Sunday, July 7, 2013

Online survey on Singapore's responses to the June 2013 haze

It's a nice coincidence that Singaporean Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen's assessment that our city-state "has learnt five key lessons from haze crisis" appears in today's Sunday Times (7 July 2013, pp 2-3).

The article helps frame the Senang Diri Haze Survey, which was uploaded yesterday.

If you have already shared your feedback: Thank you! Please help share the Haze Survey link:

Survey results will be published after the close of the poll in a week or so.

For the benefit of our overseas readers, including Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel attached to overseas detachments, the five lessons are:

1. The haze is a long-term issue that goes back as far as the 1970s. The difference now is the scale of the slash-and-burn practice when fires are lit by vast plantations.

2. Better early warning is needed to help Singov respond to future haze situations.

3. Information management can be improved upon.

4. The "Singapore System" is robust.

5. Singaporeans are resilient.

Extracts from the Suntimes story:

Singapore's Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen on health risks posed by the haze:
"We would like to tell Singaporeans: 'You know what your health risks are when you are exposed to so many hours (of haze)'... But the data, unfortunately, is not that precise... Experts tell us that when conditions worsen, please stay indoors... that is the best they can do.
"I think what people are doing - staying indoors, closing the doors, (using) fans, some using air purifiers - is the best that we can do on current evidence. Until somebody comes up with better studies to show that the risks actually are much more or much less, then we can calibrate it."

Why it took a while for the Government to announce its haze contingency plans:
"The plans were in place but we have to customise them to a specific threat. The fact that the haze went into unhealthy levels and we were able to activate masks, within a day or two, was a fairly quick response... This is in no way saying that we are satisfied with the response, we can always sharpen it... The fact that well over 80 per cent of Singaporeans polled said that Singapore would get through the haze, I think it's a measure of confidence in our system."

Whether Singapore can withstand a bigger crisis:
"I, personally, am gratified by the way Singaporeans have responded. There was a certain robustness in the systems, and more important than that, the way Singaporeans reached out to help one another... it tells us the level of trust and care that we have for one another, which is essential in any crisis.

"You can have the best-laid plans but if you don't have trust and care for one another, then you know it's each man for himself. So as long as we have that, I am confident that we can keep updating, keep strengthening..."


Sgcynic said...

"Why it took a while for the Government to announce its haze contingency plans:
The plans were in place but we have to custmise them to a specific threat."

Terrorist attack - yes. We can have a broad framwork and plans against a terrorist attack but need to "customise" them according to the nature of the attack (type of attack, place, weapons used, etc.).

Haze - no. Crap reason in a vain attempt to explain the total lack of preparation. Just hope we don't have to take two days to "customise" our defence against an enemy air, sea or ground assault.

Anonymous said...

NEH comments does not reflect the sentiments on the ground. I think the survey result and information is bias and unreliable.

Anonymous said...

NEH says what he has to say. even if it may not reflect the ground sentiment.

what do you expect him to say anyway?

That we singaporeans are cry baby, we are weak , we are incompetent of taking care of ourselves?

come on, even those flower pots will not do that.

afterall, everyone like to hear good words.

only LKY dare to shove it our face the hard truth.

Anonymous said...

To put things in perspective, the government knows that haze is a predictable annual event. What happened to the haze task force that was set up in 2005 to draw up and coordinate a national response among the government agencies? So what's with NEH's BS about "The plans were in place but we have to custmise them to a specific threat." Complacency. Incompetence. That's the hard truth to shove in their faces.

Anonymous said...

Predictable annual event?

I cant seem to recall the haze last year, or the year before and the year before the previous previous year.... blah blah blah...

so much for "predictable ANNUAL event"...

if it is so "predictable", how come singaporeans have to make last minute rush for the N95 mask?

we singaporeans must be pretty complacent (which I do agreed) and incompetent (which I don't agreed).

Anonymous said...

Yah , so must really dig the spurs into your mollycoddled hide.

Anonymous said...

So what did the previous haze task force do? Cho Bo Lan. PR only? Not incompetent? Definitely wayang lah! Singaporeans make last minute rush for N95? Yah lah, Leader make last minute rush to distribute stockpile leh. Leader no lead, people no confidence panic lah. Predictable one what.

sgcynic said...

If this doesn't convince you that this government is incompetent and complacent, what will it take? Lol

Anonymous said...

that website got tons of misinformation garbage.

For a start, those N95 mask are meant for medical personnel not because medical personnel are prone to haze or anything.

the N95 mask was in preparation for the potential outbreak of MERS in Singapore.

MERS is far worst than SARS, compare to SARS which have a fatality rate of under 10%, MERS has a fatality rate of over 55%.

our govt is worried like hell if MERS should hit us and is doing a lot of work in the background including stockpiling millions of N95 for frontline medical personnel.

HAZE wont kill you if you don't wear N95, but MERS will almost certainly kill you if you got infected.

we know HAZE will go away over time, MERS we will never know, we don't even know when it will hit our shores.

perhaps the HAZE is a blessing in disguise, now almost every household got a few N95 free or bought from market.

Anonymous said...

An your point is? Government was not prepared for haze. The stockpile originally thought was in anticipation of haze is NOT so. Thank you. Could have been more succint though.

Anonymous said...

Btw, what are the tons of misinformation? You have provided ZILCH to substantiate your claim.

sgcynic said...

"For a start, those N95 mask are meant for medical personnel not because medical personnel are prone to haze or anything."

Where in the article did Mr Leong provided anything to suggest that the masks are for medical personnel during haze??? Don't add to the haze!

Anonymous said...

What is all these complain about haze? The PM2.5 of a 24 hr API of 700+ would equal to about 1cigarette stick. Its more harmful to smoke or breath 2nd hand smoke.

Anonymous said...

Just imagine for a moment. 1cigarette equal API 700 for 24hour. 2cigarette or 3cigarette or a whole pack of cigarette everyday. The amount of damage it does to our lungs. Some one should propose to HPB to make a commercial against smoking using the PM2.5 index. That would really bring home the message. We even paid good money to pump those PM2.5 into our lungs.

Anonymous said...

Haze not enough. Throw smoke.

Anonymous said...

Haze too short where got shiok?

Smoke better, everyday can smoke.

Anonymous said...

Join the Party lah. They specialize.

Anonymous said...

no need KPKB.

no mask use bra.

its just as good, probably better, but watch out for women when using one.

warning: may lead to death and battering by female homo sapiens.

Anonymous said...

Slaughter the sacred cow parents!

sgcynic said...

Simply no excuse for such incompetence and complacency.

Anonymous said...

simply no excuse for such dishonesty and lack of integrity.

Anonymous said...

that website got tons of misinformation garbage.

Anonymous said...

I like the photo by squeaky hammer of mr low

Anonymous said...

Strawman, you know that you really shouldn't date red herring. Always come out early in the morning. Mother Sim will kpkb and the dogs will bark. Then I have to spank the bastards.

Anonymous said...

I Never did understand why Mr Lee want to plant tree every year until PSI went over 400.

I want to thank the Indonesians. the haze makes me appreciate the blue sky and white cloud which I have always taken for granted for far too long.

We Singapore citizen always like to take things for granted, I just hope we can learn to appreciate more of what we have then complain of what we should or shoulnt have.

thank you Mr lee.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the efforts of the minister Vivian to focus on clean politics and spend much time in Parliament on this. I will bear with the dengue epidemic which is at record levels despite it being only middle of the year. I hope he will find time to get back to the problem soon. When he's free, then perhaps he can finally explain the hundreds of millions in overspending at the YOG and the food poisoning of the volunteers which he promised to investigate and give a full accounting. I wish to thank Mr Goh Keng Swee who served Singaporeans with honesty, integrity and dedication and willingly retired despite his being able to continue serve.

Wong Hua Xing said...

I really thank the Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for apologising when we informed him about the hazardous smog we are suffering. But I am still angry with them as every year I have to miss at least one activity because of the stupid haze.

Wong Hua Sheng said...

So the Indonesian farmer name is Mr Lee rite?