But it would be “resource-intensive to implement and police a system to license bicycles or cyclists that is up to date”, the then director of active mobility, Tan Shin Gee, said in a letter to The Straits Times.

CNA Insider’s Instagram community also weighed in with views on cycling rules and where cyclists should use their two-wheelers.

A cyclist wearing a protective mask rides past in a housing estate in Singapore. (File photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

Pedestrians said it is stressful to keep watching out for cyclists who speed or ring their bell impatiently on footpaths. Yet, some also felt that roads are unsafe for cyclists unless there is a designated lane for them.
Junior college student Sora Wang Zhiyu feels bad about scaring parents with young children or the elderly when she rides on footpaths. But the 20-year-old is not a highly skilled cyclist and is afraid to go on the road with buses and cars.
Social media users who called for better infrastructure, like dedicated bike lanes and wider footpaths, noted that cycling is an environmentally friendly mode of transport that should be promoted.

But some were realistic about space limitations; for example, wider pavements might come at the expense of roadside trees.
Ms Then, a leisure cyclist who preferred not to give her full name, said it is “quite impossible” for cyclists and pedestrians to coexist on footpaths, “since there are no rules for pedestrians and cyclists to keep left”.
“Pedestrians going in opposite directions already clash with one another, since most people’s eyes are glued to their mobile phones,” said the 35-year-old.
“It’s better for cyclists to go on the road, but some don’t even wear helmets when riding or know basic traffic rules/hand signals.”
Undergraduate Kristy Chin, 25, said “casual” cyclists running errands or going to the market should be allowed on footpaths — as they do not travel at high speed and usually look out for pedestrians — but not those who use road bicycles or cycle in groups.
Many agreed that some rules, as well as a generous dose of consideration for others, are needed to avoid accidents and disputes.
Instagram user @thad.ho said some accidents could happen in areas with blind spots or when pedestrians dash for the bus, and also when cyclists speed up to catch the green man at traffic lights or go down slopes without braking.
“Whatever it may be, we need awareness of our surroundings and situations. Not just fines, (bans) or complaints,” he said.
Mr Chee said in April that the review will be done in a “balanced” manner so as not to inadvertently discourage cycling.


Alfrescian (Inf)

14 taken to hospital after bus collision at Bukit Batok interchange​


Two drivers and 14 passengers were involved in the accident.


Two drivers and 14 passengers were involved in the accident.
Ng Keng Gene and Malavika Menon

JUL 11, 2021

SINGAPORE - Two buses were involved in an accident at Bukit Batok Bus Interchange on Sunday afternoon (July 11), leaving one on its side.
The buses, both of which were plying the feeder service route 945, are operated by Tower Transit.
Three drivers and 15 commuters were involved in the accident, said a Tower Transit spokesman.
All passengers were on the bus that flipped, while the other bus was not carrying any passengers when the accident occurred at about 5pm.
An SBS Transit bus captain who was not driving was also injured and sent to the hospital.
The accident is believed to have occurred when one bus - the one without passengers - was making a turn within the interchange. It collided with the second bus, which was making its way into the interchange.

As a result of the collision, the second bus smashed through a low fence and landed on its side, on a ramp that serves as an entry and exit point for other buses.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, the police said they were alerted to the accident at about 5pm on Sunday.
Fourteen people were taken to the hospital and investigations are ongoing, they added.
In a Facebook post at about 9pm on Sunday, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for assistance at the location of the accident.

"Upon SCDF's arrival, a passenger bus was found lying on its side. Eight persons were inside the bus while another nine were found outside the bus. The rear windscreen of the bus which had shattered served as an entry point for SCDF rescuers.
"The rescuers created an additional point of entry at the front of the bus by using an electrical saw to cut through the front windscreen. Once inside, rescue equipment were used to cut several poles off so as to create space for the casualties to be rescued safely," it said.

Two people were carried off the bus on stretchers by SCDF rescuers while the remaining six were guided on foot out to safety.
SCDF's Emergency Medical Services personnel assessed a total of 17 people for injuries.
SCDF added that eight people were taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, four to National University Hospital, and two to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
The remaining three had minor injuries and refused to be taken to the hospital.

The accident is believed to have occurred when one bus was making a U-turn within the interchange and collided with the second bus.

The spokesman for Tower Transit said that the 14 who were taken to the hospital included the driver of the bus that was hit, and an SBS Transit bus driver who was not driving but was also injured in the accident.
The spokesman also said that Tower Transit is assisting the police with investigations and the driver of the bus without passengers has been suspended pending the investigation. He was not injured.
The spokesman added: "Staff and management were on site to assist the SCDF in attending to the injured and were present at the hospital to provide further support."
"We apologise to all our passengers who were involved in this unfortunate accident and those who may have been inconvenienced by it. We have reached out to the injured passengers and are actively providing assistance," he added.

The spokesman could not confirm the extent of injuries suffered by those involved.

As one of the entrances to the interchange was blocked by the accident, Tower Transit staff facilitated passenger boarding from the side of the interchange that was not affected to prevent service disruptions, he said.
When ST got to the scene at about 6.30pm, bus services were running normally, with marshals deployed by Tower Transit calling out the numbers of bus services, and directing passengers to the correct area to board buses.
Police officers were on scene for crowd control, blocking access to those trying to get a better view of the wreckage.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Train fault causes delay on East-West Line between Outram Park and Queenstown

Published JULY 13, 2020


TODAY file photo
The delay affected services from Outram Park to Queenstown stations in the direction of Tuas Link.
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SINGAPORE — Services on SMRT's East-West Line were delayed on Monday (July 13) morning due to a train fault.

The train fault occurred near Tiong Bahru MRT Station at around 8.45am, said SMRT's chief communications officer Margaret Teo in a statement. Commuters disembarked at the station before the defective train was withdrawn to the depot for investigations.

SMRT said in a tweet at 8.51am that commuters should add 25 minutes to their travel time due to the train fault, which affected services from Outram Park to Queenstown stations in the direction of Tuas Link.

Free regular bus services were made available between Outram Park and Queenstown stations for affected commuters, the train operator added in a later tweet. In-train and station announcements advised commuters to cater for an additional 20 minutes of train travel time.

Several commuters posted on social media about being caught in the delay.

Twitter user chocopufffz said she was "stuck at Bugis" for 10 minutes, while Twitter user CitySkyHunter tweeted at 9.03am that the train fault at Lavender station had lasted for "the past 17 minutes".

At 9.15am, SMRT said on Twitter that the fault had been cleared and normal train services were being progressively restored. It later added that services had resumed at around 9.25am.

"We are sorry for affecting commuters' morning commute," Ms Teo added.