Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Geylang Serai Temporary Hawker Centre Indian Rojak Mass Food Poisoning- The Lesson for Singapore and Singaporeans

On the heels of the infamous Geylang Serai Indian rojak mass food poisoning, some Singaporeans are quick to lambast the relevant authorities for its lax control on the hygiene standards of the temporary markets and hawker centres, which was exemplified in the capture of 122 rats in the vicinity of the Geylang Serai market.

These Singaporeans are quick to shift the buck to the local authorities for failing to ensure the cleanliness and hygienic standards of the Geylang Serai market. Even the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Yaccob was blamed in the internet world. But are the Minister and his authorities to blame for this latest tragedy, which has claimed 3 lives (including a foetus)?

In my most personal and humble opinion, the real culprit behind this latest episode is GLOBALISATION. Let me explain why:

In the past kampong days of Singapore, when there were lots of mobile make-shift stalls, barring those extensive transgressions of hygienic food handling, many Singaporeans had higher immunities to viruses and bacteria. Thus even in those days when the standards of food handling were not as good as the present, people seldom fall sick from eating the food then.

With globalization, medicine advanced and the current century witnessed lots of people around the globe snacking on vitamins and processed human foods, this inevitably caused the immunity of human beings to be greatly weakened.

Globalization brings about industrialization and modernization and subsequently great deal of pollution is generated by humans. Global warming, which subsequently arises, depletes the ozone layer and together with pollution, brings in thousands of viruses, some mutated and many others from the universe into contact with human beings and animals.

With reduced immunity of the animals and humans, and the increased variations of bacteria and viruses, it is inevident that in this era, people and animals are getting weaker and inherit all forms of strange diseases.

Mad cow diseases and chicken flu are just some of the more commonly seen new viruses impacting animals and man.

The health of Singaporeans generally is on the decline these days for reasons unknown (but which I would attribute in part to globalization). Take for example, young and fit Singaporeans, with no known history of illness, can suddenly drop dead! And who could deny the fact that many Singaporeans these days are balding?

Thus lets have a more macro and comprehensive insight into the latest massive food poisoning incident when we want to hold who should be accountable. Yes, the local authorities and the Indian Rojak seller may have some roles to play in this latest tragedy, but we must not forget the fact that our body immunities as a result of globalization have indeed taken a plunge since the primitive days, this is the lesson for Singapore and Singaporeans to take note of and it underscores the message for us to exercise and keep fit regularly to boost our immune systems.

1 comment :

qa said...

It could be that at those times there were also food poisoning but people take that as normal part and parcel of life.

And I guess doctors don't have to report that to the authorities. Maybe newspapers did not publish the news because they were not aware of it or they didn't think it not news worthy.

And don't forget people also had shorter life span at that time and some might have died from food poisoning.

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