During PM Lee’s Japan vacation from 19 Dec to 31, MOT Minister Khaw will be Acting PM till Christmas. Today
For Khaw to be appointed Acting PM – even for one day – he must have been rated highly by PM Lee. Why bother to have 2 DPMs when none could be in the acting role when boss is away?
Singaporeans should therefore cut Khaw some festive slack and not khaw peh khaw boo, at least till Christmas, while he is trying to fix our MRT system. At least someone is also not around to fix other things. 😉
Khaw has proven himself to be a true talent: besides acting as PM, he has effectively taken over the role of SMRT CEO.
As Singaporeans are well aware, being MOT minister is a thankless job with guaranteed tons of brickbats.
Khaw has acknowledged that running MOT was no easy task: “This is not an easy task. If it were so easy, it would have been fixed years ago. I don’t have to be in MOT”.
His predecessors Lui Tuck Yew, Raymond Lim and Yeo Cheow Tong were therefore complete failures.
As the previous MND minister, Khaw had already proven himself.
Recall that his predecessor Mah had somehow forgotten to construct sufficient HDB flats and had built only 30,000 flats between 2006 and 2010. (This after a record post independence low of 55,000 in the previous period. HDB stats)
Fortunately, Khaw was appointed to replace the useless Mah and HDB flat supply tripled from 2011 to 2015.
Although there were thousands of cases of shoddy workmanshit and defects subsequently, eg Trivelis (in Clementi), Pasir Ris One, etc the bigger picture is Khaw had resolved the backlog of flat shortage.
Some netizens have pointed out that when Khaw was MOH minister, he had not increased the number of hospital beds. I beg to differ and hope that Singaporeans will put this in perspective.
Compare hospital bed shortage with other more epic screw ups, Khaw’s oversight really pales in comparison. The biggest screw up as every Singaporean should have known by now was the population increase to 4 million in 2000 by PM Goh. Goh was not even bothered about the need to plan based on population projection. The 4-million projection in 2031 earliest was ignored and this is the cause of most problems, including MRT disruptions of course.
Commuters who still wish to khaw peh khaw boo at Khaw should direct their anger at Lau Goh instead.
All said, Singaporeans should count ourselves extremely fortunate to have Khaw, a true talent, in cabinet and able to take the heat at MOT. Since Khaw has already proven himself, he has been recognized with the appointment of actor PM.
Shouldn’t Khaw be our next PM?