Photo of Chee Hong Tat from Ngau Kai Yan CNA

In his Facebook post yesterday (May 13), Senior Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat partnered with government news blog, Independent Sg (TISG), to defame a senior doctor from the National University of Health (NUH).

The PAP Minister is angry at Dr Paul Tambyah for making a comment at public forum criticisng the Singapore Ministry of Health. Dr Paul Tambyah said at the May Day forum:

“Even in my own field the junior doctors tell me this and I don’t know how true it is. They say that every time they complain about conditions in the public hospital, they are told, oh you know, complain lah, you know we can hire somebody from South or Southeast Asia who is willing to work for $3000 a month.

Government news blog TISG then misrepresented the senior doctor reporting in their article that the senior doctor was referring to his employer NUH. Dr Paul Tambyah highlighted in his Facebook page that TISG has misrepresented him and the government news blog edited their article accordingly.

Senior Minister Chee Hong Tat defended TISG in his Facebook post and charged that the doctor is lying and twisting words:

“It appears to me that TISG reported what Prof Tambyah said. How is this misrepresentation? Prof Tambyah did not explain in his FB post why he is upset with TISG… I find it disturbing that as a senior doctor, Prof Tambyah does not see anything wrong with this behaviour. He even tried to justify his actions by paraphrasing James Baldwin and claiming that he is doing the right thing. If Prof Tambyah was not sure if the allegations were true, as he stated in the video, then isn’t the right thing to first clarify the facts before pointing fingers at his colleagues in the public healthcare system who were not there to defend themselves?”

Senior Minister Chee Hong Tat has however refused to deny that foreign doctors practicing in Singapore are being paid only S$3,000 a month, and did not give any statistic how many foreign doctors are there in Singapore – except to say that “less than 4% are on the Temporary Registration scheme”.

The PAP Minister then wrote that Dr Paul Tambyah should report the matter to the MOH, censor himself and not reveal such criticisms by doctors in a public domain:

“Instead of clarifying the facts with the junior doctors or surfacing his concerns to the management, he chose to repeat unsubstantiated allegations at a public conference… If Prof Tambyah has specific details such as the names of the administrators and what exactly they said to the junior doctors, I welcome him to provide the information to Ministry of Health, Singapore. We will certainly look into the matter.”

You may read the PAP Minister’s Facebook post here.