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It seems like it was only yesterday when the grand opening ceremony of the North-South Line was held at the Toa Payoh station. A total of 26 years has since passed, as the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system becomes an integral part of our daily life. Today, we put aside all the recent troubles of overcrowding, breakdowns and line disruptions, and take a little ride into the MRT’s past.
The Early Debates
The conceptualised idea of a rail system was proposed as early as 1967, two years after Singapore attained its independence. Studies and reviews were carried out, but more than a decade later, the public transport plan remained inconclusive. By the early eighties, intense debates regarding the proposed building of MRT erupted in the parliament.
Then-Trade and Industry Minister Dr Tony Tan suggested more emphasis to be placed on the construction of public housing instead of a mass rapid…
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