If you remember reading the post that I wrote about a donor who got a parking summon after parking beyond the time stipulated on his coupons, then you’d remember that he was… well, self-pwned in that URA gave their side of the story on the timing that was stated on the coupon and insinuated that Mr Tan cheated on his coupon.

Reproduced below are comments that were left by Mr Tan Tatt Si on that post. I am reproducing this as a follow up on the original post and also SGH’s response on that matter. I am surprised that SGH bothered to intervene, which brings graciousness to a whole new level.

HI, I’m TattSi, Mr Self-Pwned on Graciousness & Parking.

Trust me when I say I’m not a masochist, while the exchange made me seem so. ST Forum ‘edited out’ my ‘Complacency’ argument when I attacked ‘Official Graciousness’. My letter wasn’t about my parking – Complacency 1st, Graciousness 2nd.

My rebuttal was, of course, not printed, resulting in quite a character assassination on me, and no forum for me to air my subsequent views.

In these days of Mas Selamat’s escape, and ICA letting Mr Ang use the wrong passport, I seriously think civil service has reached a place where efficiency is utmost, but mistakes are acceptable. What can we underlings do ?

Attached is my original rebuttal. I will post a private mail from URA later, in response to this rebuttal.


Topic : Grace Period & Graciousness

I refer to Monday’s letter, “Grace period given, but one hour is too long” by Mr Lim Eng Chong from URA.

  • Let me first rebut a few ‘facts’ Mr Lim had in his letter :
    While the SGH excuse chit noted between 11:15am – 2pm, I parked at 11:20am (attendents in Carpark B at the time), and left at 1:41pm
  • Given that I parked for 2 hr & 21 minutes, factoring 10-minute walk each way and two platelet machines, my routine donation would have been ~1 hr
  • SGH website’s ‘2 – 3 hours’ may cover some overheads to err on the safe side, in case donors need the extra time off from employers, and that different donors need different recovery times
  • I used to park at Carpark H, which may not be URA administered, and I used to get complimentary parking from SGH. Such is the graciousness
    from SGH.

Mr Lim’s letter alluded that :
(a) I cheated 15 minutes on displaying the start time of my parking (calculating backwards from being registered at SGH at 11:15am)
(b) that I have a poor parking violation record, and might have written numerous times to URA for appeals in the past.

Point (a) is an insinuation, based on assumptions and not on factual findings, and is the complete opposite of graciousness or benefit of doubt.
Point (b) is condescending, and also unture. I have my share of parking tickets, and I pay most all of them without a whimper of protest or delay.

Half of these parking violations were my wife’s, but URA was probably quick to assume that they were all mine.

The important points are :

  • SGH needs to inform donors of budgeting more time for donations, in order to mobilise more donors to donate safely
  • Track record is used by Mr Lim superfluously, as is grace period. Mr Lim have no specifics that said what kind of track record disqualifies what kind of appeals, nor what kind of grace period is tied to what special circumstances. I can understand URA for not publishing this, for fear that this may be abused, and for the purpose of maintaining flexibility. It is this flexibility part that I had counted on for this appeal.
  • The linkage of the past to the present is unecessary. The merit of the situation at hand should be measured on its own, and not need the past to help weigh in. e.g. my platelets donation was anonymous – I did no background check on the recipient. He or she deserves it, every time.
  • The $10 fine could have been issued to anyone who exceeded the same amount of time, so some grace period is intrinsic, and not specific to me. On my appeal, nothing additional was given, and so the fact is : when URA was given a chance to be gracious and compassionate, it decided not to take it.
  • URA is an organization. Its visions and culture are of the people who run it. If complacency sets in, people should realize it and overcome it, and not take offence with it

Apology is a form of graciousness, too. The model answer I am looking for, is ” … URA understands the SGH carpark situation, and understands
Mr Tan’s specific circumstances now, and will continue to take extra care when evaluating extraordinary cases in the future.”

What warms my heart, is when after reading my first letter, SGH offered to pay my fine outside of their normal procedure. They were pleased to learn that I was beyond the $10, and that I will stay on the program. Healthcare organisations ought not to be the only ones showing compassion
and graciousness.

Tan Tatt Si

Additionally, Mr Tan received the following from URA:

As promised. Remember : I wasn’t looking for $10 refund.


30 May 08

Mr Tan Tatt Si
Via email : *removed by Simply Jean*

Dear Mr Tan


1 We refer to your email of 21 May 08 addressed to Mr Lim Eng Chong.

2 We have noted your comments. We have disallowed your appeal after having thoroughly assessed your case based on other facts and information
available, besides the reasons, provided by you. However, we are aware that there will always be situations where members of the public and the
regulatory authority may disagree.

3 Nevertheless, we respect your sentiments on the matter. We also thank you for your feedback and views which we will take into consideration in
our regular reviews of our operations and policies.

Yours sincerely

While I am not in any position to comment on URA’s actions, SGH’s intervention on the matter (which I suppose is on their own accord) shows us that organizations do care for their volunteers and donors and are not taking things for granted. Another point that I thought was nicely highlighted was that URA automatically assumes that all violations belong to the owner of the vehicle – which may or may not be fair, but this brings about the importance of accountability of car ownership and that the onus is always on the car owner to ensure that their vehicles are utilized in a responsible manner.

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