Minister for National Development and Second Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong addressed the nation over a national broadcast yesterday (Jun 9). In his speech he recapped what Singapore has been doing to fight the spread of Covid-19, highlighting measures that Singaporeans have had to adapt to, and what the future will look like as Singapore gradually starts to open up. He also emphasised that Singaporeans will have to be mentally prepared to see an increase in cases during this time.
People’s Voice (PV) Secretary-General Lim Tean slammed it as a “hindsight speech” that “obviously benefitted from hindsight” in a Facebook post following the broadcast. Mr Lim highlighted that the measures MP Wong brought up in his speech such as social distancing, working from home, and wearing masks, were all measures which PV had advocated for in early February.
Social distancing measures in Singapore were rolled out in March, and working from home was made mandatory with the start of the circuit breaker period in early April. The Government had also previously informed the public that masks should only be worn if they are sick, but changed its stance in early April.
Mr Lim commented that MP Wong praising these measures as helpful in improving Singapore’s situation was only because he now had the benefit of hindsight.
He also opined that MP Wong’s speech, similar to the one Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave on Sunday (Jun 7), was “nothing more than a campaign speech”.
Additionally, he noted that MP Wong’s speech had been “replete with motherhood statements”, and included a photo of the definition of a “motherhood statement”. In the photo shared, a motherhood statement is defined as “a vague, “feel good” platitude, especially made by a politician, that few people will disagree with”.
The financial impact of the pandemic on Singaporeans was brought up as a consequence of the “incompetence” of the Taskforce, which is headed by MP Wong and Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong. The consequence, Mr Lim says, was that thousands of businesses had to close, and that many hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans were left financially crippled.
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