Photo of Vivian Balakrishnan form Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Nearly 40,000 Singaporeans have signed a petition to protest against the ruling party dictatorship government against a compulsory wearable electronic tag.

PAP Minister Vivian Balakrishnan had earlier said he will make it compulsory for Singaporeans to wear the tags wherever they go, in the name of assisting contact tracing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Singaporeans however expressed distrust against the PAP minister’s promises, worried that they may be wrongly penalised and suspected for crimes committed by others. The public also raised concerns that an electronic tagging, normally used on repeat offenders, is also an invasion of personal privacy.

The movement tracing device will log data of a person’s whereabouts and it can be accessed by all government agencies like the Singapore Police.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan came out with the idea of using a wearable device, after admitting that the government’s official contact tracing app TraceTogether is a failure.

There has been only 1.8 million downloads, a severe shortfall of the 4.8 million target the government set. The minister admitted that the app will not work if there is not at least 75% of the population using it.

Government agency GovTech today told the media that only 450,000 users have updated the application. The new update require Singaporeans to key in their NRIC number, mobile phone number and other personal information.