Before I get started, let me just state up front that this is a tongue-in-cheek post. I was thinking about some ways of improving the situation with our public transport, and this idea of militarisation came up. I know, it sounds really wild, but I thought for a few moments, and crazy as it may be, I think there are some legitimate benefits.
You see, the army has abundant resources, particularly in manpower. Their regimented culture ensures that procedures are properly followed. Eagle-eyed middle management, i.e. the CSM and RSM type of people, will spot every single flaw, even the minutest of them, and make mountains out of molehills. Remember how the tiniest speck of rust or dust or whatever, it’s an elephant in their eyes. Tiny specks that a teenager, whom you assume to have better eyesight, cannot see.
This environment is simply the perfect solution for all the sort of maintenance problems we seem to be experiencing with SMRT for the last couple of years. There will be no rust. There will be no worn out insulation. There will be nothing misaligned. The military is thoroughly familiar with cable ties, and black tape. In fact, it’s often said the army has the perfect solution to all problems:
- If it moves when it shouldn’t, use black tape.
- If it doesn’t move when it should, use WD40.
Every morning, instead of stand-by-bed, we’ll have stand-by-trains. Area cleaning will be so thorough. You will not again see a vandalised train leaving the depot. There will never be a case of vandalism being mistaken for an art installation, because, creativity and thinking are skills simply not permitted in the army. Thirty year old trains will shine again.
By public transport, I also mean to include buses. So bus drivers, incidentally, will not be going on strike. With the threat of being thrown into detention barracks, no one would dare try. The only strikes that happen, they are the enemies attacking you.
If there are any incidents, the army will surely have the organic capacity to deal with them. Any kind of them. They can activate people, they can recall people. They can even take over civilian resources.
Militarisation is even better than nationalisation. With the latter, you often worry about efficiency, productivity, and value-for-money because there’s no bottom line. Now, this is often also true with the army. But with the army, you could set arbitrary new KPIs that the minions below have to hit. They can’t quit, they can’t grumble.
For the minions, I’m sure they’d be quite happy. Driving a train or bus surely beats trench digging any time.
Besides, they’re already dropping paper generals all over the place. Why not just drop in the entire army?