Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. These include foreigners who live among us and who care deeply about Singapore.Many have also had to make sacrifices in this time. For a nation with no oil, no gas, no gold, no diamonds, or natural resources of any kind, it is remarkable that we have built this up.Our prudence and discipline in saving and growing our reserves give us the wherewithal to respond decisively when our nation faces extraordinary circumstances.Our founding fathers created a rigorous framework to ensure that such strategic assets are used only for the right purpose. The private sector and corporations too have stepped forward.Individuals are doing their part - vloggers and bloggers are helping to share public messages, others are volunteering, giving support and encouragement and, crucially, by complying with health advisories and practising safe distancing. In the past few years, we benefited from unexpected revenue upsides, such as exceptional statutory board contributions from MAS and increased stamp duty collections. We must continue to be on high vigilance, mentally and psychologically prepared for every scenario.The Government will lead the way. This has, so far, helped to keep the number of cases at manageable levels during the first wave.However, as much as we try, the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to take at least a year to be resolved, and the economic repercussions would last even longer. We will adopt a nimble fiscal posture, so that we can quickly channel the resources at hand to the most urgent and important needs of our people.The Covid-19 pandemic is the most serious crisis we have faced in a generation.It has put all countries around the world to the test - on the medical, economic and social fronts.We have been able to respond boldly and decisively to the outbreak in Singapore, because we have forged a cohesive, resilient society. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures - the Man-bun will be culled Funny story written by sean hodgson. A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2020, with the headline 'Extraordinary measures for extraordinary times'. Many countries have implemented lockdowns, while the United States has declared a national emergency.In Singapore, we are doing everything we can to keep you and your families safe. We are able to support this unprecedented deficit, and still remain fiscally sustainable, because we have been disciplined in the use of past reserves, tapping them only in exceptional circumstances like these.The situation remains highly fluid and uncertain, with significant risks. And we will stand with Singaporeans of all walks of life to battle this crisis, together.We are all in this together. The world is seeing successive waves of infection, and importation of infections. And we must all look after one another in these trying times.This is the essence of who we are as a nation.
We recognise the urgency of the situation and financial distress that members and consumers are facing and have had to make difficult decisions which won’t satisfy everyone. The Covid-19 pandemic is already a mighty storm, and is still growing.If over the years we had frittered the reserves away, on more immediate but less existential needs, big and small, as some in this House have pressed the Government to do, we would be in a much weaker position today.We are experiencing a confluence of multiple external shocks - a pandemic that has triggered many nations to shut their borders, limit exports and halt economic activities, in order to fight this pandemic.This economic impact is magnified, as the global economy is already fragile, and further weakened by a protracted US-China trade conflict, and an oil price war.So this is not a normal business cycle that we would have anticipated and dealt with using the revenues collected by each term of government. No. We must be prepared to take further tougher measures.Yet, measures on the medical front to contain the pandemic, both in Singapore and around the world, have made the second front of the battle - the economic front - even more difficult. This is a landmark package, and a necessary response to a unique situation.The Government has sought and obtained the President's in-principle support to draw up to $17 billion from our past reserves to fund part of the Resilience Budget.•First, save jobs, support workers and protect livelihoods.•Second, help enterprises overcome immediate challenges.•Third, strengthen economic and social resilience so that we can emerge intact and stronger.Let me now elaborate on our considerations for drawing on past reserves in this budget, and our fiscal position after the measures that I have put forth to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.Our reserves are our strategic asset, built up through the discipline and prudence of our people and political leaders, across generations.Our reserves serve as our bulwark against shocks and crises of an extraordinary nature. In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia contentGet access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months* Our cleaners are doing humble but heroic work to keep our environment clean.Thousands of public officers are working round the clock to respond to the threat of Covid-19. We will leave no one behind. The whole nation has come together in response.
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