Mr Gan Thiam Poh, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, in his answer to a question posed by Mr Andrew Loh, editor-in-chief of Public House, highlighted that the Singapore media created an "illusion" that public transport fares will increase in 2013.

At the 6:25 mark, Andrew asked if the the media misreported the price increase. MP Gan replied that from the headlines he saw, the media has created an "illusion" of the price increase in 2013.

The headline from AsiaOne, one of the many online sites of Singapore Press Holdings, shouts "Bus fares may go up to help improve drivers' pay" by By Royston Sim And Maria Almenoar. In comparison, Channel NewsAsia titled "Public transport fare review to take into account bus drivers' wage increase" by Dylan Loh.

MP Gan clarified that the the Transport Minister, Mr Lui Tuck Yew, the drivers' wages component might be now considered as part of the formula for public transports fares.

On 18 May 2012, Cedric Foo, Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, when asked from the media if pay rise would mean increased fares, Mr Cedric Foo was quoted to say "I don't think there's a direct correlation between drivers' wages and bus fares."

This contradiction in the relationship between wages and the public transportation formula is a replay of when then Minister of Transport, Raymond Lim, said there was "no direct link between public transports fare and oil prices" in respond to a question on why transport fares did not decrease even when oil prices dropped.

Yet, the public transport companies continued to use oil prices as a reason for the need for the fare increase. In a press release on SBS Transit Website, a press release on September 2008 wrote that "the fare adjustment, which will yield $5.9 million for a full year, will only provide partial relief for the increased cost pressures the Company faces. Fuel and electricity costs rose by 64%, or $36.0 million, to $92.5 million in the first six months of this year".

If you listen to the video in its entirety, MP Gan highlighted the word "misunderstood" five times. Does this mean that there is some form of miscommunication between the government and the public because of bad reporting from the local gatekeepers at SPH?


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