Dr Chee Soon Juan, the secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) shared a critical post about the innovation of the nation, after the Public Utilities Board (PUB) announced that sandbags would be amongst some of the measures to help cope with the monsoon season.
In a Facebook post on December 13, Dr Chee wrote, “I said this many times before, we’re good at buying and adopting technology but not in creating it. To join the ranks of truly knowledge-based, aka innovative, economies, we cannot continue with authoritarian governance”.
“We must let the people go; political control and creativity are sworn enemies”, he added.
Dr Chee’s post was met with much resistance from netizens, who said that even countries such as Switzerland, ranked top on the Global Innovation Index (GII), uses sandbags in order to prevent floods.
Many said that a lot of money was spent on Singapore’s drainage and water system, so the use of sandbags, a cheap alternative seemed rather ironic. Many also added that Singapore being a Smart nation and using sandbags had little to do with innovation or creativity. Others said that technology would not help much in solving the problem of flooding.
The post slamming Dr Chee read: “Even the most innovative country in the world, Switzerland uses sandbags for flood prevention. So what is wrong with Singapore using sandbags? Does he think using smart technology can eradicate flooding by stopping rain and floods?”
However, there were some who got more technical and added that sandbags might not be the best solution for Singapore’s drainage system.