On Saturday (11 April), Temasek CEO Ho Ching shared an article on her Facebook page by Taiwan News about Taiwan donating medical masks to Singapore.
In the post, Mdm Ho who is also the wife of Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, had only said, “errrr….”
This drew flak from Taiwan netizens who found her caption confusing and ask her to explain the meaning of the post, adding that if Singapore doesn’t want the masks, it can reject the offer.
While Mdm Ho’s comment was ambiguous, Singaporeans rushed to defend her on Facebook, with allegations from a pro-PAP fanpage called Singapore Matters claiming that Taiwan had held on to Singapore’s face masks leading to shortage in Singapore.
This was in reference to a Singapore company, ST Engineering (STE), which has a mask manufacturing plant in Taiwan.
The claim gained traction as it heavily referenced earlier replies Mdm Ho made to comments on the masks that STE produces.
In their post, Singapore Matters insinuated that the Taiwan government was keeping these stocks of masks from Singapore.
Due to the comments made by Singapore netizens in support of Mdm Ho, the matter is inflamed as Taiwanese netizens felt that Singapore is unappreciative of Taiwan’s donation and that the country has been defamed by the allegations contained in Singapore Matters’ Facebook post.
Following all this, Mdm Ho took about two days before deciding to clarify her original comment.
She edited her post today (13 April) to thank “friends and friends of friends in Taiwan” for all they have done, adding that she is “forever grateful”.
She said, “We all know we are in this together as one world – and I’m totally grateful for every one which has reached out, advised, pointed the way, and tried their best to help, sometimes successfully and sometimes not.”
“But that sincere effort and thought, regardless of success or failure, is what I will treasure forever.”
She then added, “And mistakes? Also forgiven, lah!”
Mdm Ho continued by urging people to stop “trying to beat each other up in cyber space”, stressing that we should “beat” the virus instead.
“It’s the covid that we should beat, not one by one, not country by country, not flag by flag, because the little bug doesn’t respect any of our prejudices and biases, hopes or fears,” she wrote in the edited post.
Mdm Ho added that the “bug” can be beaten if we pull together as one and do what needs to be done.
“This is the least we can do, to respect all those who have lost their lives already, to help all those still fighting for their lives, and to fully back everyone from cleaner to doctor who are working their butts out so that the rest of us can be safe and well,” she said.
The post now has over 19,000 comments and has been shared over 2.3k times.
Despite Mdm Ho’s edits to clarify her comment, netizens are still flocking to Facebook to voice their displeasure over her post.