Netizens express doubt over Govt’s preparedness as Minister Chan calls Singaporeans to be mentally prepared for spike in COVID-19 cases

Netizens express doubt over Govt’s preparedness as Minister Chan calls Singaporeans to be mentally prepared for spike in COVID-19 cases

On Saturday (7 March), Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing visited the NTUC Fair Price’s Benoi Distribution Centre in Joo Koon. The Minister had also shared a Facebook post with details of his visit.

He expressed his appreciation towards the FairPrice team who worked diligently around the clock to ensure the supermarket shelves were fully stocked for Singaporeans in the midst of a global surge in demand for food and essential items.

In his post, the Minister prided that the well-stocked aisles are a result of careful planning and the investments that are made in supply chain operations over the years. He added that this would not have been achieved without the hard work of dedicated and resourceful teams like FairPrice, Sheng Siong and Dairy Farm.

The Trade Minister elaborated on the ways in which Singaporeans can play their part in overcoming challenges during turbulent times such as these. They include exercising personal responsibility and working together to contain the virus. This needs to be reinforced by preparing the necessary supplies for the household as part of civil defence preparedness and finally purchasing responsibly and prioritising as well the needs of others who also survive on such supplies, said Mr Chan.

Mr Chan summed up that individuals are not islands by themselves but part of a larger community.

“We are all in this together and must look out for one another. I am confident that together, we can emerge stronger as one united Singapore”, he added.

Last month, following the events of a leaked audio clip of a closed-door dialogue at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), Minister Chan was reported to have described the incidents of Singaporeans clearing out supermarket shelves as “xia suay” or “disgraceful”.

In the wake of controversy following this, Minister Chan explained that he merely “provided a frank assessment to the business leaders”.

He added, “Many of them have attended my closed-door dialogues and they know that I do not mince my words when presenting hard truths and trade-offs.”

Meanwhile, commenting on the Facebook pages of Channel News Asia (CNA) and Today, online users expressed their scepticism towards the Minister Chan’s recent remarks

Netizens were quick to criticise and question Minister Chan’s assurance of Singapore’s preparedness amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Online user Ken Ho castigated the Minister for the delay in coming up with proper actions for weeks and only acting when matters turned worse and all earlier assurances proved false.

At the same time, other netizens expressed their frustration towards the government for allowing a local transmission of the COVID-19 virus through a private dinner function at Safra Jurong on 15 February. They slammed the government for still allowing large gatherings to take place in the country at this point of time.

Online user Xinting Zheng commented, “Don’t keep talking about potential imported cases. The spikes yesterday and the day before were not due to imported cases, but local clusters due to unnecessary gathering! So what are the measures against that?”

Separately, online user Lee Yun Ling expressed her concern as she explained that unlike politicians who travel in private modes of transportation, everyday travellers are more susceptible to contracting the virus. She added that most Singaporeans are unable to safeguard themselves from COVID-19 as masks are always sold out the local pharmacies.

Meanwhile, due to Minister Chan’s previous remarks, online users remained unnerved and are doubtful of the government’s preparedness during this turbulent time.

On the other hand, many of them urged the government to manufacture necessity items instead of having them imported, noting that this should be a long-term solution for emergencies.

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