Less than a week ago, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat addressed widespread criticism that complacency has set in, leading to lapse after lapse by government agencies.

I reject the suggestion by some that the political leadership has allowed the  whole system to go slack,” he said.

His ‘rejection” was headlined by the mainstream media.

Yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, in addressing the HIV data leak, said “I reject” allegations that his ministry sought to cover up the incident.

Predictably, his “rejection” was also the key thrust of much of the reporting by the mainstream media.

On why the Health Ministry did not go public about the HIV registry leak although it knew about it back in 2016, the Minister attributed it to a “judgement call.”

Supposedly, it was also “judgement call” that led to the devastating Hepatitis C outbreak at Singapore General Hospital being kept secret until after the 2015 general elections.

Perhaps this is what accountability amounts to – first you say “I reject,” then if pressed further, you say “judgement call.”

What else is there to say?

The people of Singapore had better learn to say “I reject” at the appropriate time. No need to talk so much.

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