Khaw Boon Wan comments on possible fare hike, ends up confusing whole of S’pore

A word can make a whole lot of difference.

Nyi Nyi Thet | August 29, 2016 @ 08:07 pm

A recent Straits Times article published on August 29 carried this rather perplexing headline.

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The article was on an email interview Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan had given with Chinese Daily Lianhe Zaobao on the issue of increasing service standards on buses.

Bus fares will be affordable if raised

The Internet did a collective headscratch in regards to the headline.

Many noticed a problem with the headline.


Some wrote other equally logical sentences.



Others used memes, because words had failed them.



One Redditor spotted a loophole in the statement.


What Khaw Boon Wan said

While it is easy to ridicule the Minister for a statement that borders on the absurd, it might be more helpful to acknowledge what he actually said.

This is from the exact same article with the headline that launched a thousand memes.

“The Government bus contracting model will raise service standards but these improvements cannot be sustained without raising fares, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

But if fares were to rise, the Public Transport Council (PTC) will ensure that the fares remain affordable, he said.”

In fact the Mandarin translation of the aforementioned Zaobao article Khaw Boon Wan had said.

“You cannot increase bus service standards if you do not increase bus fares”

There is a huge difference between the Minister’s statement and the headline. Namely, the word “remain”.

This might have been a better headline.


So, why that easily misinterpreted headline?




Top image from Khaw Boon Wan’s Facebook

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About Nyi Nyi Thet

Thet has a chronic fear of teenage girls laughing at him. He sometimes puts on a cap in his room and yells “Gryffindor”.

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