The usual turn of phrase is to say doing something good is no excuse for doing something bad. The context of his rumination was one blogger purportedly suggesting online that the supply of N95 masks was controlled by the Government (bad), and same blogger had distributed free masks to the community (good). Perhaps the Minister was suggesting the blogger was irresponsible for not making a profit by charging for those scarce N95 masks, which would have been more consistent with the "no free lunch" mandate from above.
Yaacob may or may not have cleared his writing with the Chief of Government Communications at the Ministry of Communication and Information (CGC), the son of former president Devan Nair who is salaried to vet communications from official channels. Same guy who Teo Ho Pin apparently depended on to compose his long winded spin on the A.I.M. sorry saga, another installment of gobbledygook verbiage to plaster over the dirt.
The irony here is that we are told online material should be licensed to ensure that we read the right stuff. The haze from Indonesian fires may have cleared, but the lines between right and wrong are still awfully blurred. Even George Orwell may have to rewrite doublespeak, the language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words, first introduced in his book, "Nineteen Eighty-Four".
Edward S. Herman, political economist and media analyst, describes in his book, "Beyond Hypocrisy", the principal characteristics of doublespeak:
"What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program."
We are glad Low Thia Khiang will not deign to engage with the other slippery customer, still spoiling for a fight instead of focusing on saving lives from the Aedes mosquito. "That's why I've stressed... in our press release that it's important for us to work together to forge some understanding and thereby we can do a better job for the benefit of the residents and the hawkers and we stand by what we say and we intend to work along that line, in a good spirit." Well said, Mr Low, and good luck with those numb skulls who are so difficult to understand.