ELSON: It’s only been a couple of months since Ong Ye Kung has been appointed Health Minister and already we’re seeing how little transparency and accountability means to the dear gentleman.
And from Singaporeans’ outrage at what has gone on in such a short time, it looks like Ong has jinxed his chance of becoming future prime minister.
Ong transited from Transport to Health Minister between May and June this year. That’s when the Changi Airport Covid-19 cluster broke out. That’s also when Singaporeans were calling for tighter border control while Ong was still rigorously pushing for his jinxed “travel bubbles”.
The cause of the cluster turned out to be lapses in the management of high-risk foreign travellers, and that caused Singaporeans to suffer a one-month lockdown.
Of course, accountability for the lapses somehow went down the “no blame culture” route.
Then, when the India Covid variant seeped in, Ong in a masterful stroke of “don’t give two sh*ts” then decided to coin the term “South Asia” variant.
That move was met with much ridicule because Singaporeans all knew what lay behind that euphemism.
Now, with the more virulent Delta variant of Covid threatening to spread, Ong conveniently decides to deal another low blow to transparency and accountability.
The Ministry of Health has announced that it will no longer disclose details of each new Covid-19 case detected in the community.
Information on individuals’ ages and occupations, as well as the places they visited and the dates on which they tested positive, will no longer be provided.
This is in stark contrast to Australia, Japan, and South Korea – countries which seek to give citizens as much information as possible so they can make informed decisions to protect themselves.
That’s the issue Singaporeans now take umbrage with – how will we know how to protect ourselves if everything is so opaque?
Then there’s the Sinovac vaccine fracas that the Health Ministry appears to be saying, “we bought it, you can pay to take it, but it’s pretty useless unless proven otherwise”.
Those who use Sinovac will still have to undergo pre-event testing because it’s not under the national vaccination programme.
Why waste Singaporeans’ time and money on a vaccine that’s deemed not good enough?
Ong has only just begun.
How long more will Singaporeans allow him to take us for fools?
At the rate he is going further down the rabbit hole, Lawrence Wong, who is already spotting signs of rapidly thinning hair, is going to go bald very soon.