In a Facebook post written on 30 June 2021, PSP’s Dr Tan Cheng Bock responded to recent news about MOH debunking claims of the mRNA vaccinations being dangerous for the youths. He pointed out the dismissive nature of the statements form MOH.
“Let me on the outset say that it is important for the health authorities to dispel myths, unfounded suspicions and conspiracy theories that appear to emanate from ‘professional sources’. Layman place their trust on credentials and do not have the bandwidth to critically analyse supposed ‘scientific’ information. So we need trusted and learned sources to tell the public what they ought to believe or reject.
But how you say things is as important as what you say. Trusted sources of information can better win over opposing views if they do not come across as dismissive or arrogant. After all, a gentle answer turns away wrath.”
– Tan Cheng Bock
He then recognized that the doctors who were faulted for “spreading misinformation” had good intentions. They cared enough to voice out their fears and concerns to the public, “out of a sense of obligation to their medical oath”. Granted, they may not have had the data to work with, but can we blame them if all the health authorities only keep silencing them and making fun of them?
As what Tan Cheng Bock suggests, MOH should dedicate a platform “for medical professionals and health scientists to raise topics of concern”. This is for the good of Singaporeans, we all deserve to know the “facts” that MOH keep pushing, and how they derived at the facts. They need to stop treating Singaporeans as stupid, and bring us into their conversations!
“Not every alternate perspective should be dismissed as an attempt to spread misinformation or conspiracy theories. Medical professionals deserve a safe and welcoming space to discuss these issues so that alternate views receive a fair hearing, and if necessary, be robustly rebutted. “
– Tan Cheng Bock