In “Chicken culling issue raises need for more awareness”, the article clearly stated “The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) killed 24 free-roaming chickens in Sin Ming after residents made 20 noise complaints last year”.
But 10 days later, while it was flipping prata, it dawned on AVA that 20 noise complaints wasn’t good enough a reason to cull 24 junglefowls; the official reason for the culling is now changed to “health and safety concerns”. (“Free-roaming chickens culled due to health and safety concerns, not noise: AVA”, dated 13 February) link
Didn’t AVA earlier state the reason for culling as “after residents made 20 noise complaints last year”? Or were our 154th media journalists so hard of hearing that EVERYONE of them had misunderstood AVA?
AVA Dir-Gen Dr Yap Him Hoo can’t suka suka amend AVA’s media statements as if he had made a mistake in a Watsapp message to his friend. Taxpayers are his paymasters, not his friends.
Without any clarification, many will perceive AVA as untrustworthy because it has lied. (Yap has the blessings of AVA and as such, it is AVA that has lied)
Yap did not even bother to clarify with the public how the ‘mistake’ came about; Yap only wrote a letter to Today, addressing the issue to “Voices writers” who had lambasted AVA for its stupidity.
Yap should again be reminded that taxpayers are his paymasters, not only “Voices writers”.
By repeatedly stating it culled “free-roaming chickens” – not Red Junglefowls – AVA is merely attempting to drum into the public that it had not mistakenly culled the endangered species.
AVA should acknowledge its mistake in order for the organisation to move on.
AVA could redeem itself by taking the following actions:
1 Inform the media that its board had earlier made a mistake and would like to retract its original version of the culling.
2 Disclose internal documented correspondence to confirm the reason for culling is really due to “health and safety concerns”.
3 Acknowledge its mistake, ie it had culled junglefowls, not “free-roaming chickens”.
AVA must not forget it exists to serve the public and flipping prata is not part of its service.
The onus is on AVA to come clean and not drag this issue any further. Or the ‘liar’ label may just stick.