PM Lee explains to Australian newspaper why S'poreans cooperative with their govt this Covid-19 outbreak

Social capital and trust has to be build on during the crisis, he added.

Mandy How | March 23, 2020, 05:00 AM

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has attributed part of Singapore's ability in hindering Covid-19's spread to the country's citizens.

He shared his views in a March 20 interview with Greg Sheridan from The Australian conducted over Skype.

Responding to a question on whether cooperative Singaporeans contributed to the success of putting a lid on the coronavirus, PM Lee said that it is a "great help" that the people listen to the government.

He explained that Singaporeans are prone to accepting the explanations provided by the authorities, and trust the mainstream media.

PM Lee also said he felt that Singaporeans have been appreciative of the fact that the government has gone to "enormous lengths" to be transparent.

The prime minister had also explained that Singapore has a ministerial task force that holds a press conference every other day, if not every day, in order to update the people and prepare them for significant developments.

The government also disseminates information in a timely manner, providing information on "what is happening, where they [the people] have to take precautions, what the prospects are going to be".

Staying ahead of the curve

PM Lee also brought up the two televised broadcasts in which he addressed the nation on the subject of Covid-19.

The speeches have helped to reassure and allow people to understand how serious the situation is.

He told Sheridan: "It helps to go into this with some social capital and some trust, but you have to build on that during the crisis. Because if you do not, and people start to doubt what they are told, or think that facts are being withheld, you will be in deep trouble very quickly."

The government is "trying very hard" to stay ahead of the curve, he continued.

PM Lee revealed that for each speech that had work started on a week beforehand, eventually saw 20 revisions being made before it could be delivered, owing to the rapidly evolving situation.

You can read more about his take on the Covid-19 situation in Singapore here:

Top image via Ministry of Communications and Information