INT.OFFICE - PANTRY - EARLY MORNING
Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali were having their morning break at the pantry when Raymond walked in. Raymond walked over to their table and took the only empty seat left.
AH TAN: Hey, here for meeting?
RAYMOND: Yah, with Mr Teo.
AH LIM: Why? Going to build some more gantries? Or time to increase the buses and trains fares?
RAYMOND (chuckled): Hahaha... you're good! Yah, it's regarding the new gantries. This is part of the PLCIR project. Prevention of Lesser Mortals Congestion on the IRs. To prevent the new IRs from getting too over-crowded.
ALI: But Brudder, I thought the more people going to the IRs the better? Why want to control the number of people going there?
RAYMOND: Well, you're right and wrong. Here's the thing. We want as many tourists and rich and famous to go to the IRs. But not the locals. At least not those at the lower levels of the hierarchy.
AH LIM: Har? Lower levels of the hierarchy?
RAYMOND: Meaning those lowly educated lesser mortals who buy 4D, Totos and gamble at Genting and cruise-to-nowhere-to-gamble cruises. We are building sophisticated high class IRs around here, and we really don't need these lesser mortals anywhere near the IRs to spoil the image.
AH LIM: But I thought we're already imposing a hundred dollars entrance fee for the locals?
Ah Tan put down the coffee that he was sipping and laughed loudly.
AH TAN: Lim, if they can pay over a hundred dollars to go all the way up to Genting, or all the way out at sea to gamble, they'll pay the bucks to gamble at the IRs!
Ah Lim was stunned by his ignorance of the obvious and all men laughed at the joke.
AH LIM: So you're going to place these new gantries at Sentosa? Or Marina Bay?
RAYMOND: No, not Sentosa. All of the four new gantries that I'm suggesting will be placed around Marina Bay. One on the exit road from the Ayer Rajah Expressway, one on the Marina Station Road near the new MRT station and two on either direction of the new three-lane dual-carriageway Bay Bridge that links the new business and entertainment hub to Raffles Avenue.
ALI: Huh? None on Sentosa?
Ah Tan rubbed his chin slowly, then smiled and nodded.
AH TAN: Hahaha... Ali, I know what's on Raymond's sleeves. You see, if he were to place a gantry on Sentosa, only people on the island get charged. But if he were to place a gantry near Marina Bay, anyone in the country get charged as long as they use the road, even if they are not going anywhere near the Marina Sands IR at all!
ALI (hit his forehead): Adioy! Tan, you're right!
All men now laughed at Ali's ignorance.
RAYMOND: And anyway, as part of the PLCIR project, those SDC people has already increased the entrance fees for cars at least three folds from two dollars to six or seven. They're also going to implement more costly time-based parking charges. So I guess there is no need to put a gantry on Sentosa. At least not for now.
Raymond winked at Ah Tan and nudged him with a smile. Ah Tan knew immediately what Raymond had on his mind and laughed.
AH TAN (chuckled): Yap, the keyword is... not for now! Guys, remember Ray is still going to build the Sentosa Gateway Tunnel in 2015?
AH LIM, ALI (together): And?
AH TAN (smiling): Remember how many gantries did he place in the short KPE tunnel?
Both Ah Lim and Ali laughed and patted Raymond on his back.
RAYMOND (smiling): So as long as the cabs are charging more surcharges, and the island's shuttle bus service is as inefficient as the country's bus services, we should be able to keep the lesser mortals' interest in going to the IRs pretty low.
LTA,Land Transport Authority,SDC,Sentosa Development Corporation,Integrated Resorts,Sentosa,Marina Sands,Marina Bay,ERP