Holding GE sooner will help Singapore tackle coronavirus crisis: DPM Heng

The sooner the next GE is held, the earlier Singapore can focus on the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, said DPM Heng Swee Keat.
The sooner the next GE is held, the earlier Singapore can focus on the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, said DPM Heng Swee Keat.PHOTO: MEDIACORP

Singapore faces a crisis which poses major challenges that have to be dealt with over the next five to 10 years.

The sooner a general election can be held, the better placed Singapore will be to focus on the longer-term challenges ahead, and so emerge stronger from the present crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.

Responding to a question on whether an election could be held soon, he replied that the sooner the polls could be held, "the earlier we can rally everybody together to deal with these very significant challenges ahead, and also to deal with these very significant uncertainties in the months and years ahead".

The election, which must be held by April 14 next year, will have public health and safety as a "foremost consideration", he said in an interview with TV station CNA yesterday. He noted that other countries, such as South Korea, had held elections recently, with necessary precautions.

This comes after a law allowing special, temporary arrangements to be implemented, if the election happens during the Covid-19 pandemic, came into operation on Tuesday.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2020, with the headline 'Holding GE sooner will help S'pore tackle crisis: DPM Heng'. Print Edition | Subscribe