Our ‘Singapore Spirit’ will see us through future challenges: Gan Kim Yong


Learning, rather than blaming, sums up how the PAP Government views the pandemic as the debate on Singapore’s Covid-19 responses continued in Parliament (Mar 21) for a second day. 

Reflecting on what lies ahead for Singapore as we put the worst of the pandemic behind us, Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Gan Kim Yong shared one key takeaway from this once-in-a-generation crisis. 

“The key lesson here is that there will always be unexpected challenges that will surprise us.”

And when that happens, one thing we can be confident of and rely upon is the Singapore Spirit — working together, trusting one another, and looking out for each other like family, added Minister Gan. 

The indomitable Singapore Spirit

Many of us would recall the story of the man who gave each of his sons a single chopstick, only for them to break it easily. However, when the man bundled up the chopsticks, the chopsticks became unbreakable. 

The allegory just about sums up our indomitable “Singapore Spirit” that triumphed over the Covid-19 pandemic. 

After all, it was a time when we witnessed ground-up efforts by individuals to support vulnerable groups, small businesses and hawkers struggling with digitisation. 

But beyond that, Minister Gan noted that many others had worked tirelessly behind the scenes to contribute towards our Covid-19 efforts, taking up functions and responsibilities they were unfamiliar with.

For their efforts, over 10,000 individuals and teams will receive the National Awards (Covid-19) in recognition of their contributions to helping Singapore fight the pandemic.

In addition, strong engagement and rapport between Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) and Government agencies also allowed quick collaborations without the associated bureaucracy, added Minister Gan. 

One such example was how the Singapore Hotel Association and the Singapore Tourism Board managed to transform over 90 hotels into isolation facilities within a short period. 

Most importantly, Covid-19 saw the coming together of people-public-private partnerships to overcome unknown challenges. 

From procuring and distributing essential supplies such as face masks to setting up community care facilities (CCFs), it takes a whole-of-society effort to ensure Singapore would prevail in the face of adversity, said the minister. 

It will take more than words to list all the examples that illustrate the “Singapore Spirit” at its finest. 

But as Minister Gan remarked, “When we face the worst crisis, we will see the best in Singaporeans.”


Photo Source: MOT/MOH/MTI via Facebook/Temasek Foundation