Minister Chan Chun Sing with PAP MP NTUC CEO Seah Kian Peng

Barely a week after Minister Chan Chun Sing scolded panic-buyers for being a “disgrace” in a leaked audio recording, he today advised Singaporeans to stockpile an “emergency pack”:

“Every family need to have a small emergency pack that contains items such as thermometers, hand sanitisers, masks, first aid equipment and some food supplies.”

Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing put up a propaganda post claiming that there is no shortage of essential items in Singapore. The former army general avoided the issue on face masks, and told the state media that he is able to “diversify” source countries to ensure steady supply:

“Singapore has diversified its rice supply, which mostly came from Thailand and Vietnam in the past. Today, the country also gets its rice from Japan and India.”

Minister Chan Chun Sing however did not give details which essential item require “diversifying” or how is the country going to manufacture the stocks locally:

“For certain essential items, we will carefully build up some local capacities that we can surge in times of need… Supply chains across the world are shifting, with some countries are halting exports of some products. We thus have to always think two steps ahead. This includes having backup suppliers capable of opening up new supply lines when things don’t work out.

In regards to the shortage of rice, tissue paper and face masks, the millionaire minister refused to acknowledge the shortage and blamed the outage in local supermarkets on transport delivery:

“When we saw some of the shortages over the weekend, it was not because we do not have supplies in the country. Some of it was just that we took a bit more time to deliver it from here (distribution centre) down to the stores. So that is something that we will seek to do better moving forward.”