GE2020: Singaporeans must work together and stay united to tackle Covid-19 challenges, says President Halimah

SINGAPORE – Singaporeans must work together and stay united to meet the challenges in a world seriously disrupted by Covid-19, said President Halimah Yacob.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (July 14), Madam Halimah said the huge turnout of voters on Polling Day augurs well for Singapore because it shows that Singaporeans take their right to vote seriously, and want to participate actively in the democratic process.

However, now that the election is over, she urged everyone to work together and stay united to meet the challenges ahead of them.

President Halimah said: “Our progress has been achieved through the sheer hard work of our people working closely with the Government through many years. In this way, we overcame many crises together that would have overwhelmed a lesser people.”

The country, she added, had forged ahead because of a common destiny and shared future.

“We know that nobody owes us a living and that we need to prove our value and worth for the world to take us seriously,” she said.

At the close of polls on Friday (July 10), 96 per cent of registered voters – over 2.5 million people – had cast their ballots. The Elections Department had said this turnout was higher than in the 2015 general election, in which more than 2.3 million votes were cast – or nearly 94 per cent of registered voters.

Madam Halimah’s comments come amid the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s advance estimates on Tuesday, which showed that Singapore’s economy contracted 41.2 per cent in the second quarter from the previous three months.

Overall, Singapore’s economy is expected to shrink by between 4 and 7 per cent  this year.

In her post, Madam Halimah said that in a world seriously disrupted by Covid-19, every country will be looking at ways to grow their economy to catch a slice of the pie.

She added that this is “no mean task” in a world that was already shrinking in space before Covid-19 due to the pressures of deglobalisation, insular and rigid forms of nationalism, weak international institutions and superpower tensions.

Despite this, Madam Halimah said “opportunities still abound for those with innovative ideas, and who dare to change and develop new capabilities”.

However, all hands are needed on deck to help the country navigate this crisis, explore new solutions and strategies and carve a niche for itself, she said. “Everyone has a stake in this country and it is up to us to make Singapore a better place,” she added.

Madam Halimah said: “I am glad that the various political leaders have pledged to work together for the good of Singapore. I look forward to working with the new team in this next chapter of Singapore’s history.”

The ruling People’s Action Party secured 61.24 per cent of votes, and won 83 seats out of 93 in the election.

The opposition Workers’ Party made further inroads into Parliament by winning the Sengkang group representation constituency, and holding on to Aljunied GRC and Hougang single member constituency.

Singapore GE2020: Get full election coverage on our dedicated site here.

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