18 September 2015

Trumpeting The Distribution Of Masks

Channel News Asia reported on 15 September that the People’s Action Party ("PAP") team which contested and lost in Aljunied GRC in GE 2015 distributed masks to residents, especially the under-privileged.

Mr Victor Lye, chairman of the Bedok Reservoir-Punggol Citizens' Consultative Committee, said: "Originally, we were going to do our thank you to our residents, but we noted the haze situation getting worse. In fact this morning, we found out it might be quite bad this evening.

"Thank goodness for the rain in the afternoon, but before the rains came, we felt that between saying thank you to people and doing what we believe in [pause] we decided to do what we believe. So we decided to go to our own divisions and take care of the people."

Do Good Quietly

There is nothing wrong with distributing masks when the skies are hazy and the PSI is in an unhealthy range. In fact, it is a good and commendable thing to do, especially if the person has to give up doing something else.

However, when a person wants to do a good deed, he should do it quietly. He should not announce it to the rest of Singapore via national television nor write about it on his Facebook page. Why should it be turned into a public relations exercise to promote himself?

The Media

Who summoned Channel News Asia to witness Mr Lye's distributing the masks?

Why did Channel News Asia consider the distribution of face masks to be news worthy?

Mr Lye is the defeated PAP candidate in Aljunied GRC in GE 2015.

Is Channel News Asia trying hard to raise Mr Lye's profile?

Would Channel News Asia similarly broadcast the distribution of masks by other PAP or Opposition candidates in GE 2015 or any other ordinary person?

For that matter, as I wrote in [Distributing N95 Masks Public Relations Exercise], why does the distribution of masks have to be turned into a public relations event, even if it involves the prime minister?[1]

Who Paid For Masks?

Mr Lye was pictured wearing a PAP badge as he distributed the mask.[2]

It's perfectly fine for him, as the defeated PAP candidate in Aljunied GRC, to do so if the masks were paid by PAP.

But if the masks were paid out of CCC moneys i.e., tax payers' moneys, I don't consider that it is appropriate for Mr Lye to wear the PAP badge when distributing the masks. Otherwise, recipients might get the wrong impression that the masks were funded by PAP and given to them by PAP. And would Bedok Reservoir-Punggol CCC object if any of its other volunteers wore a Workers' Party badge when distributing the masks?


Mr Lye seems to have taken Prime Minister Lee's words "winning GE 2021 starts now" to heart, perhaps a bit too much.


1. Now That's A Good Fit TODAY 17 Sep 2015.

2. LIYANA OTHMAN and OLIVIA SIONG Suppliers See Spike in Demand for Face Masks due to H Haze www.channelnewsasia.com 16 Sep 2015.


  1. good of you to take note. Citizen watch!

  2. Who knows if the PA spends more money through Mr. Lye, 70% will be swayed to vote for him in the next GE, in spite of the Workers Party good work in Al;junied. If Majority chose to be stupid, preferring turds...