Singapore will not only overcome the Covid-19 pandemic but will emerge stronger than ever. This was the promise made on Saturday (June 20) by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in the final of a series of six National Broadcasts on the country’s post-Covid future delivered by Government leaders over the past two weeks.
A major portion of Mr Heng’s speech centred on the job crisis that has arisen from the health crisis and the ensuing economic fallout.
Thanking Singaporeans for their sacrifices in helping the authorities stave off the spread of Covid-19, Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, said that the partnership between the Government and the people is more critical than ever now. Promising to take decisive action to help every Singaporean overcome the health and economic crisis, he said:
“Our economy will emerge stronger, creating better jobs and business opportunities for all Singaporeans. And our society will emerge stronger, leaving no one to walk this journey alone. We will emerge stronger as one people, our sense of identity and values renewed.”
Sharing that the Government is focused on saving jobs and creating more jobs so Singapore can build up its economy, Mr Heng said that these efforts distinguish the authorities here from those abroad: “All countries, including us, are providing immediate support, to provide a cushion. But we are going further, investing to give everyone a springboard, to bounce back from this even stronger. In Singapore, we never stop thinking of tomorrow.”
Mr Heng said the Government will do this in three ways: By remaining a trading, aviation and maritime hub; by investing in infrastructure; and by remaining competitive through investments in research and innovation.
The DPM added that the Government began pivoting towards the future economy five years ago, long before the Covid-19 crisis hit our shores, and that it is committed to making the most out of the new opportunities that have arisen in the post-Covid world.
To this end, the Government set up the Emerging Stronger Taskforce and will implement the Singapore Together Alliances for Action — avenues to consult with the people and industries and act on ideas that would help Singapore soar speedily.
Asserting that the Government is committed to continue strengthening the education system and will help workers navigate the uncertain road ahead through the SkillsFuture movement, Mr Heng added: “This effort to grow our economy is not just to create jobs, but to create better jobs for Singaporeans.”