One moment, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is on TV and Facebook telling Singaporeans how serious the fight against COVID-19 is and advocating social distancing and social responsibility to help contain the spread and win the fight.
Next moment, he is on a merry walkabout in Ang Mo Kio, interacting with hordes and hordes of people, all within centimetres of each other. All this is happening while we are supposed to gather in groups of not more than 10, and be at least one metre apart when eating or queuing.
Once again, PM Lee is playing Jekyll and Hyde with Singaporeans. He’s putting on a split personality – in this case, alternating between keeping Singaporeans safe from a pandemic and forsaking health and safety by working the ground in the lead-up to a widely anticipated election.
One minute, projecting care and concern, the next displaying political self-interest and opportunism.
We should be used to a Jekyll and Hyde government by now.
For another recent example, we can look to the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).
The government’s Dr Jekyll part: This is important legislation for the benefit of Singaporeans who desperately need protection from deliberate online falsehoods by malicious people. To show how seriously we take this and how impartial we will be, we will convene a select committee to study all submissions and recommendations.
On the split side, the Mr Hyde part: Ministers have not been shy to use the wide powers vested in them. Since coming into effect, POFMA has been directed primarily at government critics and opposition political parties or those associated with political parties.
Adding insult to injury, the government puts this down to an “unfortunate convergence or coincidence”.
How many of us still buy into their Jekyll and Hyde routine?