Friday, December 19, 2008

Causeway - No way

During my early months ‘learning’ in The Little Red Dot, I crossed the Causeway every weekend and as I never buy tickets there (because they are so damn expensive), I was running against time just to get on the bus. Friday evenings at the Woodlands Checkpoint are choc-a-block – imagine (the amazing race + kids) x 200 – even super efficient SBS Transit and CityLink buses couldn’t cope to ferry people over to JB.

Half of the time, I was one of those people power walking along the Causeway and not bad at all, I can say it took me at most 10 minutes to reach JB checkpoint. The same things happened at JB checkpoint. I would be walking with my backpack to Woodlands Checkpoint. No problemo monsieur.

But, now I will have a BIG problem. Since the opening of JB CIQ on 16 December 2008, the pedestrian lanes are no longer exist. Police was called in yesterday at the CIQ’s bus depot, after STB personnel and our immigration officers failed “to keep the bus commuters in check” because there were not enough buses to transport these people, who I believe trying to get to work on time, especially during this troubling global economic crisis (‘working’ with a Japanese FI for a year, I know what it means to be at work on time) that they were “pushing, shoving and beating at the bus doors”. My heart goes for them – what a frustrating start to the CIQ - so gigantic yet not at all systematic.

OK, I can’t get on the bus and if I walk along the Causeway, I am walking ‘hand in hand’ with death – praying that my dear life will be spared by the ever inconsiderate drivers! Read Scott Thong’s letter “CIQ Complex: Two warnings for pedestrians”.

Then, Gomen thinks they can make money by getting PLUS to sell their Touch N Go cards because it is cashless now at the CIQ. Again, long queue and caused much frustration to especially super-organised, civilised Singaporeans. Like any other 'failed' programs by the Gomen and its agencies, our PR skills suck BIG time. Most of these people just knew about this cashless thing when they were at the checkpoint. Can't they be pro enough to inform us beforehand? E like our Police F(a)rce and JP(irah)J, having a hobby of getting people when they are not prepared and most of the time, not duly informed. Shame on you CIQ, Imm(iss)gration and PLUS!

This makes me think hard – shouldn’t modernisation make us more civilised? Perhaps, modernisation done without ‘a soul’ is a total failure when its sole purpose is to serve human beings. Please la, I beg all engineers and architects, can't you guys do a good job?

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