Singapore faces worst recession since 1965, but in 'strong position' to overcome crisis: PM Lee

THE fiscal prudence and discipline of successive governments have put Singapore in a “strong position” to overcome today’s crisis and emerge stronger after the Covid-19 pandemic, wrote Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening.

When the British pulled out of Singapore two years after independence, Singapore’s founding fathers were “determined to secure the lives and livelihoods of our people”, he wrote.

“We must have that same conviction today, as we deal with the crisis of our generation,” he added.

His post on Facebook followed Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat’s unprecedented fourth Budget statement of the year, also known as the “Fortitude Budget”. Together with the earlier three Budgets, a total of almost S$100 billion has been set aside to help Singapore ride through the crisis.

Mr Lee pointed out that the Ministry of Trade & Industry has forecast that the economy will shrink by between 4 and 7 per cent this year — Singapore’s worst recession since independence. 

In his post, he wrote that saving and creating jobs will be Singapore’s priority.

No one will be left behind, as businesses will be helped to adapt and transform, create new jobs, and provide more training opportunities to workers, he wrote. Frontline agencies, households and communities, and the needy and vulnerable will also be supported.

“Like our founding generation, we have the chance to chart bold new ways, and build a new Singapore,” wrote Mr Lee. “Let us stay united as we forge ahead together.”