Life returning to normal but challenges remain, says President Halimah in National Day message, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Life returning to normal but challenges remain, says President Halimah in National Day message

Life is gradually returning to normal in Singapore after the long battle against the Covid-19 pandemic but there still are challenges ahead, President Halimah Yacob said on Sunday (Aug 7).

In a National Day message broadcast on Facebook, President Halimah said most Covid-19 restrictions have eased and the country is learning to live with the virus.

Singaporeans are travelling once again, and families can now celebrate significant occasions together, she said.

"Last month, we had our first full-scale Istana Open House after two years. It was wonderful to see so many families enjoying themselves."

But sounding a note of caution, she added: "We are not out of the woods yet."

President Halimah identified three key pressure points facing Singapore: economic headwinds, social cohesion, and issues that require long-term commitment like an ageing population and climate change.

She said the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, geopolitical tensions between the United States and China, the repercussions of climate change, as well as disrupted supply chains continue to fuel inflation and drive up the cost of living.

She said: "Slower economic growth will exert tremendous pressure on government budgets everywhere."

Visitors taking pictures at the Istana Open House on July 17, 2022. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE


Madam Halimah also said the importance of social cohesion cannot be overstated.

"Growing inequalities can divide society, so we must ensure that everyone can make the best use of their talents and skills."

She added that programmes that are in place to support needy children and low-skilled workers should be constantly reviewed and strengthened.

"We see extreme forms of nationalism, often based on race and religion, taking root in many countries and dividing societies, and must guard against that," she said.

"Our racial and religious diversity is our strength, but it is not a given. It requires a lot of effort, understanding and empathy to maintain and grow."

While current and urgent issues are tackled, Madam Halimah also said careful planning and implementation are required for issues like Singapore's ageing population and climate change.

She wished viewers a happy National Day.

National Day Message 2022

This Tuesday, we celebrate Singapore’s 57th Birthday. We have eased most of the COVID-19 restrictions and are learning to live with the virus. We have journeyed a long way together in battling this pandemic. It was not easy, but the people’s resolve have enabled us to overcome the difficulties and move ahead. Nothing can stop us if we work together and stay united. Happy National Day! #StrongerTogether #Majulah #NDP2022 Video by President's Office

Posted by Halimah Yacob on Sunday, August 7, 2022
Halimah Yacobnational day