SINGAPORE, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's top priority is to protect and create jobs as the country sustains its fight against COVID-19, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Saturday.
The world will be very different in the Post-COVID-19, and Singaporeans must build on what they had been doing to emerge stronger, he said in the foreword of the election manifesto of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP).
According to the Prime Minister, Singapore's economy has been severely disrupted by the pandemic. The city-state have implemented four successive budgets, injecting almost 100 billion Singapore dollars, to help companies, workers and households tide through this very difficult period.
"But the crisis is far from over," Lee said. "We are in the most severe global recession in a century." He added that some companies would not survive, and retrenchments and unemployment would go up sharply.
PAP promised in the manifesto that it will spare no effort to protect and create jobs to keep Singaporeans employed, and will equip Singaporeans to take advantage of new opportunities and growing sectors.
The party also said that it will build a dynamic, resilient and responsive economy. It vows to accelerate digital transformation of all industry sectors, help firms to innovate and adapt with the government's transformation and growth packages, and give small and medium-sized enterprises extra support, promote new growth sectors, among others.
PAP also said that it will establish green lane arrangements for safe travel with other countries, pursue international co-operation, expand trade networks and seek out new markets, participate actively in the global digital economy, and diversify Singapore's sources of food and essential supplies and build resilient supply chains.
The ruling party said that public health and safety remains an urgent task, and it will take actions to reduce the risk of transmission and safeguard public health. Besides, it vows to provide social and financial support for Singaporeans when needed, build a strong and resilient society, make sustainability a way of life, and continue pushing forward infrastructural projects despite the COVID-19 impact.
Singapore will hold the 18th general election on July 10 to elect members of the parliament. The PAP will try to secure their 15th consecutive term in government since 1959.