In a Facebook post on Saturday (22 May) Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Koh Poh Koon said he was “aghast and disappointed” with an open letter by 12 doctors last week questioning the long-term safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use on children.
The letter from the doctors, dated 20 May, contained a list of issues that the doctors urged parents to think through carefully before choosing to inoculate their children against COVID-19.
Eleven of the doctors eventually retracted their letter, saying they were withdrawing their “humble ponderings” as some of their thoughts may be misunderstood by laypersons.
Dr Koh is famous for being the self-declared ‘Son of Punggol‘ when he ran as a People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate during the 2011 Punggol East SMC by-election.
In explaining why he was “aghast”, Dr Koh wrote that the “unscientific and unprofessional” way in which the doctors had interpreted scientific evidence and conducted themselves had also “created confusion and fear” in the public.
It has to be noted that Dr Koh is a colorectal surgeon, not a virologist.
His expression of “aghast” comes in the wake of a former general and current CEO of Singapore Press Holdings, Ng Yat Chung, apologising for his outburst at a media conference, when he took “umbrage” with a reporter’s questions.
To be aghast, by the way, is to be struck with terror, amazement, or horror.
Taking a cue from the SPH CEO and former general, and the Senior Minister of State and Son of Punggol, shouldn’t Singaporeans be the ones to take umbrage and feel aghast at some of the things that are going on (or going wrong!) in this country?