Amrin Amin says if a PAP MP suggested Jamus Lim's environment tax, many 'colourful adjectives' will be 'coughed out'

His fellow Sengkang GRC candidate and former Transport SMS Lam Pin Min also commented on SIA's situation.

Sulaiman Daud | October 08, 2020, 07:31 PM

A candidate who ran for a seat in Sengkang GRC in the recent general election criticised a proposal made in Parliament by his former opponent.

On Oct. 7, former Sembawang GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Amrin Amin shared his thoughts on a tussle between his former anchor minister Ong Ye Kung, and his former opponent in Sengkang, Jamus Lim of the Workers' Party.

Lim had proposed imposing an environment tax on Singapore Airlines' (SIA) proposed "flight to nowhere". SIA has since confirmed that it will not go ahead with such flights.

Send love, not stones down the well

In his Ministerial Statement on Oct. 6, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said it would not be the right thing to do in this climate, and that adding another tax would be akin to throwing stones at someone who has fallen into a well.

Ong acknowledged however that when aviation and air travel returns to normal, the discussion of an environment tax could be taken up again.

In Amrin's post, he said he is worried about the crew members of SIA who have been retrenched, and called Lim's suggestion a "serious disconnect."

He also said that if a PAP MP had made the same suggestion, "many colourful adjectives will be coughed out."

You can see the whole text below:

"I worry about the many cabin crew and staff of SIA who have been retrenched. Passenger volumes are critically low. For the aviation industry, it’s now about trying to stay afloat.

There’s a serious disconnect for Workers Party Jamus Lim to suggest slapping a new environmental tax on an ailing national carrier. SIA had already dropped plans for ‘flights to nowhere’ last week. Times are bad. It’s a struggle.

If a PAP MP had suggested this, many colourful adjectives will be coughed out. But I suppose we can be charitable and just call the less than compassionate suggestion - noise pollution?"


Amrin was not the only defeated Sengkang GRC candidate to refer to SIA's plight on social media.

Lam Pin Min, the erstwhile Senior Minister of State for Transport, also referred to SIA's importance to Singapore's economy, and called it a "national pride and symbol."

However, he did not refer to Lim or Parliament directly. You can see the post below:

Jamus Lim's clarification of his position

Lim explained on his social media accounts on Oct. 6 that he is proud of SIA and wants the industry to survive, and his suggestion of an environment tax would be borne by wealthier customers who would be more willing to take a proposed "flight to nowhere."

Lim added that he was hoping to "spur some creative thinking about how we can help ensure the future viability of our national airline, without compromising the need to pay attention to the environment, too".

He said that "such creative thinking is necessary to ensure that we don’t spend our hard-earned reserves in an unwise fashion".

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Top image from Amrin Amin and Jamus Lim's Facebook pages.