Singapore—Former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng wrote a Facebook post on May 30 presenting arguments as to why the ‘Singapore – China Travel Bubble’ is good for the country at this time, which did not go over well with Polish blogger Michael Petraeus, also known as Critical Spectator.
Mr Cheng had written about how “China is now the safest place to be in,” because of China’s advanced technology in tracking and tracing its citizens. He also praised how China has the ability to “lock down clusters and even cities,” which “no country other than perhaps Vietnam and North Korea can do.”
“Singapore – China Travel Bubble”Seems like people are irrationally upset that the first travel bubble is with China,…
The bottom line for the former Nominated MP is that Singapore’s travel bubble is “with the safest country in the world” despite it being the origin of the novel coronavirus that has wreaked havoc on countries all over the world.
Mr Cheng appealed for netizens to “not let emotions and bias get in the way,” as well as to “educate” others through sharing the post.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement on May 29 announcing that Singapore and China have agreed to launch a ‘Fast Lane’ arrangement this month in order to facilitate essential travel for business and official purposes. This arrangement will first be applied between the six Chinese provinces or municipalities directly under the central government (Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang) and Singapore, with other places in China following. “Both sides agreed to explore the increase of air links between the two countries for the Fast Lane,” the statement from the MFA read.
Mr Petraeus, who, like Mr Cheng, is well-known for his decidedly pro-administration views, apparently commented on Mr Cheng’s post, and later found himself blocked and his comments removed. Although Mr Cheng is quite prolific in his posts regarding social issues, he does not always take kindly to others who have opposing perspectives.
Sometime after Mr Cheng put up his post regarding China, Mr Petraeus also posted on the Critical Spectator Facebook page, addressing the former NMP.
He wrote, “Calvin Cheng – have you seriously just banned me from your page for questioning the veracity and trustworthiness of information coming out of China? I would like to think it’s some Facebook glitch that removed my comment and blocked me from your page. Or has the CCP’s censorship reached these shores already?”
Calvin Cheng – have you seriously just banned me from your page for questioning the veracity and trustworthiness of…
According to Mr Petraeus, his answer to Mr Cheng’s arguments about China was this: “widespread skepticism of opening travel between SG and China has nothing to do with how safe it may be today or whether the disease originated in Wuhan or not.
It has everything to do with trust – and people simply do not trust China, they don’t trust what it says, reports or promises.”
This lack of trust, Mr Petraeus wrote, is China’s own fault.
In one of the comments to his post, the blogger expressed surprise that other (presumably unfavorable) comments on Mr Cheng’s post had also ‘disappeared,’ writing, “ It’s full on CCP censorship machinery. WTH?”
In the comment that followed, he quipped, “So we know what CCP stands for in Singapore – Calvin Cheng’s Page”
He then tagged Mr Cheng, so that even if he had been blocked from Mr Cheng’s page, Mr Cheng could still see what Mr Petraeus was saying if he wanted to.
A day after, he wrote that he could comment yet again on Mr Cheng’s posts.