No Ban on China Travellers to S’pore Yet; Shouldn’t ‘Overreact’ or Turn ‘Xenophobic’

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that a lot of people in Singapore and even Malaysia want the authorities to ban travellers from China.

Reason being? We are kiasi. There’s no other way to put it.

I mean just look at how queues are forming outside retail outlets to buy surgical masks and N95 masks.

And this was after the government said that there was no need to panic-buy masks because Singapore has a steady supply of it.

Now, there’s an online petition in Singapore to ban China travellers, and it has a whopping 92,000 signatures at the time of writing.


The petition is in the hopes of urging the government to temporarily stop Chinese nationals and travellers from China from arriving in Singapore.

The reason given is that we are a small and vulnerable city.

But it’s clear that the authorities are not having any of it.

No Ban on China Travellers to S’pore Yet; Shouldn’t ‘Overreact’ or Turn ‘Xenophobic’

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong reminded Singaporeans against “overreaction and xenophobia”.

He also added that a complete ban on travellers from China because of the Wuhan coronavirus “is not necessary at the moment”.

However, it’s worth noting that he did not completely take it out of consideration and emphasised that the government is doing “everything it can” to safeguard Singaporeans.

He said, “But this does not mean overreacting, or worse turning xenophobic. We must be proactive and rational in our response and base our actions on the available evidence and data.”

Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, deputy director of medical services at the health ministry said that there is no community spread of the virus detected thus far.

This means that the confirmed cases in Singapore were imported from overseas or because of very close contact with infected persons.

At the time of writing, there are currently five confirmed cases of the coronavirus here in Singapore and a total of more than 4,000 worldwide, while at least 106 people have died.

New Measures

Even though the government has not decided to ban China travellers, they have put into place a new set of safety measures.

These include but are not limited to increased border checks at airports such as temperature screening for incoming flights from affected countries, beyond just flights from China.

All in all, the authorities assure Singaporeans that we have a “robust” system and that they are currently doing their best to monitor the situation.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung also urges us to put ourselves in the shoes of China travellers.

“Imagine that at the height of Sars… other countries (decide) to get Singaporeans out of the country. We will become a target as well and can be hit hard. Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.”

Now that’s some truth.