COVID-19 White Paper debate: MPs increase questions on preparations for future pandemics and public spending

SINGAPORE: Preparations for the following pandemic, higher scrutiny on public spending and enhancements to requirements of migrant staff’ dormitories have been amongst points raised on Monday (Mar 20) because the Home debated a White Paper that reviewed the federal government’s COVID-19 response.

Over almost six hours, 19 Members of Parliament (MPs) – together with Chief of the Opposition Pritam Singh – aired their views on the White Paper launched earlier this month.

Workplace holders, akin to Manpower Minister Tan See Leng and Minister of State for Social and Household Growth and House Affairs Solar Xueling, additionally weighed in.

The White Paper, revealed on Mar 8, drew on a assessment performed by former head of civil service Peter Ho, and included interviews with ministers and civil servants.

It additionally included findings of opinions by numerous authorities companies and views from the individuals and personal sectors.

The White Paper recognized six areas the place the federal government might have executed higher, akin to its dealing with of the outbreak in migrant employee dormitories, its mask-wearing coverage early within the pandemic, border measures, contact tracing and the transition to endemic COVID-19.

Talking earlier than the talk, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong acknowledged that there have been areas the place the federal government might have executed higher, including that its response to COVID-19 was “under no circumstances good”.

“We have now been forthright and clear about this, in order that we are able to be taught from our experiences.” 

He mentioned {that a} devoted centre for public well being in addition to a staff that may anticipate and monitor dangers will probably be set as much as higher put together Singapore for the following pandemic.


In the course of the debate, a number of MPs requested if extra might be executed in areas akin to provide chains for key medical units and vaccine improvement capabilities.

MP Tan Wu Meng (PAP-Jurong), as an example, needed to know if the provision chain of “battle armours” for healthcare frontliners akin to face masks and surgical gloves have been being mapped to keep away from focus dangers and assessed for potential vulnerabilities.

Singapore may also aspire to construct up its capabilities in vaccine improvement and manufacturing inside the nation, in addition to in areas such because the learning of latest viruses and pandemic surveillance, he added.

Supply hyperlink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *