Don't mindlessly question Govt

Mr Dillon Lim's notion that "an essential part of any democracy is the accountability of the government" is questionable (Singaporeans mustn't be afraid to voice opinions; Feb 22).

When the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak hit Singapore, how could the authorities have been held accountable if the disease was totally new and mysterious at the time?

Mr Lim also says that a democracy involves people questioning the decisions that the government makes. But once again, in the case of Sars, it is unreasonable to do so, as no one had any understanding of the disease.

In a democracy, merely exercising one's freedom to question the government is not enough. One also has the responsibility of finding a sound basis to fault the authorities. Let us not apply our freedom mindlessly.

Phillip Tan Fong Lip

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2018, with the headline 'Don't mindlessly question Govt'. Print Edition | Subscribe