Tan Chuan-Jin Hopes S’poreans Can Empathise With HIV Patients

Last Tuesday (22 Jan), the confidential information of some 14,200 HIV-positive patients were leaked online.

In light of this unfortunate incident, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin took to Facebook on Wednesday (30 Jan) urging Singaporeans to respect and empathise with individuals affected by the data leak.

Here’s his post in full, we also break it down for you after the jump.

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It’s how we respond that matters

Mr Tan sets the stage by laying out what he felt Singaporeans should be focusing on.

Instead of being solely concerned with the intentions of those responsible for the data leak, he urged Singaporeans to focus on more actionable matters.

In his words,

The more important question now is, what would we as Singaporeans do?

“Fearful and traumatised”

According to Mr Tan, HIV patients whose names were leaked are feeling “fearful and traumatised”, not so much by the disease they’re inflicted with, but by the responses of those around them.

But Mr Tan claims that these are feelings that he can relate to as a politician.

After all, political leaders like himself get “slammed, slimed and burned” all the time.

But this data leak is a different matter altogether due to the “potential real impact” it can have on people’s lives.

As such, he urged Singaporeans to be more “empathetic” and take a united stand against the ‘online hate’ that may potentially surface.

More importantly, Mr Tan hopes Singaporeans can be more tactful when responding to HIV patients “in person”.

Don’t drag unrelated issues “into the fray”

Mr Tan also reminded Singaporeans not to drag unrelated issues “into the fray”.

Unlike “early days” when knowledge about HIV/AIDS was lacking, our vast medical knowledge today allows us to fully comprehend the complexity of the disease.

As such, Mr Tan felt that it wasn’t the right time to discuss unrelated issues – especially opinions about whether one is “for or against LGBT” – out of respect for the victims.

Treat HIV patients like any other person

In conclusion, Mr Tan hopes Singaporeans treat HIV/AIDS patients like any other person they meet on the street,

Treat our fellow humans as fellow humans, with dignity and respect,  care and compassion.

He also urged Singaporeans to keep calm and support fellow Singaporeans affected by the disease.

Your support is needed more than ever

HIV is far less contagious than our regular cold, so there’s absolutely no reason for us to distance ourselves and isolate them.

We hope Singaporeans heed the advice of Mr Tan and support any Singaporeans affected by this data leak. After all, they need the support of their fellow countrymen, especially during these trying times.

Also read:

Ex-Poly Lecturer Behind HIV Data Leak Got Info From Former Lover Working At MOH

Featured image from Facebook.