Singapore — At least two netizens have questioned Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing’s criticism of Singaporeans for panic buying after the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) was raised from yellow to orange on Feb 7.
Mr Chan’s remarks, made at a closed-door, off-the-record, meeting at a business association, were leaked in an audio clip that was circulated online.
Recently, the audio clip was posted on a Youtube channel called “kenii wonga“. However, in the comments section, one person, Mr Jeremy Wong, questioned if Mr Chan was even sure that Singaporeans were the ones to blame.
After asking Mr Chan if he had visited supermarkets himself to personally assess the situation instead of relying on social media posts, Mr Wong wrote about his own experience on Feb 7. “I was at 2 supermarkets NTUC and Sheng Siong. Who do I see buying up the stuff?” he asked. “Lot’s of China Chinese and Vietnamese and other nationalities — I will not be surprised (if) many are imported by the policies of PAP,” he said.
Mr Wong said he heard them speaking in different languages and dialects. “(T)hey are buying some of the stuff to ship to their home country which have run out of stock of things like masks, sanitiser, instant noodles, etc.,” he said. He urged Mr Chan to cross-check his statement before making a hasty generalisation about Singaporeans. “(B)efore you lambast your own countrymen of being idiots, ask yourself who the real idiots are for letting these folks come in en masse.”
One netizen felt that it was Singaporeans who started the supermarket run but another agreed with Mr Wong. Ms Stephy Wong recounted a similar experience, saying: “I totally agree with you! When I was at Bedok Sheng Shiong, at the queueing line, mind you, half of them (were) China Chinese!”
Following publication of his remarks earlier this week, other netizens had praised Mr Chan, describing his comments as “honest” and “authentic”. /TISG
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