Singapore—The internet may just be the land of the big “oops.”
Or maybe not, depending on the thickness of one’s skin.
A netizen named Raj Singh shared a Facebook post from Member of Parliament Baey Yam Keng (PAP—Tampines GRC) who posted a photo of himself in a pool and said that he and his family had just enjoyed a three-day staycation and they “took the chance to explore different parts of Singapore”.
Mr Baey posted this on Wednesday (June 9), which means they likely went on their staycation on June 7.
Mr Singh also posted a link to a June 4 article in The Straits Times (ST), where Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, the co-chair of the multi-ministry task force to tackle Covid-19, urged Singaporeans to stay home.
The article quoted Mr Wong’s words from a video he posted on Facebook where he talked about hidden community cases and the presence of a Covid variant that is more transmissible.
“We are dealing with a very infectious and highly contagious strain of the virus which is capable of spreading much faster than anything we’ve had to deal with before, and causing large clusters to break out easily. So we really need to take the precautions and safeguards very seriously.”
The MTF head said that he himself has been working from home since Singapore went into Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).
“And I continue to appeal to all of you. Please stay home as much as possible. Work from home whenever you can, and minimize your daily contacts.”
As for Mr Baey, he wrote in his post that his family usually takes a one-week break overseas during the June school holidays, which is impossible this year because of the pandemic.
And since they planned a staycation a few months ago, they went ahead with it.
The MP wrote that “The hotel was very quiet,” and that he had been told “that many guests had cancelled or deferred their bookings”. However, he added that he and his family did not just stay in, but “took the chance to explore different parts of Singapore and marvel at how we can pack so many different spaces in one tiny island”.
For him, the staycation seems to have been worth it.
“I used to wonder why spend money to stay in a hotel room when no dine-in is allowed at all. Indeed, while we ate our takeaway/delivery/room service meals in makeshift conditions, it’s not even as comfortable as home. However, being in a different environment helps the family to bond better.
“We thank our lucky stars that we are still able to enjoy time together in a safe and relaxing environment.”
Netizens commenting on Mr Singh’s post were none too pleased with the seeming contradictions between what one leader said and what another actually did.
One commenter joked that Mr Baey “forgot” Mr Wong’s remarks.
Others felt that it was rather tone-deaf of Mr Baey to post about his staycation, especially when many Singaporeans are suffering from the economic fallout of the pandemic.
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