Polish blogger Michael Petraeus suggested that instead of referring to Singaporeans who were at supermarkets panic-buying as ‘idiots’, Minister Chan Chun Sing could have called them “moron, halfwit, dumbass, cretin” or other variations.
The blogger, known for his pro-People’s Action Party (PAP) views, made reference to a closed-door conference between Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) members, where an audio clip of Mr Chan speaking was leaked.
In talking to SCCCI members, Mr Chan was incredulous that Singaporeans were panic-buying not only rice and instant noodles but also toilet paper. He said they copied the behaviour of people in Hong Kong. However, the people in Hong Kong were worried about running out of toilet paper because their supplies came from China. Singapore, he pointed out, got its toilet paper supply from Malaysia and Indonesia.
He said: “No paper, water also can. So why do we behave so idiotically? I cannot tahan.”
He also added: “Then the selfish idiot go and take all the alcohol swab, because got no more clean wipe right? Alcohol swab – you know, the small small one – to clean table!” he said. (These swabs are used by diabetic patients.)
As for how the behaviour of Singaporeans would affect the nation’s trade and business with other countries, he said: “If we behave badly, people think our society is like that one. We lose our brain one. And cannot be steady one. Got anybody want to do business with us or no?”
Mr Chan added that, when society starts to panic, suppliers will use that opportunity to raise prices. “Already got people trying to raise the price. Then we all behave like idiots, the foreign supplier lagi raise their price.”
“Some of us, just a small group behaving like idiots will kill all of us. It will kill our current price negotiation strategy, it will kill our future business opportunity,” he said.
In his Facebook post on Wednesday (Feb 19), Mr Petraeus wrote that, “it is a pity that humans are so obsessed with appearances that we have forced honesty behind closed doors”.
He added: “You don’t like the word (idiot)? Well, here are a few more you can choose from:
or a complete nincompoop.
How’s that? Look at the stack of your toilet paper rolls and pick a label for yourself from the list above.”
Defending Mr Chan, Mr Petraeus wrote: “I think it’s perfectly fine to shame all the dimwits who make lives worse for the rest of us – and bring them back into line before they can screw up even more”. /TISG
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