Singapore’s Lee vows to see through virus crisis as poll nears

SINGAPORE • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong vowed to hand over Singapore “intact” and in “good working order” to the next generation of leaders, predicting the coronavirus crisis will “weigh heavily” on the nation’s economy for at least a year.

Speaking yesterday ahead of the general election on Friday, Lee said he’s determined to see the pandemic through and called on Singaporeans to give his People’s Action Party (PAP) a fresh mandate. This, he said, comes as the nation’s “biggest challenges lie ahead”.

“We don’t know how the pandemic will end or whether a lasting solution will be found, be it a vaccine or more effective treatment,” Lee said in a virtual rally posted on the Facebook page of the ruling PAP. “We face a continuing danger to public health.”

The election takes place against the backdrop of a pandemic that has infected nearly 45,000 people in the city-state, most of them migrant workers living in tightly-packed dormitories. The government’s response to the virus has played a prominent role in the campaign.

Lee said the goal now is to “turn around” the economy and attract new investments by maintaining business confidence, so companies “will not lose faith in us in a crisis”.

“All our experience since the beginning of this year has made clear just how important a good government is to fight Covid-19, support the economy and get out of this crisis intact,” he said. “This is what this election is about.” — Bloomberg