27 May 2018
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said that charging parking fees at schools was about upholding the value of self-discipline.
Mr Seah, MP for Marine Parade GRC and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, had said during the debate on the President’s Address that the decision to charge parking fees at schools was an “insult” to teachers who have forked out their own money and time for their students’ benefit.
In a Facebook post, Mr Ong Ye Kung said that he had thanked Mr Seah for his speech and wrote: “I also told him I agreed with him that we should never allow ourselves to see things from a purely economic lens.”
However, Mr Ong said that there are checks and balances within Singapore’s governance system, one of which was the Auditor General’s Office (AGO) checks on practices pertaining to the use of public funds.
AGO’s 2014/2015 Financial Year report had highlighted that some educational institutions did not charge or undercharged for parking on their campuses. It had called this a “hidden subsidy” which went against government guidelines for public servants.
After a review, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced in March that schools will start charging market rates for parking in August.
Mr Ong Ye Kung added that this did not diminish the appreciation of teachers and educators.