“Destructive politics” and “fear-mongering” do not have a place in a major health crisis, said People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP) Cheng Li Hui.
The Tampines GRC representative made her statement in response to a Facebook post made by opposition politician Goh Meng Seng on Sat, following her visit to the house of a resident who was tested positive with the novel coronavirus.
Posting a photograph of Ms Cheng wearing a mask whilst in front of the quarantined home, Mr Goh said: “PAP leaders and Ministers keep saying you don’t need to wear mask if you are not unwell. At the same time propaganda machine works over time to brainwash Singaporeans that mask is ineffective in prevention of infection etc etc….”
“BUT their own MPs are most honest with their actions…. Do they believe their own propaganda?” the People’s Power Party (PPP) chief added.
Ms Cheng in her post clarified that she was advised by National Environment Agency (NEA) officers to wear a mask and a pair of gloves during her visit to the patient’s home, as it is a way to “protect other residents and volunteers” from the risk of transmission.
“Each of us have to take personal responsibility for our own actions and hygiene habits, and look out for one another in the community,” she said, stressing that it is “definitely not the time for destructive politics and fear-mongering”.
She added that she had “left them some freshly baked bread and groceries at their door” for the family to bring into their house after she and the volunteers had left.
Noting that she and her fellow Tampines Grassroots Advisers “have been working on the ground and helping the affected residents”, Ms Cheng called upon the public “including the armchair critics” to join them on a food donation drive scheduled for the following day.
“The food would go to low income families and those in need … Together, we can do more for the community,” she added.
Mr Goh retorted in a Facebook post on Sun that by wearing a mask, Ms Cheng had “in fact contradicted her own party’s advice”, as the Government has reiterated that only those who are unwell should wear a mask.
“By PAP own logic, as long as these quarantined persons have no symptoms of infections, they don’t need to wear mask.
“Even if there is a need for mask, it is the quarantined persons inside the flat who need to wear mask, just in case!” He said.
“Either she is right or her party leaders and Ministers are right,” he said. “So tell me, why should I apologize to anybody when I just merely pointing out the stupid contradictions?”
Mr Goh however emphasised that he does not think it is wrong for Ms Cheng to wear a mask.
“The reasons for the PAP MP to wear mask must be that she believes that mask could help her prevent any infection from the quarantined persons, just like what I believe.
“She must have believed that although the persons quarantined may not show any sign or symptom of infection, but the information of persons who had incubation of virus might still infect others is true,” he said.
Mr Goh, however, said that it is “totally nonsense to claim that the PAP MP was visiting an infected patient quarantined at home”, and that she was actually “visiting the family members of an infected patient”.
“Do they mean that the hospital ask an infected person to stay at home instead of having treatment at hospital?” He added.