In masks and gloves, Singaporeans vote under COVID-19 cloud
- 10 July 2020
Singaporeans wearing masks and gloves will cast their ballot on Friday under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic that is pushing the city-state’s economy towards its deepest recession and has made concerns over jobs the focus of the election, APA reports quoting Reuters.
In power since independence in 1965, the ruling People’s Action Party is expected to carry Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to another comfortable, and probably final victory.
The son of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding leader, Lee has held the premiership since 2004, but aged 68 he has already flagged his intention to step aside in coming years.
Seen as a measure of approval for both the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis and the next generation of leaders, the poll results will be closely watched as even small shifts in the PAP’s popularity can lead to major policy changes.
When concerns around immigration and jobs flared in 2011, the PAP polled a record-low 60% of the vote and tightened international hiring rules to address voters’ sensitivities.
And as the Asian trade and banking hub emerges from lockdown to face its deepest recession, these concerns are once again to the fore.
Despite the economic turbulence, Singapore remains a small, wealthy rock of stability, thriving as a financial, trade and transport hub for Southeast Asia.