Singapore, we were prepared since 1965 indeed

By May 21, 2020Current

TL;DR – We ARE prepared. If we stand in solidarity, we will get through this mother of all storms.

It has been 2 months since I came across this post by Mr Calvin Cheng that touched the hearts of many Singaporeans.

And you know what, he was right.

He was right about the world looking like it might end. Remember that fateful day when our number of infections shot past 700? We panicked, many hit the supermarkets and stockpiled like it was wartime.  We were told to stay home, to stop seeing our loved ones, to stop going to school and our workplaces. The streets were eerily quiet. Raffles Place on a Monday morning as never seen before.

But, he was also right that we are prepared. Prepared since Day 1.

“When a nation is born from ashes, reliant on the country that just kicked you out for even food and water, you prepare for the world to end from DAY ONE.”

Despite the stockpiling and the initial chaos, despite the critics insisting that food is going to run out, text messages week after week telling our aunties and uncles to stockpile (cos’ PM going to give speech), the shelves remained stocked!

Shoppers at Fairprice in Bukit Timah Plaza reaching out for toilet paper even before it got stocked in the shelves. Via


We do HAVE stockpiles and a well-planned diversification strategy. Food security is just one part of the Government’s diversification strategy to ensure that our nation is never held ransom by any particular market. We have not run out of Personal Protective Equipment to protect our frontline workers. For a tiny nation with no resources? If this doesn’t show good planning over the decades, what can?

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Prepared for disaster from 1965 indeed.

In his post, Mr Cheng also talked about our stockpile of money.

3 National Budgets in 48 days. Part 4 of the Budget on 26 May. To save jobs, to protect livelihoods.

Medical facilities set up in record time. Plans executed overnight. Overnight, really? He was right about them being plans that were carefully laid out over the last decades!

Our stockpile of ammunition and our F16 on the ready? Well, we certainly hope it doesn’t come to that. But for now, I think Singaporeans are convinced that we were, we are indeed ready since the first day of our independence, since 1965.

We have been prepared for disaster. We ARE prepared. If we stand in solidarity, we will get through this mother of all storms.


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