by Joseph Nathan
If children can understand that with greater power comes greater responsibility, then why can’t the 4G People’s Action Party (PAP) politicians in parliament understand or at least be as smart as our children?
Just because someone saw a need to empower Safety Ambassadors to carry out checks without the need of a warrant, a bill was rushed in parliament and it is now causing serious tension between Singaporeans.
In a video that was circulated on social media by a Nick Mikhail, who questioned why officers were allowed to enter his home without a warrant or a court order, we can see at least six officers in the living room while his wife was all alone at home.
What is troubling was that the Ministry of National Development (MND) was more interested in defending its right to enforce an ill-conceived regulation rather than looking at the glaring oversight from the health perspective.
As we are in the middle of a serious community outbreak, why didn’t anyone in MND or Ministry of Health (MOH) realize that every officer that enters the house will inevitably increase the probability of passing the dreadful virus to those residing in that house.
Is there really a need to be fielding so many officers in this instance?
Where are the health safety protocols to protect the average Singaporeans from the increased risks of being infected or reinfected in such instance?
For goodness sake, why can’t the executional protocols be clear and specific so that the rest of the officers can wait outside while one or two officers seek cooperation from the lady without intimidating her needlessly?
This shows not only how badly policy and legislations are being formulated or enacted these days but also the lack of clear executional protocols needed to safeguard public interest and the well-being of our frontline officers and workers.
Yet when the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was expected to be checking on premises with higher risks of breaching safety regulations and measures like KTVs, their minister cited some lame excuses that our enforcement officers were too stretched and could not conduct sufficient checks on KTVs, which led to the recent outbreak.
Seriously, how long more must Singaporeans tolerate such complacency and arrogance before those ministers entrusted with these responsibilities learn to take their responsibility more seriously?
It is in instances like this that l truly feel sorry for our frontline civil servants, including our Safety Ambassadors, who like many other fellow Singaporeans, are merely struggling to put food on the table.
Rights to question
It is not their fault that this stupid legislation lacks clarity and justification, and increases the risks of misunderstanding and confrontation when enforced.
To make matters worse, someone in parliament forget that there are no photographs on the badges of Safety Ambassadors.
As such, shouldn’t the public have a right to question or should they just comply blindly with this ill-conceived legislative power and allow any Tom, Dick or Harry to enter their house just because they have a badge?
Re-balancing a flawed regulation
It is even more sad when frontline officers gets verbally abused or physical assaulted, or when well-tempered individuals loses their composure in the heat of the moment and gets charged.
Surely this legislation was not intended to cause mistrust or divide us as a nation right?
This begets a question – why must our frontline officers and those unfortunate individuals end up being victims of ill-conceived legislation while those who are entrusted with these responsibilities get away scot-free?
To make matters worse, those very politicians who had consistently failed us even have the audacity to put all the blame on Singaporeans for being non-cooperative or being hard to pleased, really?
Singaporeans need to be aware of these legislative discrepancies and help one another forward and stay united.
More importantly, we need to raise up these discrepancies so that both our frontliners and fellow Singaporeans will not be inconvenienced by it, presuming that those politicians will take the initiative to right all the wrongs.
Check & balance
Here is another dilemma – should we report these discrepancies to the minister for Home Affairs or should we raise it up to the Law Minister?
Can the check and balance in the Executive System of our government remains functional when a single politician holds two conflicting portfolio?
If we were ever to have a rogue minister holding these two key portfolios concurrently, then that rogue Minister can easily bring any law or legislation into effect whenever he or she desires more legislative power to control the people like puppets.
Importance of staying united
If those politicians in parliament keep having the audacity to consistently fail us without any sense of remorse, then Singaporeans must assume the responsibility to help one another until the next General Election comes around so that we can do what is right and avoid hurting one another.
Yes, Singaporeans must help one another and stay united as we find ways to clear out those deadwood from our parliament.
In instance like this, l do wonder if we Singaporeans still believe that Singapore deserves better.
This was first published on Joseph Nathan‘s Facebook page, and reproduced with permission.