Singapore – Opposition People’s Voice (PV) leader Lim Tean took to social media to highlight the numerous U-turns made by the People’s Action Party (PAP) government in light of the recent issue concerning TraceTogether data being used by the police to validate criminal activity.
Mr Lim and the team were at Sims Market in Jalan Besar GRC on Sunday morning (Jan 10) to visit the community in the area, including those at nearby constituencies such as Macpherson, Pasir Ris and Potong Pasir.
He also took the time to express their concern with how TraceTogether data was being used, noting it was “yet another U-turn” for the PAP.
On Monday (Jan 4), it was revealed to the public that the Singapore Police Force is empowered under the Criminal Procedure Code (CDC) to acquire any data, including information from TraceTogether, for criminal investigations.
However, the public was informed during the TraceTogether initiative introduction that it would only be used to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The PAP is now scrambling to patch up the potholes, and yesterday you saw the announcement that they are not going to rush through emergency legislation to define what are serious crimes in which the police can make use of this information,” said Mr Lim on Sunday.
“That is not the point. The issue here is the broken trust,” he added.
Mr Lim highlighted that back in June 2020, parliamentarians such as Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Minister for Education Lawrence Wong “made statements to the effect that the information (from TraceTogether) would only be used to combat Covid-19.”
“But they have now done a U-turn.”
Mr Lim provided other examples of “U-turns” made by the PAP such as the CPF (Central Provident Fund) and HDB (Housing & Development Board) where the age limit and valuation, respectively, changed during the course of the administration.
“The biggest U-turn” mentioned by Mr Lim was regarding the government’s advice that the public did not need to wear face masks during the beginning of the pandemic.
“The issue here is a government should never place itself in a position where its word cannot be trusted,” said Mr Lim.
“It has come to a point where Singaporeans are starting to disable and uninstall the app, and that is a bigger threat to our public health,” he noted.
The TraceTogether was meant to help us stay safe and combat the pandemic. As a result of the government having broken its word, we are going to be less safe, said Mr Lim.
Other members from the opposition have voiced their concern regarding the matter, such as Progress Singapore Party’s Secretary-General Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
“We are deeply troubled by what is happening in our nation today — the PAP is backtracking on its words,” said Dr Tan on Sunday (Jan 10).
He noted that there are more profound implications to such actions, such as discouraging members of the public from using the TraceTogether app or token altogether, which will “set us back in our efforts to fight the spread of Covid-19”.