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I am Singaporean XVI – Public Concern Template April 19, 2009

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. II.

So DPM Can’t Sing has mentioned that we bloggers also have a responsibility to “help ease public concerns should a terrorist attack occur,” acknowledging that the Internet also has the power to rapidly spread fear in a crisis.  Well, at least he acknowledged that we are viable, but why does he still assume that the blogosphere is all about distrust and panicmongering?  Fear of what?  Fear of the ineffectiveness of gahmen measures?  Fear that it’s so bad that we’re all going down?

Honestly, if things are that bad, then there shouldn’t be anything wrong in a factual account of what’s gone wrong.  But what Can’t Sing is trying to say is that we should ease public concerns.  How?  By trying to cultivate public trust in an organisation which is widely distrusted, especially amongst the younger generation and amongst people who have felt themselves being neglected by the Gahmen?  Allaying public fears also means that the public has to be convinced that someone is shouldering the responsibility for allowing the crisis to happen, and also for the aftermath.

The important question here to ask is: do we see this happening? Our leaders seem quite blame-averse.  They probably are responsible but in the public eye, we see blame being shifted onto the people (hygiene habits, complacency and the like), semantics (lesser mortals), other organisations, and outside forces (financial crisis.)  So will someone shoulder the responsibility during any crisis, if only just to assure the citizens that someone is willing to take up the mantle and deal with the issue at hand?

I mean, sure, the relevant organisations sprung into action.  But seeing ministers push the blame to everyone else except themselves is not particularly assuring.  Anyway, here’s a public concern template for the blogosphere to calm the people:

Fellow Citizens of Singapore!

As you are aware, Singapore has been struck by a (insert name of crisis here).  Answering the DPM’s call, I would like to tell you that someone is working on it.  Please, trust our leaders to lead us out of it, and don’t forget to express your thanks when we emerge from the mess, no matter how much hardship we have endured.  Please don’t blame our leaders for what’s happened – in the meantime, stay alert and DO NOT BE COMPLACENT!

Everyday life continues.  I suggest you move on as I have.




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