Sunday, July 06, 2008

Blame Game

I am flabbergasted. Quite obviously, Singapore mobilised whatever resource it had: the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) that involved its personnel and craft, Singapore Police Coast Guard, Republic of Singapore Navy and Raffles Marina. Yet for all these effort, the sister of Levin Angsana, Hannah, went on television to blame these same agencies for not being able to save her brother, who drowned off the seas around Raffles Marina while sailing with his team mates and friends from the SMU, where Levin was studying.

She said on Channel NewsAsia that "...More precautions (sic) could have been taken. Further, rescue measures that could have been done in time were not. The Singapore naval divers were not activated fast enough. They arrived after dark. The fact that my brother could not swim and was not wearing a life vest at the point of the accident showed safety was not a priority." This same report was also broadcast on its evening News as 9.30pm, where I first caught this incredible display of blame everyone but... 

Well, lady, tell that to your dead brother, pleeeze. Nobody was wearing a life-vest then, and nobody knew that he could not swim. And according to what I understand, her brother wasn't a rank amateur. He had reportedly obtained a Class 1 sailing licence last year, which was a requirement before he could sail. With this licence, it meant that he could "sail solo and swim for up to 50 metres in open water while wearing a life jacket". Either her sister is correct about him not being able to swim, or Levin managed to fool his assessors.

Singapore always does its best to help those in distress, whether the person is a Singaporean, Permanent Resident or Foreigner. But it isn't an all-knowing and almighty God. That our Navy divers were willing to go into pitch dark waters tells you the lengths they will go to search for and hopefully, save a person. But Hannah cannot appreciate this and literally blamed everyone except her own brother. While we sympathise with her and her family for the loss of a loved one, the rest of Singapore cannot be held accountable for his unfortunate and accidental death, even if the waters which claimed his life belonged to Singapore. I shudder to think if the waters belonged to Malaysia. Then perhaps she would vent her spiel at the Malaysian waters for swallowing up her brother and for the Royal Malaysian Police to have taken its own sweet time with the rescue effort. In any case, the Malaysians were also putting in effort in the search, so why didn't she blame them too?

 

Image source: morgueFile.com. Author: Dani Simmonds

11 comments :

Anonymous said...

2nd stage of grief: anger

Anonymous said...

it doesnt take long for a person to drown.

so even if NDU or whoever was deployed immediately, it wouldnt make a difference

stop the blaming game please.
if anyone is to be blame.... it really is the victim himself.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see any 'blame game' on Hannah's explanation, that's her anger and surely to say if this incident happen to your love one, you will give that similar statements, remember Hannah was there at the sea side for the whole evening at Malaysia side and Singapore side.
Keep your best Hannah Angsana, no need to listen to those 'chicken'
May God Bless You and Rsert in Peace Levin Angsana.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Blogger,
I chanced upon your blog when i googled my late cousin's name. You're insensitive with your choice of words. (E.g Well, lady, tell that to your dead brother, pleeeze.) In my PERSONAL opinion. Just to let you know, yes, I'm thankful for the help that was received. Yes, it wouldnt make a difference if the rescue came immediately. But you weren't at the scene. You knew NOTHING of what was happening. You didn't know what was said there. Let me give you one (Just wait for the body to float) that was said by some of the people there. As a family member, imagine how will you feel. What if the person was your father? Our own family had to seek permission from the Malaysian authorities. Why?
Through this whole incident, we just hoped that no such occurance will happen again. Though you're a loyal true blue Singaporean, please put youself in our shoes before posting such unnecessary remarks.

Epilogos said...

Such 'unnecessary' remarks were made after I saw Hannah's 'performance' on free-to-air TV blaming everyone about their less than satisfactory response to the rescue effort. Yes, I wasn't at the scene, but so where half a million Singaporeans who tuned in to the 9.30pm News to see Hannah vent her spiel. They weren't at the scene either. Obviously I don't know what actually happened at the scene, but so where half a million Singaporeans. The TV media is such a powerful one that it leaves an indelible impression in people's minds. I, and thousands like me, form our impressions from what we hear and read.

If this impression is a negative one, then you have to ask, 'Is it true (what Hannah said on TV)?' If it is, then the would-be rescuers and/or by-standers deserve to be rebuked. If it isn't, then people have a right to rebut. Some would say that the truth is somewhere in between. There may have been some insensitive remarks passed on the scene then (I am taking your word for it, as I am taking what I read in the newspapers and what I saw on TV for theirs), but do you need to drag down everyone with whoever made those remarks? Unless you are saying that everybody there made insensitive remarks, which would be a scandal deserving of the greatest condemnation and a shame to all Singaporeans.

But somehow, knowing Singaporeans, and being a Singaporean myself, I don't think it was that simple but Hannah's remarks portrayed the whole incident as nothing but.

If I have hurt feelings, I apologise. But that doesn't give anyone the right to mow down everyone else, especially on public TV.

Anonymous said...

How about if I tell you now that although the navy divers were there on scene on the first night, they couldn't go as near as soaking their feet into the waters because hey, it was under Malaysian territory, we have to wait for their permission before we could dive in.

That was at least 3 hours after the incident. Of course we don't blame the navy divers, they have to follow instructions.

So did you hear the part where we had to go to Malaysia ourselves to seek the permission for Singaporean divers to dive in the following day? Did you hear the part where the Malaysian Maritime side told us "that one can be done, no problem. All Singapore side has to do is seek permission, in fact just inform us how many of them and where are they diving in" and did you hear about the part where the Malaysian Maritime authorities told us they didn't hear of any request for permission to dive in from MPA? Did you realise that while we get both sides on the phone with each other and all this was happening, my brother (or more like his body) was still stuck for what's already more than 10 hours somewhere under the sea?

Did anybody tell you that his body was found floating on Saturday not far from where he fell, in Singapore's water? Oh, that's right. Nobody did.

Well hello, MISTER, it's national television. Do you think any local press will take the risk and broadcast/publish all those accounts, putting Singapore government (specifically the MPA) in a questionable situation? Well wake up and smell the sea water.

My brother can swim for 50 m WITH a life jacket; he can trek water WITH a life jacket. THAT, Mr. "true blue Singaporean" is the requirement for anyone to have a Class 1 SAILING license. Having said that, how about I throw somebody, say you, into the open sea, have your boat slowly drift further away from you and see if you panic. The Class 1 Sailing License gives you the license to SAIL in the open waters, not to SWIM. If it doesn't make any sense to you, guess what, it-doesn't-make-any-sense-to-us-EITHER.

I'm not blaming you for speaking your mind in your little blog, but puh-lease, the things I said on national TV can be used against me the same way what you have said here can be used against you. And you don't even have the "privilege" of having your writings be edited and broadcasted so that it looks like you're a complete joke.

Because you have no idea how sorry we all are for not making sure he wears a life vest, or making sure he learns how to swim first... and so on, and so on. But it's all too late now, isn't it? and I can't just "tell that to [my] dead brother" now, can I? Trust me when I say this, we ALL wished we could tell him that now.

And what have you done other than falsely-accusing me of blaming everybody else but...?

Bond said...

Not much to say, but... it's funny that the greatest invention, such as internet, can make an ignorant monkey sounds important.

Who the hell is this blogger anyway? People like you were the reason I left the country.

Anonymous said...

What can you say of someone you don't know?

Did you know Hannah Angsana personally before you made that comment?

Did you consider that the same way you are stating your baseless comments was the same way Hannah was unfortunately portrayed by the media?

Whatever your reasons for writing that post, just bear in mind at the end of the day, there's a family who just lost their son. What they don't even want to contemplate right now is dealing with people who paint them in such an unfavorable light. Afterall, how would YOU feel if you were in their situation? You can say you'll be calm and rational right now, but when push comes to shove, you probably can't even handle the enormous magnitude of pain, grief and shock of what the Angsana family has had to go through.

Anonymous said...

Mr Blogger....
I think u're pathetic.
Things like this would happened to any of us, including YOU.
May u still got u're rational mind, that time.

And PS : I'm not Hannah, I'm just a person who thought that maybe u should go to a MORAL and ETHIC class.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't know the situation, please do some research before put up something so ignorant like this.

If there's something wrong with his sister's comment, then I don't think the MPA or the government or whoever has the authority, would like to required any water activity to wear a LIFE VEST now. Don't you think????

I'm not sure if this kind of treatment is "exclusive" to foreigner; but I'd really like to see how, any of the half a million Singaporeans who tuned in to the 9.30pm News to see Hannah vent her spiel, as you said, and agreeing with your so call "blaming game", react to this statement from the coast guard or diver that supposed to save life said, "Just wait 24 hours, and the body will float."
By then, we'll see how you will react. After this incident, the whole process, change my point of view of Singapore. I had this impression, Singapore is the "safety first" place in the world. But now, I know I'm wrong, Singapore is still the "safety first" place in the world, but maybe only and exclusively for Singaporean.

I'd really like to see what will happen if this incident was happening to Singaporean. How they will handle this, maybe they will only blame the deceased inability to swim.

DanielleDajerk said...

I think this blogger is really trying to say that... This is what Hannah should have said on national television after her brother's body was found...

"My brother is a moron. He should have learned to swim before he sailed. My brother is so irresponsible he didn't wear a life jacket and caused so much grief to my entire family.

I am very thankful that all the authorities have been so helpful that they let us go through the proper procedures step by step (on our own) on how Singapore divers can go into Malaysian waters. Now we know what to do the next time someone else in our family decides to go sailing without swimming skills drowns.

My father is glad God taught his son a lesson for not thinking about consequences before he acts."

Right Mr.Very-Clever-And-Righteous-Blogger?

Yes! I totally agree with you! Hannah the blamer... Tsk tsk...

Really everyone... The easiest way to get on with life is to blame the dead person.

The next time someone in your family dies... Blame them for their old age, disease or accident. It will really make you feel SO MUCH BETTER.

Trust this blogger.