(Singapore, June 8, 2020) Since COVID-19 will remain a problem for a long time, Singarpoeans should work together to tide through the storm and to make the Singapore spirit flourish in the world, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a televised speech yesterday.

The speech is the first of a series of national broadcasts about the post-COVID future to be delivered during June 7-20.

Besides PM Lee Hsien Loong, DPM Heng Swee Keat, SM Teo Chee Hean, SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister Chan Chun Sing and Minister Lawrence Wong will deliver similar televised speeches to explain what a post-COVID-19 future looks like for Singapore, and to map out plans to see us through the storm and emerge stronger.

Source: PMO

“We have made good progress,” said the Prime Minister, noting that new cases in the community have come down and the situation in the migrant worker dormitories has stabilized.

However, it will take at least a year, probably longer, before vaccines become widely available, he said.

“We will have to learn to live with COVID-19 for the long term, as we have done in the past with other dangerous infectious diseases, like tuberculosis,” he said, noting that people also have to get used to new arrangements in our daily lives.

He also said COVID-19 is a serious economic and social issue as well as a public health issue.

“Because of COVID-19, the global economy has virtually ground to a halt. Governments have spent trillions of dollars to support businesses, economies, and jobs.”

“Yet, tens of millions of jobs have been lost. Families are experiencing hardship. We are in a totally unprecedented situation,” he added.

Singapore has taken a severe hit too. The Republic’s GDP is likely to shrink between 4 and 7% this year, our worst contraction ever, he said.

To protect workers, households, and companies, the Government has intervened decisively through four successive Budgets. We are injecting almost $100 billion – 20% of our GDP – the largest fiscal intervention in our history.

“Unlike other countries, we can draw on our reserves, and do not have to pay for our support measures by borrowing,” he said.

“But even for us, this level of spending is hard to sustain. More importantly, these measures cannot shield us from the tectonic shifts taking place in the global economy.”

He said Singapore depends heavily on international trade and investments. These were already slowing down before COVID-19. Now this slowdown will happen faster and go further.

“Singapore will not be returning to the open and connected global economy we had before, anytime soon.”

The movement of people will be more restricted. International travel will be much less frequent. Health checks and quarantines will become the norm.

“It will no longer be so easy to take quick weekend trips to Bangkok or Hong Kong on a budget flight. Industries that depend on travel, like aviation, hotels, and tourism, will take a long time to get back on their feet, and may never recover fully.

From 7:30 pm tomorrow, Lawrence Wong,  Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, will deliver a televised speech under the title “Living with COVID-19”.



Speaker Date of broadcast
Overcoming the Crisis of a Generation


Prime Minister

Lee Hsien Loong

Sunday, 7 June 2020

From 7.30 pm

Living with COVID-19


Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance

Lawrence Wong


Tuesday, 9 June 2020

From 7.30 pm


Resilience in a Changing External Environment


Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security

Teo Chee Hean


Thursday, 11 June 2020

From 7.30 pm


Making a Living in a COVID-19 World


Minister for Trade and Industry

Chan Chun Sing


Sunday, 14 June 2020

From 7.30 pm


A Stronger and More Cohesive Society


Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies

Tharman Shanmugaratnam


Wednesday, 17 June 2020

From 7.30 pm


Emerging Stronger Together


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance

Heng Swee Keat


Saturday, 20 June 2020

From 7.30 pm