distance fare in a cup of kopi
So, why not call it "distance and time fare" instead of "distance fare"? Well, they never say a plate of chicken rice cannot have cucumber, and thus, not chicken and cucumber rice.
Let me illustrate my view using a cup of coffee. One day you go to your usual coffee stall and order coffee. The stall owner tells you that the price has gone up by 10 cents. You suck thumb, cos you have yourself to blame for having that caffeine addiction. Just as you are digging for coins, the stall owner adds that the price has gone up cos the transporter is using a more expensive fuel, or they are buying new lorry to ferry the coffee bean, or simply the stall owner has a new baby and needs to buy milk powder and diapers. The fire inside your stomach must be hotter than the kaya toast grill.
It is not the fare hike itself that is angering people, but the explanation. Public service is taught to make unpopular but necessary decisions, now they are making the explanation unpopular as well. Choice of words like "penalise" can easily start fire in the stomach. Pay then pay lah, what penalise?
If it isn't wrong in the first place, don't make it look wrong, then try to make it right and glorify yourself.