In a recent Facebook post, opposition politician Lim Tean gave his own two-cents on the fact that the Singaporean Ministry of Education is not suspending classes despite the rise in the total count of confirmed Wuhan virus cases, calling it “lamentable.”
According to Channel News Asia, on Tuesday (Feb 4), Singapore’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social and Family Development disclosed that effective the next day (Feb 5), new measures would be implemented in schools, pre-schools, and elder-care facilities in order to counter the spread of the Wuhan virus.
The announcement came as the Ministry of Health confirmed Singapore’s first “local transmission” case of the coronavirus. Included in these measures are the suspension of mass assemblies such as flag raising ceremonies, the implementation of staggard recess times, and the cancellation of camps. According to Liew Wei Li, the director of schools at the MOE, “The aim is to circumscribe the intermingling of students by not conducting mass level learning activities. We will be implementing them from this week beginning with immediately with no mass flag raising ceremonies,” he said.
On Tuesday (Feb 4), Lim Tean, the Peoples Voice founder, put up a Facebook post to address the situation, saying, “After today’s disastrous turn of events, with six new cases of the Wuhan virus, including the firsts locally transmitted cases, MOE has belatedly decided to cancel flag-raising ceremonies and other mass activities.”
His post highlighted the importance of time as an aspect when it comes to preventive measures. “This should have been done two weeks ago, when the situation around the world was getting serious,” he said, before calling out the People’s Action Party government and its sense of urgency. “It is a sign of how reactive, instead of pro-active this PAP government is. They are always behind the curve and at least two steps behind. We have a bunch of so called leaders who have no judgment, and will only react when they are facing the inevitable. Watching their performance during this crisis is so painful. It feels like our People have to suffer a thousand cuts before you get the lumbering elephant to move.”
Mr. Tean also brought into question the logic behind cancelling such mass assemblies like the flag-raising ceremonies and other collective gatherings and activities if children will still be packed in classrooms together. “It makes absolutely no sense!” he said, then stating that he is a “firm advocate for the suspension of schools until 21 February, when the situation should be reviewed.”
He also said that as for all government agencies, they should also be closed until that time and that government workers should work from their homes–also to aid in preventing the Wuhan virus from spreading.
Mr. Tean concluded his post by saying “Singaporeans are intelligent people, but we have a bunch of leaders who are fond of closing the door only after the horse has bolted.” /TISG
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