1. On the stop work order and comparing with other countries
All I can say is that this argument is really weak and not at all well substantiated. May I direct you to the following links which are all meant for ADULTS:
- The stop work order policy by the Buildings Department in New York
- Singaporeans are not alone. China is also holding their leaders responsible to improve air quality because it has contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths and 25 million healthy years of life in China in 2010. They call it the "Airpocalyse"
- President Barak Obama on his vision for a Climate Action Plan
- Pollution Prevention and Environmental Management of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. It is clearly stated that environmental managers have the authority to stop work with immediate effect
- How the Tehran government reacted when they had severe air pollution: they immediately closed all schools, universities and government agencies for 2 days. They also stated clearly stated that banks will not be closed, not give some vague statement like there is no 'hard line' for stopping work.
What is Mr D trying to tell us, exactly? If anything, the Malaysian government HAS reacted to the hazardous conditions and by declaring a state of emergency, their government IS taking decisive, immediate action! When the air was choking the people, the Malaysian authorities did not hold meetings and conferences, suddenly establish an Inter-Agency Haze Committee and then proceed to tell the people not to be too fixated on the PSI. Are you seeing the difference here?
Finally, Mr D has failed to address the ministerial salary issue when asking Singaporeans to make comparisons with other countries. Has he forgotten that our leaders are the MOST highly paid in the WORLD? By that measure, it is NOT UNREASONABLE to expect more from them!
2. On the Preparedness of the Government
Please refer to this website again. It was reported that the Inter-Haze Committee was established AFTER the haze reached unhealthy levels. The guidelines were prepared in a hurry after the PSI hit critical levels. I can only assume Mr D does not understand the definition of the term "being prepared". One makes preparations BEFORE an event. Do you study for a test during the test? Do you prepare for your presentation after the presentation? Clearly, your idea about preparation is absurd!
|Preparation 101. Even squirrels know you store nuts BEFORE winter.|
The writer also failed to realize the following in his arguments:
- The 9 million masks in the armory is indeed a sign of preparation, but NOT for the haze! N95 masks can only last for a limited number of hours of continuous use, after which the masks will no longer filter effectively. This article here mentions that up to 8 hours of continuous use is a safe duration. Considerably longer usage of the mask will depend on conditions, with good function being maintained in clean, non-dusty environments (ie not in a haze). If the government had indeed prepared the 9 million masks for the haze like you claim, then you discredit them even more than the 'dumb' Singaporeans, because you, Mr D, are implying that our leaders cannot do simple math. 9 million masks for 5.3 million people in bad haze conditions? How long can the it last? How is this preparation for the haze? Therefore, there is only one logical conclusion. Nobody, not even the leaders, expected the haze to be the worst ever in Singapore, reaching extremely hazardous levels in such a short time.
- The haze is a yearly event, not like 'ponding/flooding' which is a 'once in 50 years' phenomenon, ok?
- Yes, most Singaporeans can afford to buy masks and yes the masks should go to those who urgently need them first. No one denies this. But the truth is the entire country's retail for masks and air purifiers are pretty much out of stock. Mr D must not have visited the pharmacies recently. Please tell me again how the government was prepared for this.
S has done a recent post on PSI vs PM2.5 and the confusing NEA website: you can find it here. The bottomline is this. We, the ordinary citizens of Singapore, are not statistics experts and air quality experts. That is why we rely on our leaders and experts at NEA to educate and communicate the information to the layman, to ensure that public health is protected. Mr D says we should just 'look outside the window' to determine how bad the haze is. By that measure, he is saying that NEA's measurements for air quality is only useful for blind people. Everyone else doesn't need it.
|The most useful tool for determining haze according to Mr D. NEA, are you offended?|
4. On "Singapore should do something to Indonesia"
No one denies that issues pertaining to foreign affairs are extremely complex. Whilst there are those who are naive on this, I believe Mr D has taken this 'inital reaction' of Singaporeans way too seriously. Hello?? Singaporeans are NOT asking for war!
After I read this section and your argument, I genuinely felt like banging my head against the wall.
To Mr D: Every society has a good side and an ugly side. You shamed Singaporeans who are deliberately profiteering from the masks (the ugly side) but failed to acknowledge the people who have taken proactive steps to collect and distribute masks on their own initiative (the good side). You failed to acknowledge the soldiers who have spent their weekend distributing masks. You failed to mention the appreciation that Singaporeans have shown to their countrymen for these selfless acts. You failed to mention the heroes who sent to put out the fires or seed the clouds. Why is your argument so one-sided? What is your agenda?
|Singapore is not a democracy according to the Democracy Index.|
P/S: Thanks to the 100k visitors to our blog over the last 3 days! For all you know, MDA may be regulating us soon... =P