Covid19: Josephine Teo Claims No Migrant Worker Has Demanded An Apology

In Parliament on 4 May, Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Anthea Ong asked Minister of Manpower (MOM) Josephine Teo if the government will apologise to the foreign workers for the Covid19 outbreak in many dormitories. Josephine Teo replied the foreigner workers have been focused on how the Singapore government can help them during this Covid19 pandemic. She further claimed "I have not come across one single migrant worker himself that has demanded an apology".

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Josephine Teo also said that the welfare of migrant workers was "on the radar" of MOM early in the year. Steps taken by MOM included telling dormitory operators to step up their vigilance and hygiene standards. Perhaps they need to get their radar checked.

Her remarks have been criticised by many netizens. There were some who felt there is no shame in apologising considering these workers have helped build many of Singapore's infrastructure. Others called out her lack of humility for thinking she did no wrong, and that an apology needs to be demanded before it can be given.

This incident also reminds some Singaporeans that the government seems to do no wrong. Even when they are wrong there should be no "blame culture", a term popularised by Minister of Health Gan Kim Yong over a Hepatitis C outbreak at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

It seems unlikely that any apology will be given.

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