PM Lee Pleasantly Surprised To Read US Article On Safe Distancing Ambassadors, Says It’s A Difficult Job

Since April, you’ve seen them around in their red polo T-shirts.

When they pass by, you may adjust your mask, checking to see if it’s properly worn.

They’re our safe distancing ambassadors (SDAs), and they’re apparently so unique a job position that the Los Angeles Times has seen fit to write about them.

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was “pleasantly surprised” to read the article, posting on Facebook that our SDA play an important role in keeping Singapore safe.

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He also said he’s grateful that Singaporeans “by and large” have cooperated with SDAs in their work.

LA Times article describes experiences of SDAs

The article by the LA Times, published on 19 Nov, claimed that our SDAs were nicknamed Singapore’s “Red Ants” or “Red Army”.

Relating the experiences of SDAs, it also noted how they’ve had unpleasant encounters with people when they were just trying to enforce the rules.

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It described how a National Parks Board (NParks) officer was stabbed when he was trying to enforce the mask-wearing rules.

The article also interviewed Singaporeans who’ve said they felt compelled to comply with the rules when they see an SDA out and about.

PM Lee acknowledges difficult job of SDAs

Sharing the article on his Facebook page, PM Lee called it an “outsider’s perpective” on the job of SDAs.

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He acknowledged that SDAs have a “difficult job” in ensuring that safe distancing measures are followed.

He also knows that many SDAs have experienced “unpleasant encounters” with people in the course of their work.

Thus, he advised the public not to take offence when an SDA reminds you to wear a mask, or keep a safe distance from a stranger in public.

PM Lee grateful that Singaporeans have cooperated

However, Mr Lee said most Singaporeans have cooperated and complied with the rules.

He’s grateful for that, as that has kept us all safe.

And of course, that’s also down to the important role of our SDAs in keeping Singapore safe.

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That’s a shining endorsement of their jobs if we ever saw one.

PM Lee says Singapore’s situation is under control

While Mr Lee said Singapore’s situation is “under control”, he also seemed to warn that we shouldn’t become complacent.

As Covid-19 is still actively spreading in many countries around the world, Singapore is trying to reopen its borders — meaning there’s always a chance the virus could make a comeback here.

As the LA Times article said, we’re an international hub for finance, trade and tourism, so it goes without saying that we still have to open our borders.

So, Mr Lee urged Singapore to keep up the good work amid the high stakes involved.

Encouragement for our SDAs

Our SDAs have certainly done a good job in ensuring that safe distancing rules are being followed, and have contributed in no small way to our life getting close to normal amid a global pandemic.

It’s no small feat that even a newspaper from as far away as the United States has recognised their importance enough to do a feature on them.

Now, the encouragement from PM Lee will hopefully provide the push they need to go about their jobs with confidence and exuberance.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.