The social media frenzy over the culling of stray dogs due to a rabies outbreak has led to an all-too-familiar outcome – the truth takes a backseat to Joe Public’s mindless hysteria.
Armed with the mighty Google search engine, they trawled the Internet. Not for the whole unvarnished truth, but selected bits that they can use to prop up their opinions. These, they mould into a club with which to pummel anyone who disagrees with them.
The truth be damned. They just want to be right. Why? Because it’s all about saving animal lives.
I will have to respectfully disagree with them. I believe that the truth is powerful enough to save the lives of those stray dogs. If they have to lie to win an argument, then it shows that they do not truly believe in their own claims. In fact, lies can even explode in their faces and set back their cause. Here is a new example…
Dog Bite Wound Or DAP Propaganda?
On the September 27, 2015, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng posted this tweet :
It was immediately pounced on and mocked as DAP propaganda. The photo was posted by one activist to the DOBBS (Doctors Only Bulletin Board System) group on Facebook, asking doctors there if this looked like a dog bite wound. I was also asked to diagnose the wound from that picture.
Needless to say, there was no way any doctor could or should diagnose this as a dog bite wound simply based on that one picture. It looked like a single large puncture wound with no obvious bite marks. However, it was impossible to say definitively that this was not a dog bite wound. After all, one doctor pointed out – it looked like it’s been debrided.
Calls were even made to the Penang General Hospital to ascertain whether they had such a patient. It was then triumphantly declared that no such patient existed in the Penang General Hospital.
For some reason, they cast blame on the Chief Minister, claiming that he not only lied that it was a dog bite wound, he also lied about the patient being admitted to the Penang General Hospital. The picture was declared to be propaganda in the war against stray dogs.
It Wasn’t Even His Tweet
First things first – that was NOT even the Chief Minister’s tweet. He was retweeting Bukit Mertajam Member of Parliament, Steven Sim. This was Steven Sim’s tweet that he posted the day before, on the 26th of September :
If this was a hoax post by Steven Sim, then he should be held responsible for posting it. Not someone else who retweeted it. As I pointed out earlier – the truth takes a backseat in such emotional issues.
The Patient Was Warded In The Penang General Hospital
It is never the policy of any hospital, government or private, to publicly reveal the details of any patient. They would never reveal whether a patient was admitted with such a dog bite wound. Therefore, those who claimed earlier that the hospital said that there was “no such patient” had either misheard the refusal to divulge information, or lied about it.
Such information is only made available to government officials. Hence, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim was able to receive confirmation from the Penang General Hospital that it was a genuine case. The patient was warded in the Penang General Hospital for four days and given the rabies immunoglobulin and vaccine.
It Was A Dog Bite Wound
Despite the large clean appearance, that was a dog bite wound. The picture appeared to be taken from another smartphone, which is why it looks a bit blur. We managed to brighten and clean it up a bit for a better view. PS. We had to mosaic it because Google was being a pain in the ass about showing the real picture.
As you can see, the wound looks like it’s been cleaned out, before it’s stitched. Based on the patient’s build, the wound measures about 4-5 cm – which is plausible for a large breed of dog. Again, this is a very rough estimate based on a picture taken at an angle.
Unfortunately, the dog who bit this patient was not caught, so it is impossible to determine whether it was rabid or not. As a precautionary measure, the patient was given rabies immunoglobulin and vaccine.
The Lie Backfires
Not only will their reputation be sullied for making false accusations, their over-dramatisation of that tweet has spread the image far wider than would have been possible with Steven Sim’s tweet (retweeted 15 times) and Lim Guan Eng’s retweet, which was only retweeted another 4 times and liked 5 times.
Thanks to their efforts, this image will now be seared into everyone’s mind as a horrendous dog bite wound. Instead of trying to assure people that dog bites aren’t that dangerous, they have now made people even more afraid of stray dogs.
I would say bravo to them, if it wasn’t for the fact that they just set back the cause of animal rights with this debacle. It’s no wonder why they quickly deleted those posts and comments…
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