According to ST, the Health Minister now gets to close shopping centers, take over private hospitals and arrest suspects without warrant when there is a very serious health threat.
Maybe it makes sense to close shopping centers and maybe there is a rationale for taking over private hospitals (maybe the gahmen manages them better?). But health threats and arresting suspects? Maybe I'm being excessively bimbotic again, but what suspects? Viruses and bacteria? Or in the words of some MIW, super infectors? Or terrorist suspects who might be using stuff like anthrax (in which case there's always the ISA)?
But never mind. Trust our ministers. Trust our ministers for whom a single lapse (or perhaps more) MUST be forgiven.
"[T[he minister [Mr. Khaw Boon Wan] promised not to be trigger-happy: 'We know that these are drastic measures and we will use them only when absolutely necessary.'"
Yeah, it's the same old story every time the gahmen takes sweeping measures to increase its powers: we must trust that they will not abuse their power.
"Besides, there are safeguards, he added. A public health emergency can last for only 14 days unless renewed.
The public must be told and the minister has to justify his decision to Parliament, which can annul his order if the House is not convinced.
However, the strongest deterrent, he said, is the fear that crying wolf could damage the ministry's credibility, so people will not react when a real emergency occurs."
Really? Well, if the people don't react, you can always blame them. Just like how you could blame the people for being complacent and thus allowing Mas Selamat to escape. Then you would again have the chance to showcase your exemplary leadership abilities.
Meanwhile, let's just trust the gahmen.
And never forget this: when there's a serious "lapse" in a ministry, ministers must not be told to resign. We know how rare these talents are. If we tell ministers to resign over mistakes, maybe there won't be any left. Maybe the first to go would have to be that one who thought that graduate peasants were more fit to have children than lowly educated peasants.