TWO INCIDENTS yesterday prompted me to sit back and think about today’s society.
The first was the torrential and prolonged downpour that all but drowned the island, causing flooding that was captured on smartphones and shared without hesitation nor restraint.
The cars stuck in water, the lady pushing her Mercedes-Benz, the bus floating through with passengers looking like they are on a Mekong River cruise, the fallen trees. It was a wild and wet morning.
Soon, the inevitable memes and jokes surfaced.
Godzilla trying not to get its feet wet in floodwaters, the men standing on the seats at the bus shelter while a boat with a Grab Sampan sign ferried passengers, and Joseph Schooling splashing along.
While it’s good to see the lighter side of things, what was lacking seemed to be the empathy. Or maybe it’s the people in my chat groups who are tired of the series of bad news that has been beating at Singapore’s reputation.
It’s probably frustration masked by dark humour.
The next phase in this — even as Parliament was fielding questions about the Keppel Offshore & Marine bribery case and the SkillsFuture fraud — would be to figure out which agency is responsible for yesterday morning’s situation and how it should be resolved.
Following the delays in getting answers about the flooding of the SMRT tunnel and the disruptions to service, the reason for yesterday’s flooding was quickly provided. The weather is a convenient scapegoat for many things that go wrong.
In this instance, though, some of the 9 locations affected by intense rainfall were known to be hot spots or subject to tidal influence, according to water agency PUB’s statement.
Question is, if it’s known to be a problem area, then why wasn’t it anticipated, and fixed? Reminds me of a certain water pump situation in the MRT tunnels.
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Car workshops will no doubt be having a field day trying to fix those stalled vehicles. And there were numerous accidents on the roads as a result of the rain.
One took place in front of my eyes, which is the second incident.
A motorcyclist, hell bent on getting to shelter or his destination, was hastily lane splitting till he skidded and banged into the back of a truck.
He picked himself up and you could see the truck driver wasn’t pleased to have to step out into the rain. Other cars meanwhile just negotiated this incident only to have to dodge another collision just ahead — involving two cars and … another motorbike.
Perhaps we should dial back on some of the urgency we place in the mundane and apply some common sense. Keep your distance on a wet road and anticipate trouble — be it traffic, the weather, or ailing infrastructure.
Image — Photographer unknown