In the End, Leaving Was Mandatory

Singaporean cabby said in his recent blog post [link],

"Compounding the "epidemic", is a recent LTA's mandatory rule that requires every taxi to clock at least 250 kilometer/day."

I hope Singaporean cabby wasn't kidding with us. All along we know driving a cab for a living isn't a bed of roses. Yes, even for those who hit $7,000 per month. Cabbies in Singapore have no annual leave, no sick leave, no CPF contribution from employer and you cannot even look at your chio bu clients directly. We have heard of cab companies expecting their drivers to pay rental for their cabs even if they choose not to work that day. In spite of these, driving a cab was once seen to be a mode of carefree self employment. With this regulation, not anymore.

The LTA obviously crafted this stupid regulation as an answer to never-ending complains by consumers about the difficulties of getting a cab. Everyone in Singapore knows that they are more than enough cabs on the streets. Back in 2006 when I was working in Suntec City, we even witnessed cabs circling around the money fountain, refusing to pick anyone unless it was a on-call booking. LTA couldn't be bothered to find out what has been the problem and opted for the easiest way out, the same manner our government solve their problems - a new stupid regulation to patch a problem caused by their previous stupid regulations.

Singapore's cab system may be one of the cheapest in the world in the eyes of a tourist but it is by no means the simplest nor the fairest. We have the most complicated fare system in the whole world. Yet the government are now coaxing the people to consider not having a degree. Bullshit. With the way things are going, everyone needs higher tertiary training to figure out how to calculate their taxi fares. Or just give up totally and pay. If we do not have so many creative surcharge options, we will see taxi swooping on their targets like starving vultures instead of circling around waiting for dead meat.

Just imagine you are a cab driver. What other options do you have but to play by the rules with the tough competition out there? Now with this fucked up new regulation, you will need to drive 250 kilometres a day - whether you carry SARS virus, suffering from PMS or you just learnt your wife had aborted your first child without your consent. You will need to drive through a zombie apocalypse if you need to. What is hell is wrong with Singapore and its mandatory shit?

We needed to attend the School Speech Day, though everyone's heart was long migrated to the basketball court. It was compulsory they said. It was mandatory to attend SAFFC soccer matches during our army times so that CCK stadium would look full on TV. It was a binding requirement to appoint a certain law firm for HDB conveyancing services. Even if we want to take a punt, we can not do it legally unless we do it at the red-and-white shops. We even have rules stating that blowjobs are illegal, even if you receive one in the comfort of your expensively renovated new HDB flat. Every corner we turn, something was imperative. The number of optional options in every aspect of life diminishes faster than our national birth rates.

That was why leaving was mandatory, there was limited options, in order to salvage a little sanity.

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