Singapore — For someone well-known to be a strong supporter of the Government, former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng has been vocal in his criticism of late. This time it is about the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Mr Cheng, in a series of Facebook posts beginning on Saturday (Jan 2), compared Singapore’s vaccine rollout to that of Israel, which he said was “leading the race in vaccinations”.
He added that while the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Dubai, China and India have already started with vaccines for the general population, Singapore will begin to do so only next month.
“Too slow,” he wrote.
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A post the following day was even more strongly-worded, calling the Government’s choice not to spend more in securing early vaccines a “mistake”.
“We need our population to be vaccinated so we can return to normal, open our borders. Lift domestic restrictions.
“Instead of spending money on vaccinations, we built a huge ‘prison’ near airport so people can fly in to meet Singaporean residents behind plastic screens. Only idiots will come.”
In the same post, he added: “Too much dithering. We are not the gold standard. Silver at most.”
Later that day, he put up another post, calling on “scientists and the Government” to “stop dithering”.
On Monday (Jan 4), Mr Cheng commented in several posts on the updates in Parliament concerning the Covid-19 situation given by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, pointing out that only 40 individuals in Singapore had received the vaccine.
“Our months of preparation only allowed us to vaccinate 40 persons by the end of last year?
“That’s comedy,” he said.
Mr Cheng even suggested: “I hope opposition MPs and backbencher PAP MPs will ask these questions.
“Because from my vantage point, 40 persons vaccinated by Dec 31 2020, compared to what Israel has achieved (and even UK and US), is a complete joke.”
In his final post about the vaccine rollout on Monday evening, Mr Cheng called on readers not to be blind supporters of the Government.
“If Singapore were leading the vaccination race, the PAP ultras would be shouting this from the mountain top, about how amazing we are.
“Now that we have been proven to be slow, and VERY SLOW, they turn up in droves and give stupid excuses that even the Government isn’t giving.”
While the Health Minister has said that the high demand for vaccines around the world has meant that Singapore has only been able to obtain a limited supply, the former NMP asked how is it that other countries have been able to both obtain more supplies and quickly vaccinate many people.
“These are FAIR questions,” he said.
“Don’t be a blind supporter. Our Government has done well in some things and not so well in others.
“When they have seemingly underperformed — like only vaccinating 40 persons when others have done a million — it is our responsibility to ASK QUESTIONS.
“Not make stupid excuses.” /TISG