The authorities have announced that starting from today, citizens will be fitted with in-nose devices that will measure air intake.
These devices, nano in size, are tiny enough to be implanted into the nostrils in a two-minute procedure. All men, women and children will be fitted.
Nanotech Micro Devices Inc, the company that created the devices in collaboration with Nanyang Institute of Technology, says that the implantation process is administered through a disposable sterile pneumatic syringe and is a quick, and relatively painless procedure.
“It’s just like going for a vaccination,” says Nanotech’s CEO, Dr I P Standing. “And it’s less painful than a flu jab,” he added.
A pilot will begin today at the Toa Payoh estate, but progressively, the implantation program is being rolled out in all housing estates. All citizens are expected to be fitted by December 31st. PRs and non-citizens are exempt for now.
Minister of the Environment Mr Bodoh Macam Terbantut and Health Minister Buay Chuan Kwee will be officiating the launch ceremony at the void deck of Block 164, Toa Payoh West Avenue 4 at 10am this morning. Channel NewsAsia will make available live streaming of the occasion. This unprecedented event is being watched by observers worldwide. At the time of this writing, it is understood that both the CNN and BBC news teams are already on-site at Toa Payoh.
A press release issued by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Health clarifies that the exercise is intended to harvest data for analytics purposes (which will be stored via cloud computing powered by IBM) and that the main impetus for the project is the haze situation that does not seem to abate despite decades of complaints issued to Indonesia by the Singapore government.
“Air quality is of utmost importance to the health of our citizens,” Mr Buay told reporters last week at the sidelines of his ministry’s Mutton Curry Health Benefits Conference. “It is therefore imperative that we accurately measure and determine the quality of air we breathe in,” he emphasized.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has also weighed in. Mildew Weighsaton, Comptroller of Income Tax told the press last night that the device will pave the way for her department to determine how much tax to impose, in the future, on citizens for breathing.
“Air is now free,” says Ms Weighsaton. She elaborated: “Given that it’s a precious resource, it is my firm conviction that the government should start to seriously contemplate imposing duty on this prized commodity; after all, we are charged for water and electricity, so why not air?” she added.
The Prime Minister in his Facebook page lauds the launch of this program. In a statement on his Facebook he said “We in Singapore are never afraid of being game changers. We were the first to introduce the ERP system and the COE, both eminently successful undertakings, resulting in us being the envy of the world. A device to measure air-intake will, I foresee, become a step in the right direction that many other first-world nations would want to emulate. History will judge us kindly.”
Unconfirmed foreign press reports say that North Korea has already expressed great interest in this ground-breaking initiative. When contacted, the North Korean embassy declined comment, citing security reasons.
NOTE: The PMO later issued a statement expressing regret at the use of the word “undertakings” in the PM’s Facebook message.