Minister Chan Chun Sing

Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing told state media reporters that Singaporeans need to “prepare themselves” for inflation in food prices, and that they have to control the prices by themselves:

“Given the dynamic global situation where there is news about a country or city putting up tighter controls every other day, Singaporeans must be mentally prepared for food prices to go up due to the constant disruptions in supply. At the same time, Singapore and its people can take steps to ensure that food prices here are stable — that is, it only fluctuates within a certain range. Singaporeans can be more open to other alternative food sources, as well as remain calm and not panic-buy.”

The former army general also said that Singapore may soon be facing a complete outage of fresh food supplies:

“In the event of a temporary disruption, we must be prepared to use alternatives — be it frozen or canned food to tide us over before the supplies come back again.”

When questioned if the government is going to assist rental payment for small businesses, Minister Chan Chun Sing said he cannot do anything except to call for landlords and tenants to negotiate among themselves:

“Our advice to both sides, the tenant side and the landlord side, is that both sides must see each other as a long-term partner. Both sides cannot take a short-term perspective in this. The spirit must be that, ‘In good times, we share the benefits. In tough times we share the pain’.”