It is often said that it is one’s reaction to adversity – and not adversity itself – that determines one’s life story. This is true for our Singapore Story too. Our journey from independence to a modern nation is a page-turner with its many challenges. And every chapter attests to our determination to overcome any obstacle in our way.
In earlier remarks on Singapore’s response to Covid-19, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean outlined how the PAP government drew on the solidarity, resolve and resilience built up over the years to reduce the severity of the crisis in 2020.
SM Teo highlighted that when faced with challenges, be it ramping up Community Care Facilities quickly or ensuring our supply chains amidst global disruption, the government worked with the private sector and volunteers to achieve what had seemed impossible. The government also gave out more economic support than ever before in our history. Singaporeans made sacrifices to slow the spread of Covid-19 and came together to help the more vulnerable regardless of race or religion.
SM Teo said then, “COVID-19 is not the first crisis we have faced, nor will it be the last. As a small country, we are more exposed and vulnerable than others. In our short history, we have repeatedly faced and overcome crises – about once every decade, some more serious than others. This COVID-19 pandemic is the largest and most complex I have encountered in more than 40 years of public service.”
In 2021, mutations in the virus led to more Covid-19 clusters in Singapore. As more measures are taken to slow its spread, the government continues to look out for Singaporeans affected by the changes. In recent weeks, the government has announced support for F&B and retail firms, hawkers, taxi and private hire car drivers, among others.
The situation is worrying and to many, frustrating. The pandemic has become a test on our society, especially when recent spates of intolerance threaten our social cohesion. But let these incidents not undermine the good that we have seen among us in the community. Singaporeans are actively protecting their loved ones by complying to the latest restrictions and stepping up to help those in need. From setting up areas for delivery riders, taxi and private hire car drivers and other essential workers to rest and eat, to care packs for the vulnerable segments among us, our MPs can cite the many examples in their constituencies that the community rallied together to do good.
As SM Teo said, “What we do in a crisis reflects who we are, and the values which motivate us as a people and as a nation.” Let us continue to respond to COVID-19 as one nation, with solidarity, resilience, and resolve.