Malaysia lockdown: Chan Chun Sing assures Singaporeans of adequate food and essential supplies

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing speaking at the Multi-Ministry press conference on Monday (27 January). (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing speaking at the multi-ministry taskforce on the COVID-19 coronavirus press conference on 27 January 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Singapore is “not in danger” of running out of food or other supplies brought in by local retailers, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing assured Singaporeans on Monday (16 March).

He was responding to the announcement by Malaysia on Monday night that it will impose a lockdown from 18 to 31 March amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“Given the close proximity between Singapore and Malaysia, many Singaporeans may be concerned about what this will mean for them. The Government has been actively working with essential firms such as NTUC Fairprice, Sheng Siong and Dairy Farm International to increase our stock of food and essential supplies over the last two months,” Chan said in a post on his Facebook page.

In addition to building up Singapore’s inventory of food and essential supplies, the country has a “robust multi-pronged strategy” to ensure it does not run out of essentials.

“For example, we have local production capabilities for products such as noodles, infant milk powder and canned goods among others. In the event that we need to increase supply for our domestic consumption, we can ramp up quickly and easily to do so.”

Singapore has also continued to diversify its sources of essential goods, such as vegetables from China and even as far as Ukraine for its supply of eggs.

“Although we are not facing any shortages, I urge everyone to continue to purchase in a responsible manner and to purchase only what you need. Otherwise, no amount of stockpiling will be sufficient,” Chan said.

On businesses that employ Malaysian workers who commute between Singapore and Malaysia daily, Chan said they may have to activate their business continuity plans. If they need help, they can contact Singapore economic agencies, he added.

As the situation evolves, the Singapore authorities will continue to stay in touch with their Malaysian counterparts. Chan said, “Our priority is to ensure that our people and our businesses are able to continue with their lives and their livelihoods.”

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