Singapore's minister for home affairs, K Shanmugam told that the fight to revive the huge economic impact and the costs caused by coronavirus pandemic would last for a very long time
This crisis is likely to be more serious than past economic crises as it includes many generations, while Singapore is fighting in the field of healthcare and medicine, it includes an economic fight too which would remain for long, said Shanmugam, to CNBC's Squawk Box field who is also the law minister.
He said that people were witnessing an economic devastation, with "businesses destroyed, people's lives ruined," with this condition, he said "you don't talk contract. You talk equity, you talk justice, you talk about what is the right thing to do."
There would be measures to distribute economic pain evenly among people, such as transfer of liquidity from landlords to tenants. This would help in giving temporary relief, while people can take stock of their situation, said Shanmugam, who is also the law minister.
New Bill for temporary relief
A bill was recently passed by the parliament of Singapore to those individuals and businesses who are not able to fulfill their contractual obligations, such as paying rent. No legal action would be taken on them for six months. One cannot insist on the "minutest every single contractual right" at the time, as that it would "suck the life out of the economy," protect everyone was needed," he said. As of today, Singapore has registered more than 1,480 coronavirus cases, with 6 deaths and 377 recoveries.
Strict Social distancing measures
Singapore has taken distancing measures as strict as sitting/standing close to another person opposed to distancing norms can land one in jail for up to six months or a fine could be slapped, not less than $10,000. The country also shut down all non-essential services, workplaces and school.
The government also introduced three stimulus packages equivalent to 12 percent of its GDP as a reaction to the economic damage caused by the coronavirus. The new bill was passed on Tuesday that slaps heavy penalties to offenders. Breaking rules twice would mean fine of up to 20,000 Singapore dollars or imprisonment for a year or both. "When it has the force of law, then people will take it more seriously," Shanmugam said.