S'pore's strength in adversity comes from 'deep reserves of social capital', says DPM Heng in Budget debate

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said the coronavirus crisis has brought out the best in the community.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said the coronavirus crisis has brought out the best in the community.PHOTO: GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - Singapore's strength in the face of adversity lies not just in its financial reserves but in the "deep reserves of social capital", said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

In fact, the crisis, he said, has brought out the best in the community.

For instance, many Singaporeans chose to donate their Solidarity Payments to charitable causes. And more than 10,000 people have stepped forward these past two months to volunteer, for instance, by helping to distribute care packs and manage the National Care Hotline.

During the debate on the Fortitude Budget in Parliament on Friday, Mr Heng said: "It is the spirit of Singapore Together, where all parts of society work together in partnership, keeping us strong and united, even as the pandemic fragments many societies."

Mr Heng also lauded how others in Singapore - from those in the corporate sector and community groups to individuals and public servants - have also done their part to help in the fight the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "Our social capital is made up of the intangible bonds that unite our multi-racial society. The bonds of trust among ourselves and between people and the Government."

On behalf of Parliament, Mr Heng expressed his appreciation to the many volunteers and donors, front-line officers, and the people of Singapore for taking seriously all the measures put in place to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

He said: "Every constructive action adds to our social reserves that allow us to face this challenge with fortitude. I encourage more Singaporeans to step forward and help one another in our community."