The Straits Times has reported that the Government is “deploying officers in Housing Board estates across Singapore to remind people to stop loitering in public and to be socially responsible, as well as to enforce safe distancing“.
While this may appear like a good strategy in theory, in practice it seems rather counterproductive. The whole point of social distancing and being responsible is to have less people on the streets. Why would you then add more people on the streets in a bid to reduce people on the streets? Head scratch anyone?
Looking at picture that the Straits Times has used of people queuing for masks, it seems like the safe distancing and SG Clean ambassadors, as well as enforcement officers are adding to the crowds. In an attempt to get people to “social distance”, are themselves not “socially distancing”?
Secondly, it has come to our attention that these “clean ambassadors” have been permitted to have their meals at hawker centres despite regulations.
Since 7 April, people can no longer dine in at food and beverage outlets, including hawker centres and coffee shops. Front line workers selling the food we eat being left with no choice but to eat in a toilet instead of in front of their stalls. It was till Hawkers can eat at tables immediately in front of their stalls but should do so alone,
According to pictures sent in to us, such “clean ambassadors” were clearly pictured eating at hawker centre tables and this is well after the ban on eating in hawker centres was brought in.
Given that the ambassadors and officers are (according to reports) meant to work at discouraging loitering, gathering in public, and dining out, and to ensure safe distancing is practised in queues, through advisories and enforcement action, shouldn’t they be leading by example and not be openly eating in public? They also look like they were standing pretty close to each other!
The fact that people sending in photos to media, and questioning whether is there a double standard on the enforced and the enforcer is not a good sign for the government which seeks to instill trust with the people.
But thankfully, when asked if the ambassadors can dine at the hawker centre, Clean & Green Singapore wrote back to say that ambassadors are also not permitted to dine there.
But the question here is who will police the enforcers when they themselves break the rules?