I was taken aback and appalled when I read a quote made by PM Lee in the New Paper today regarding the tragic Jurong Shipyard accident. He said “My sympathies to all those injured in the Jurong Shipyard accident. It was a serious accident, BUT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE…”!
What the…??? How could he have said those words? And as a country’s leader too? What was his intention by adding those few unnecessary heartless words? Is it to tell the workers they should count themselves lucky it wasn’t worse? Gee, Thanks Prime Minister.
Many reasons can be cited as to why those extra words were added in his comment, such as perhaps to minimise blame. But still, did he not have any heart or good common sense as a Prime Minister not to say them even if they were crafted by an unthinking Corp Comms adviser and a kiasu ministry?
Seriously, an accident is still an accident and some 90 people were injured as the more than 1,000 workers scrambled to flee the tilting rig via ONE measly single-file gangway. Sembawang Marine, the GLC which owns the shipyard should have done much better in taking care of the workers’ safety by providing proper gangways for them. First there was the SMRT’s strike by unhappy PRC drivers living in cramped quarters and now Sembawang Marine’s accident. Are lowly paid workers worth so little that employers can’t invest more to give them better care?