Below is Chandramohan’s open letter to PM Lee posted on Facebook.
Dear Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong,
The objective of this article is to highlight the incompetency in handling the COVID-19 by your team of leaders. The word, “leaders” in this article is referring to your consultants, parliament members, ministers and yourself involved in the handling of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore.
Firstly, the initial message given to the public:
“DO NOT WEAR A MASK IF YOU ARE WELL” – this is an absolute no brainer statement made.
Please refer to the MOH link dated 29 Jan 2020, for evidence
Please refer to the MOH link dated 4 Feb 2020 V3, for evidence
I am an average common man. Through my friends in China, I came to know that wearing a mask is critical to protect ourselves from this disease. At that time, it is already known that the virus can be spread to another person before the infected person realises that they have the virus.
Please refer to the MOH Link dated 3 Feb 2020, Read point 20.
Even though this form of transmission is uncommon according to MOH, what did the government do to mitigate the threat effectively.
The government advised its citizens to wear a mask only if they were displaying symptoms associated with Covid-19. Rather than to make it mandatory for the whole population, only a weak advice was given. Many people do not heed this advice whether it be due to a lack of masks –most masks were obtained via personal expenses at the time- or due to other reasons. With many individuals not heeding this advice, the rampant spread of Covid-19 occurred. Masks were only made mandatory for all on the 14th of April as announced by Minister for national Development, Mr Lawrence Wong. Due to the delay in implementing a strict regulation of wearing masks in public, the number of cases had seen a spike from 596 cases on the 19th of April to 1426 on the 20th of April. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) most Covid-19 cases have an average of 5-6 days before the onset of symptoms with the longest being up to 14 days. The delay in implementing mandatory usage of masks in the public has led to such a rampant spread in the Covid-19. How could the leaders lack such common sense that the lack of mask usage would lead to the spread of the virus.
With my little common sense, I made arrangements and shipped in surgical masks from Portugal and N95 masks from USA. I started to receive the masks on 17 February onwards.
I gave the surgical and N95 mask to my parents and asked them to use it together with hand sanitisers. My sister and myself also lectured to my parents on the importance of using face masks and hand sanitiser along with frequent hand washing. Both my parents work together and live together.
My parents have their own shop in Singapore shopping centre. I even told my father in early march to close his shop until the situation gets better.
My mother took my advice and religiously used the face mask along with hand sanitisers. However, my father trusted our governments stand on “Do not wear a mask if you are well”. Almost every week I met him and told him to use the facemask but he kept telling me that he is well and so there was no need to wear it. At times, he just wore it to please me in my presence and once I left the shop, he would remove it.
Unfortunately, my father started feeling unwell on 5 April 2020. From 5 April, my father started to wear a mask. He followed the government advise. On the 6 April he consulted the Doctor for his fever. There was no other symptoms. Doctor suspected he is likely to have normal flu. The fever didn’t stop even with medication, so on 7 April, my mother brough my father to the same doctor. Again, there was no other symptoms expect the fever. The doctor told my parents to monitor closely. Later in the afternoon he developed very high fever, above 39 degrees Celsius. My mother immediately brought him to TTSH A&E. From the X Ray report there was a slight inflammation in the lungs, and was admitted for pneumonia in TTSH. On 8 April morning about 5 am, I received a call from the hospital, “My father is COVID-19 positive, and he is transferred to NCID”. There he succumbed to COVID-19 on the 27 April 2020.
For more details refer to The Straits Times Link
If the PAP government have not made such an incompetent statement “DO NOT WEAR A MASK IF YOU ARE WELL”, may be my father is alive today.
If my father did not trust the PAP government advice on this matter, may be he is alive today.
The last words from my father before he when into the ventilator
To my mother “It is better to die”
When I called to find out why he said that. He told me “He cannot take it. It is causing him a lot of discomfort and suffering”
His suffering is still haunting me.
Another, critical area of incompetency was in Feb 2020, we all are aware about the 5 Bangladesh workers from Seletar Aerospace Heights construction site were infected with COVID-19.
Don’t your leaders know these workers might go to Mustafa Centre?
Don’t your leaders know they live in overcrowded communal living spaces?
Don’t your leaders know they socialise on Sundays in densely populated are with fellow workers from different living space across the island?
Don’t your leaders know this will link to many living spaces across our country?
As a common man, I could only list the above few. I am sure many more details have to be mitigated to prevent a disaster.
What was the immediate action taken to mitigate the disaster we are in now? If your leaders responsibly mitigated every element of threat seriously, we wouldn’t be in this situation now. Maybe my father is alive now. Next to Singapore Shopping centre where my father has a shop is the 9 Penang lane cluster.
Please refer to the MOH Link dated 12 April 2020, for evidence.
Please refer to the MOH Link, showing case 1647 was confirm on 8 April 2020.
Many of construction workers patronise my father’s shop for drinks and snacks. My mother who works with my father told me, many of the workers bought lots of paracetamol on the last 1 week of his business. Hence, I highly suspect my father would have contracted it from one of them. Although our incompetent team still have not established a link to my father in its website.
Please refer to the MOH Link, showing case #1595, which is my fathers, still showing blank for link.
1. if the PAP government have not made an incompetent statement “DO NOT WEAR A MASK IF YOU ARE WELL”
2. address the first few cases of Bangladeshi workers seriously in detail and mitigate all treats.
If the COVID-19 situation was handled with competency right from day one, we would not have to waste $93 billion. This is the citizens hard-earned money.
Please refer to the link for the amount of Singaporean money wasted.
It clearly shows, some of the leaders in the PAP government are incompetent in handling the COVID-19 situation. Which leads more than 43,000 people infected, and cost the public a lot of pain, stress as well as $93 billion lost to cushion the damage caused by the rampant spread of Covid-19 to the nation. I am not saying you could have saved it all, but you could have made the situation a lot better and spent much less if you had done the right thing with foresight.
In a private sector, if someone made an irrevocable mistake that leads to a few billion dollars lost, he or she would have been fired immediately. In the army, if an officer made a terrible mistake, he or she would be sacked or reprimanded and when the contract term ends, he or she will not be re-contracted.
Why can the following countries do better?
Are their leader betters than ours?
Where is the accountability and ownership among our leaders? Was anyone responsible fired or asked to step down?
I am not expecting a response to this article. I just hope you can employ the best person for the job. So that our country will not suffer from such situations again. There will be other challenges in the future for which we will need the best leaders in the world. I sincerely hope you can think like Mr Lee Kuan Yew.