Good governance is not always rocket science but plain common sense

Year: 2020

This post is written as a brief comment to an article published on Today Online titled: LTA sets minimum age of 30 for new private-hire driver licence applicants; they must also be Singaporean (15 September 2020).

“FMG is disappointed at the pace it has taken the government to arrive at this policy decision.

First, the similarity between ride-hailing and taxi services is not at all new, so the principle of parity in treatment should have been applied long ago.

Second, not doing so placed public safety at risk as PDVL drivers of such youth and inexperience are considered by insurers to be a high-risk category and for good reasons. As such, the government permitting 20-year-olds with no driving experience to commercially convey passengers was clearly an unsafe policy and remains one – so why is it permitting existing PDVL licensees to renew their licenses.

Third, such young people, educated and trained by the subsidised public education system should be doing value-added work they have been prepared for rather than pursuing being a PDVL driver, full or part-time.

Fourth, the argument that such young drivers are trying to supplement their income to finance their development pursuits is a fallacy for the simple reason that cars are not cheap to acquire in Singapore. If they purchased or leased one, the economics would make no sense. If they are using a family-owned vehicle, they can hardly be without means.

Good governance is not always rocket science but plain common sense.”

– Devadas Krishnadas