SINGAPORE - Communications and Information Minister Josephine Teo on Friday (May 28) has slammed as crude an altered image of a dine-in area set up in Lower Delta Road for taxi drivers and delivery riders.
The banner in the image, which has been circulating online, was altered to say "Die-In Area" instead of the original "Dine-In Area".
Mrs Teo said on Facebook that she was alerted to the digitally altered image by grassroots leaders at Beo Crescent Residents' Network, which had worked with Jalan Besar Town Council to set up the dine-in area in a pavilion at Block 48A Lower Delta Road.
"The distorted wording is done in poor taste. What does the 'author' hope to achieve?" asked Mrs Teo, the Member of Parliament for Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward, where the designated area is located.
"Beo Crescent has a very popular market and hawker centre. The stallholders are having a hard time and need all the business they can get. They welcome taxi drivers and delivery riders."
She added: "So this 'author' thinks it is creative? Far from it. Please put your energies to better use. Even if you don't have the capacity to help others... don't spend your time and effort subtracting from it. They deserve better."
In a separate Facebook post, the Beo Crescent Residents' Network said it set up the dine-in area so that cabbies and delivery riders had a place to rest and eat amid the current heightened alert period.
With a ban on dining in at eateries and restaurants in place till June 13, public spaces such as void decks, pavilions and community centre function halls across the island have been turned into designated eating areas for essential workers such as cabbies, private-hire drivers and safe distancing ambassadors.
Malls and other private establishments have also carved out areas for these workers to rest and have their meals.
Said the Beo Crescent Residents' Network: "We are very disappointed that there are netizens who chose to ignore our good intentions and spread such falsehood during this period.
"We hope everyone can ignore the tampered picture and give more support to our local hawkers, taxi drivers and delivery riders who continue to serve the public."
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.