Teck Ghee Chinese New Year Celebration Dinner 2020 (English Excerpt)

After we assess the situation carefully, we decided and announced that from tomorrow visitors who have traveled to mainland China within the last 2 weeks will not be allowed to enter Singapore or transit Singapore. This is so regardless of their nationality because we want to protect ourselves from the situation which is in China where the spread is much wider and the numbers are much bigger. We are doing this as the pre-emptive measure purely to protect our public health. Some other countries have also done the same. We know that China is doing all it can to contain the spread of the virus. They have imposed their own travel restrictions in China on their own people, including canceling all outbound tour groups and bringing back Hubei residents from overseas. It is a much stronger response than what they did when SARS first broke out in 2003. So our efforts to stop the entry of people who have been in China recently will complement China’s efforts. We wish China well in the efforts to fight the virus. We have confidence that China and the other countries will work together to win this battle internationally because it is not just in China that there will be a problem. If in other countries, the countries fail to prevent the virus from spreading and you have a big outbreak in another country, for example somewhere in Southeast Asia, then we will have a big problem in Singapore because we have so many travellers come in and out from Singapore every day. Hundreds of thousands from Malaysia, more from Indonesia and others from Southeast Asia from India and from all over the world. If all that has to come to a stop, I think the impact on us on our economy, on our livelihoods, will be quite severe. So we will work with the other countries, with China, to cooperate to fight the virus to understand the disease, to prevent its spread and we hope to stop the epidemic and gradually to be able to bring the cases down. So we should see this as a public health problem but unfortunately, because people are scared, I think in some countries, we have seen not just for fear of the virus but also anti-PRC sentiments come up because the virus came from China therefore there is an anti-PRC sentiment people become afraid of and against China and in fact against Chinese. So as I said just now, there was a Singaporean Chinese tour group in Australia and they were mistaken for PRC Chinese and they were prevented from entering some some tourist site because people were afraid. This is not helpful at all because the virus may have started in China but it does not respect nationality or race. It does not check your passport before it goes into your body and anybody can be infected and this is the problem that all countries have to work together to solve because otherwise, as I explained internationally, we will have a problem.

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  1. Who is against the PRC? My parents are from China who left before 1949, when China becomes a Communist country for she has a tough time feeding the vast populations with limited food resource. Nature's calamity like famine adds to the sorrows of China when the doors are totally shut to the outside world. At the same time, preventing more Chinese leaving China for a better life in other countries. Then, we have 4 types of school namely English, Chinese, Malay & Tamil. The Chinese schools are mainly supported by the Chinese Clans System. So, majority opted for the Chinese education of Senior Middle Three. So, the first language in Chinese, second language English. Some of these Chinese educated with fairly good in English are observed into the Civil Service. While the English educated, the second language is mainly Bahasa Kebangsaan. Some even study the foreign language like French or Latin. Being Chinese educated, they work for Chinese companies like Oriental Emporium, People Emporium, Great Eastern Emporium and Emporium Holdings. None left except OG and Metro today. This Chinese educated problem is not new but the unhappy turmoils begin since CM Lim Yew Hock's go vernment until today. So, majority of the children are from the Chinese educated parents. Hence, the problems remain till today. What will they think of next?

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