THE ROAD TO QUAL­ITY

If he can no longer re­view cars, our se­nior writer would wel­come a sec­ond ca­reer as a road qual­ity in­spec­tor.

Torque (Singapore) - - YOKOHAMA SPECIAL - JEREMY CHUA

THE best ca­reer ad­vice I ever re­ceived was from an en­gi­neer I in­ter­viewed about six months ago. He told me that if I ever wanted a job for life, I should work for a com­pany that’s try­ing to make the world a bet­ter place.

Of course, I also be­lieve in do­ing a job that I’m pas­sion­ate about. But lately, my job has seen fewer ups and more downs. So, I have been think­ing about pos­si­ble al­ter­na­tive ca­reers that still in­volve cars and mo­tor­ing.

I imag­ined de­fect­ing to the “dark side” by join­ing a car­maker, as other ex-journo friends have. Per­haps be­ing an au­to­mo­tive prod­uct spe­cial­ist is in my fu­ture. A cor­po­rate job with a car com­pany sounds nice. It would bring me even closer to the cars I love, and my salary might even be dou­ble what I’m earn­ing now. How­ever, I’m not sure I can be as well-versed as an en­gi­neer

AS A ROAD QUAL­ITY IN­SPEC­TOR, I WOULD BE CON­TRIBUT­ING TO THE GOOD OF THE NA­TION.

when it comes to the tech­ni­cal nitty-gritty. Then again, I might be more of a nat­u­ral as a prod­uct ex­pert rather than a pub­lic re­la­tions ex­ec­u­tive. Be­cause I’m shy by na­ture, so­cial­is­ing with strangers sounds like a recipe for an anx­i­ety at­tack.

I pon­dered my in­ter­vie­wee’s ad­vice fur­ther and re­alised that if I can­not re­view cars any­more, I should get a job as a road qual­ity in­spec­tor. That oc­cu­pa­tion would def­i­nitely con­trib­ute to the good of the na­tion, since ev­ery­one is a road user.

Like many mo­torists, I am also tired of Sin­ga­pore’s seem­ingly end­less road­works and poorly resur­faced roads. So how would I en­sure that the qual­ity of our roads will im­prove? First, I would do away with the prac­tice of go­ing with the con­trac­tor who sub­mits the low­est bid for a project. I be­lieve that this re­sults in com­pa­nies sac­ri­fic­ing qual­ity in or­der to make their bids more at­trac­tive.

In­stead, with the help of LTA schol­ars, I would com­pile a list of the most com­pe­tent con­struc­tion firms ever given con­tracts by the Gov­ern­ment. Firms which have a great track record of com­plet­ing projects suc­cess­fully should be the only ones bid­ding for big Gov­ern­ment con­tracts.

Per­haps I should also in­vite Ja­panese com­pa­nies to par­tic­i­pate, since most of the roads in Ja­pan seem to be tofu-smooth.

I’m aware that tweak­ing the bid­ding process and weed­ing out black­listed firms won’t be enough to guar­an­tee an im­prove­ment in the over­all qual­ity of our roads. There­fore, I will need to em­ploy the tried-and-tested Sin­ga­porean method of en­sur­ing that firms do the job right: hefty fines.

It will be up to the con­trac­tor to set a rea­son­able/re­al­is­tic project com­ple­tion date, which the LTA schol­ars will ad­just/ap­prove based on sim­i­lar past projects. Once the dead­line has been set and ap­proved, not meet­ing it will re­sult in se­ri­ous con­se­quences – for ev­ery hour, not day, that a project is over­due, the firm will be fined $250,000!

There­after, the penalty per hour will dou­ble for each day that the project re­mains in­com­plete. This will drive home the point that road­works not only cost money, but also lead to a loss in pro­duc­tiv­ity due to in­creased traf­fic con­ges­tion. And un­der my watch, a project will be deemed in­com­plete un­til it passes muster with the other road qual­ity in­spec­tors from my unit. That means sev­eral of us have to drive over the resur­faced area to en­sure it is as smooth as pos­si­ble. Do­ing things this way may very well cost more. But as a road user, I would rather pay more for ex­cel­lent re­sults, in­stead of economis­ing and suf­fer­ing the con­se­quences of shoddy work­man­ship.

AF­TER EN­SUR­ING THAT ALL ROADS IN SIN­GA­PORE ARE AS SMOOTH AS THOSE IN THE MCE, JEREMY WOULD FO­CUS ON THE CON­STRUC­TION OF CURVIER ROADS FOR NICER DRIV­ING ROUTES.

Tofu-smooth high­ways would be part of Jeremy’s KPI if he ever be­comes a road qual­ity in­spec­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.