I was in Bangkok on a Sunday morning, wandering on my own when I stumbled onto this local wet (fresh produce) market along Soi Pardit. Visiting a market is one of my favourite way to appreciate a new culture while travelling.
This picture was taken in a laneway just off Soi Pradit. I loved how everyone looked so happy and relaxed in this picture. This is what Sunday are for, being with family, friends and the local community.
Through my frequent car-sharing experiences, I received near unanimous feedback from existing drivers about their eroding earnings because of these intermediaries’ incredible market power to recruit other new drivers and set lower fares. Many of these drivers are full time drivers and they only receive about 80% of the final fares, after paying the intermediaries their cut. The drivers mentioned that they were considering a move back to regular taxi service once their current one-year contract is over, in order to earn a better and stable income.
In midst of these upcoming debates, regulators should never forget to put people interests, the commuters and the drivers, at the heart of their policy considerations.
We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and
progress for our nation.
Calling all LKY School students and alumni join us for a social night where past, present and future students come together to share in the LKY School traditions. We would also like to take this opportunity to share the alumni chapter plans for the coming year.
In this Project Syndicate’s article entitled “Life in the Uber City“, MIT’s Senseable City Lab researchers encourage policymakers to direct resources towards supporting “a bottom-up” ecosystem to make smart cities a reality and also to nurture “the regulatory frameworks” which creates the urban space to allow innovations to thrive.
On one hand, I agree with their call to enable a more conducive regulatory environment for smart city innovations like Uber, Nest and Airbnb to flourish, but I also believe that technology multinationals programmes such like Microsoft CityNext and IBM Smarter Planet should not be avoided. These multinationals play a very important role to support the larger local technology economy and provide important institutional knowledge and best practices to make such smart cities innovations truly scale up beyond district level and spread the benefits across the entire city.
Therefore, policymakers should not be forced to go one way over the other but keep an open mind about technology, and focus their effort on developing a regulatory environment which supports all innovation from both sides – start-ups or multinationals, to thrive, and that’s a really smart choice.