“If you were a poor person, anywhere on this planet, Singapore is the one place where you will have a roof over your head, where you will have food on the table. Even if you can’t afford it, we will have meals delivered to you. You will get healthcare.”
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan
Sounds very appealing and believable? It was. Till news channel Al Jazeera reported on the homelessness situation in Singapore, highlighted by The Online Citizen (TOC).
Subsequently, after this video was aired, Al Jazeera was dropped from Singtel mio TV, which gave all kind of reasons for it’s decision.
This lead many people to suspect that Al Jazeera was dropped because it showed the ugly side of Singapore, which the PAP believes shouldn’t exist in this supposedly ‘world-class’ city and strives hard to conceal all kinds of problems, from homelessness to prostitution from the world.
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, in Parliament on Tuesday shot himself in the foot when suggesting why Al Jazeera was dropped. He slammed both Al Jazeera and TOC, without even mentioning the latter:
‘This is a clear example where a foreign media has failed to ascertain the facts. Some irresponsible websites have also caused these falsehoods to circulate widely on the internet. Now that the facts are out, let us see whether those who have been propagating these falsehoods have the courage and the honesty to set the record straight.’
What he failed to mention was, Al Jazeera had invited him to respond to the claims made in the report – twice. And on both occasions, Dr Balakrishnan rejected them.
TOC, on its part, has also responded to Dr Balakrishnan’s accusations. You can read their reply here.
I puzzled with Dr Balakrishnan flip-flop comments. On one hand, he claims the Government is more than willing to help anyone in need, but on the other hand, he refuses to find out why a couple, who can afford a flat, choose to live out on the streets.
I urge you, Dr Balakrishnan, to tell the public the truth and the real story. Before you lose whatever credibility you have left.