Coronavirus pandemic

Singaporeans' ingenuity, resourcefulness needed in new phase of crisis

As Singapore prepares to reopen the economy, Singaporeans will need to continue to show the same ingenuity and resourcefulness.
As Singapore prepares to reopen the economy, Singaporeans will need to continue to show the same ingenuity and resourcefulness.ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN

Singaporeans have shown their grit, adaptability and resilience during the two-month circuit breaker period.

And as Singapore prepares to re-open the economy, they will need to continue to show the same ingenuity and resourcefulness in this new phase, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

In a national television broadcast yesterday, he said: "In these difficult times, we have not despaired. We have not given up.

"Instead, adversity has brought out the best in us - both individually and collectively. We have found strength and confidence in one another. We have shown that we are capable of rising above ourselves and caring for others."

Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling the outbreak, said Singaporeans have also found "new and creative" ways of staying connected - for instance, through virtual meals, online classes and tuning in online to sermons on livestreams.

He said: "We may not be able to travel or have large gatherings any time soon. But we are going on virtual tours, enjoying online concerts, and learning new skills through online classes.

"And many of us continue to draw strength from our faiths, thanks to churches, mosques and temples livestreaming their sermons and services to their followers."

Mr Wong's speech - the second in an ongoing series of TV broadcasts by six ministers - focused on measures being taken to control the spread of the virus, and how Covid-19 will change the way people live and work.

In a TV broadcast on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about how Singapore will need to strengthen its social compact, and think about ways to improve social safety nets to help people cope with the uncertainties posed by the coronavirus crisis.

More than 38,000 people in Singapore have been infected with the coronavirus. After the circuit breaker period ended a week ago, Singapore is starting to reopen the economy in three phases.

 
 
 
 

Mr Wong, in his speech, said businesses, too, have been coming forward to help, donating masks and supplies to those in need and contributing to front-line Covid-19 operations. He said: "This is the Singapore spirit that gives us the confidence to press ahead, no matter how tough the odds. The road ahead is unpredictable, and countries everywhere are continuing to search for answers and solutions.

"There is no guaranteed formula for success. But it is our grit and resilience, our compassion and kindness, our cohesion and strength that will see us through this crisis of our generation."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2020, with the headline 'S'poreans' ingenuity, resourcefulness needed in new phase of crisis'. Subscribe