Source: ST / YouTube

The escalation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may affect the timing of the next General Election (GE), said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Wed (11 Mar).

Mr Heng, who is also the Finance Minister, told SPH reporters at a roundtable discussion organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times that the outbreak, with its colossal impact on Singapore’s domestic economy as well as the global economy, will pose hurdles in determining when the next GE will be held.

“If you have big challenges ahead, then surely you want to be able to spend time on these challenges. Therefore the key question is, will the challenges be greater now or will the challenges be greater a year from now? … It depends on our assessment of the situation,” he said.

Mr Heng revealed that he is currently discussing the matter with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

His statement was made in response to questions regarding when the next GE will be held.

The next GE must be held by April next year.

Experts, however, predict that the COVID-19 outbreak will likely remain until at least the end of this year.

Thus, the Government’s priority at the moment is to contain the outbreak and its repercussions on Singapore’s economy, said Mr Heng.

“It’s important that we have all the management attention to deal with this, and I’m afraid the management attention we need to deal with this will get more challenged in the months ahead because the situation is so fluid, so dynamic.

“We need to be able to respond as fully as we can as a country and as a people to this very major uncertainty to our lives as well as our livelihood because we don’t know how the global economy is going to pan out,” said Mr Heng.

When asked if Singapore would proceed with holding an election regardless of the progress of the outbreak, Mr Heng said: “We are looking at all possibilities … We need to respect our Constitution and make sure that election rules are properly followed.”

“But if there’s a need for us to adopt measures to achieve the same objective, then we’ll have to look at the appropriate measures that will allow our people to express their views [and] cast their votes,” he added.

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

网民呼吁 委任淡马亚教授领导跨政府防疫小组

有网民发起联署,呼吁政府应委任传染病专家淡马亚教授,领导跨政府部门工作小组,统筹防疫工作。 网民Mimi Lee称,对当前由部长们主导的跨政府部门小组的决策感到失望,且照目前情势,令民众担忧新加坡是否会面对第二波疫情来袭。 尽管她认可该小组和医疗人员的努力,不过她也质问,高层人士为何从不咨询本地专家如淡马亚等,协助改善本地疫情。截至本月22日,已有3680人联署支持。 淡马亚是新加坡国立大学杨潞龄医学院医学系教授。近期获委2022年出任国际传染病学会主席。他也是民主党主席,在不久前在武吉班让单选区上阵。 本月初,前进党成员李显扬也直言,或许跨政府部门防疫小组,应该由一位传染病专家、或至少是一名医生来领军,而不是政治人物。

Police report filed against PAP’s Heng Swee Keat over his past remarks that older generation of S’poreans not ready for non-Chinese PM

A police report has been filed against the People’s Action Party (PAP)…

Domestic workers need their days off too

Transient Workers Count Too invites you to a forum discussion on Saturday 15 October…