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.

TattSi
———————————————–

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

Re: URA RESPONSE ON ST FORUM

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
KOH WEI KEE (Ms)
HEAD (PUBLIC LIAISON)
CAR PARKS DIVISION

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.



Reader's Comments

  1. Jwong | June 27th, 2008 at 10:48 am

    (Speaker starts introduction)

    I do not usually get involved in matters like these, this is way too funny to ignore. Let’s just calling today’s speech ‘Self-Pwnage Part II’, shall we?

    (Now let’s get to the main topic)

    I’d like to start by quoting the URA’s reply that “Mr Tan displayed a $1 parking coupon with a start time of 11:20am for a one hour parking duration.” Mr Tan’s rebuttal says “I parked at 11:20am (attendants in Carpark B at the time), and left at 1.41pm”

    His coupon would still have expired at 12:20pm, with a summons issued an hour later at 1:23pm. This means he would have returned to his car at 1:41. A whole 1 hour and 21 minutes after his coupon has expired. Really, he expects that much grace from anyone? Oh, blood donor… Fair enough.

    To add to that, he also states that “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”

    A ten minute walk each way, taken away from 2 hours and 21 minutes, is still a good whole 2 hours. If the usual process takes about an hour, does it mean the SGH staff took a whole hour to realize that the platelet machine was malfunctioning? If so, I’d like to hear what the SGH has to say about this.

    But I digress – Let’s not dwell on this. We’ll get back to the parking issue.

    Even if the machine didn’t malfunction, and he knows it usually takes about an hour for the usual donation, he still only tore out a $1 coupon. Did Mr Tan not know to factor in the walking time to-and-from the carpark when tearing out the coupons? Was he counting on the fact that URA would allocate him a grace period there? That would be tantamount to trying to take advantage of the situation, no?

    (Insert tea break here)

    Now, to add even more insult to our intellect, Mr Tan’s first “important point” is that “SGH needs to inform donors of budgeting more time for donations, in order to mobilize more donors to donate safely”.

    This is even after the website stating that it takes two to three hours for the donation process? What about his rebuttal which claims “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”

    (Start packing your bags)

    I seriously believe Mr Tan needs to keep his foot out of his mouth and his little mind occupied with less intellectually-challenging activities. I thank you for your time, and apologize for the wall of text.

    (Sporadic applause, but mostly people dispersing)

  2. Chin Yong | June 27th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    When all else fails, blame it on the wife!

  3. Zhanzhao | June 27th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Regarding the part of him claiming the URA “insinuated” he was a fair cheat, I am still finding it amusing that he has not outright claimed that he did not cheat on the parking timings. And yet continues to beat around the bush.

    Its simple. Either this guy cheated or he did not. There’s no reason for him to not state outright that he did not cheat IF he did not cheat.

    So where does that leave us?

  4. Nicholas | June 28th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    I can’t help but wonder what on earth is he thinking. Seriously, I’m sitting on the fence here watching this drama but this guy really ought to back off. He’s looking silly enough if yo9u ask me.

    Nic.

  5. Tatt Si | June 28th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Very interesting new thread in my ‘honour’.

    No, I did not cheat. But honestly, I would have taken a few mins advantage if the attendants were not around. Sorry, human/my nature, and if you see hypocrisy in this, you are a better person than me (not sarcastic). Ahem, I also jaywalk.

    Yes, my wife did chalk up half the summons, that’s a fact. Minor summons (non-point deducting type) usually will be attributed to the car owner – me. So fair to say that I ‘blamed’ my wife, but equally true to say I am responsible for the other half.

    No, I do not know how SGH came up with 2 – 3 hours, the old 2-arm machines used to take 2 hours, but the new ones today can take

  6. Tatt Si | June 28th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Cont’d

    No, I do not know how SGH came up with 2 – 3 hours, the old 2-arm machines used to take 2 hours, but the new ones today can take

  7. Tatt Si | June 28th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Sorry, chopped off (just like ST Forum Online). Will post the rest later.

  8. Chin | June 28th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Hmm. I noticed a trend where online commenters seems to believe the truth is with them. What ever happened to looking at an issue from both sides?

  9. Tatt Si | June 30th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Well said, Chin. Now for the rest of my comments

    “….

  10. Tatt Si | June 30th, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Hmm still having problems (HELP, Jean !)

  11. Tatt Si | June 30th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    I give up. WordPress must have some kinda censorship. We have the govt to censor, so why self-censor ?

  12. Tatt Si | June 30th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Jean, I have problems. There seems to be must have some kinda censorship. We have the govt to censor, so why self-censor ?

  13. Simply Jean | June 30th, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Hi Tatt Si, I don’t see any comments awaiting moderation. So what you can do is to email me using the contact form so that I can append your comments to what you last said.

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