Singapore, Singapore -- Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Balaji Sadasivan issued a new hypothesis today: what he said yesterday might be pure junk. "Don't get me wrong," Sadasivan told reporters. "This is just a hypothesis. More research is needed. In the meantime, don't believe everything I tell you." In a Straits Times article yesterday, Sadasivan quoted an "unknown expert" (quite possibly because he doesn't know much about his area of expertise) that a sharp rise in new Aids cases last year could be linked to a popular annual 'gay party' on Sentosa. He also added in the report that "this is a hypothesis and more research needs to be done." In the same article, it was revealed that nine out of ten of the new Aids sufferers are men and a third of them are gay. "The truth of the matter is," the minister revealed, "I didn't pay much attention in my statistics course at Uni, and so wasn't able to be more critical of the scientific literature, or the advice of my unknown expert." "My prof called me up this morning and pointed out that if one third of new AIDS patients are gay, two thirds should be heterosexual. 1 - 1/3 = 2/3. If two thirds of new AIDS patients are not gay, a more reasonable hypothesis might be that heterosexual parties at Sentosa or elsewhere is causing a spike in infections. Actually, now that I think about it, no hypothesis should even be raised since there's no data to suggest it in the first place! But we live and learn..." It is understood that the minister is now going over the unknown expert's research again very slowwllly to ascertain its accuracy and objectivity. A proposal to ban discos in Singapore has been put on hold, for now.Seriously, I'm very angry with the minister and the newspaper for putting forth this sort of absolutely irresponsible reporting. AIDS is a serious problem, and it's not going to help if minority groups are getting targeted when a bulk of public education needs to be targetted at the heterosexuals also. I'm also puzzled by what the doctor said. This is not someone I'd expect from a person with a doctorate, let alone the country's health minister... Edit: The minister is not just someone with a doctorate, he's a real neurosurgeon! It's pretty amazing...
Friday, March 11, 2005
Health Minister's New Hypothesis: What I Said Yesterday Was Pure Junk
Posted by jeffyen at 11:31 AM