Singaporeans Worried That Malaysia’s Lockdown Might Affect Availability Of Supplies

While the mantra of not panic buying supplies has been overly-preached, it seems that latest developments in Malaysia could reignite the practice.

On Monday (16 Mar), Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the nation will be on lockdown from 18-31 Mar to control the Covid-19 outbreak.

Malaysia’ Prime Minister announces lockdown from 18-31 Mar
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The order requires non-essential businesses and learning institutions to close for 2 weeks. Malaysians are also not allowed to leave the country and foreigners are prohibited from entering.

As Malaysia is a provider of some of Singapore’s supplies, locals are understandably worried about what this could mean for them.

Trade Minister assures citizens that supplies are enough, urges not to panic buy

To alleviate concerns, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing took to his personal Facebook to address Singapore’s supply status.

In 2 separate Facebook posts on 16 Mar and 17 Mar, he shares that the government has actively been working to bolster national supplies of food and essential items over the past 2 months.

Singapore’s Trade Minister urges citizens not to panic buy
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At normal consumption patterns, carbohydrate stockpiles will last for over 3 months, while the stockpile of proteins and vegetables will last for over 2 months.

In the event Singapore requires more supplies, local production of products such as noodles, infant milk powder and canned goods can also be quickly and easily ramped up.

Mr Chan also says that the disruption of supplies from Malaysia is something that the government has always planned for. As such, Singapore also sources essential goods from other countries such as China for vegetables, and Australia and Spain for eggs.

According to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), Singapore’s major sources of supply comes from 11 other countries outside of Malaysia.

Singapore’s sources of supplies
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Barring Malaysia, Singapore would still have these other sources on top of the nation’s own domestic production.

Urges citizens not to panic buy when it comes to supplies

Ultimately, it seems that Singapore’s supplies will not be too affected by Malaysia’s lockdown. Mr Chan hence urges citizens not to panic buy.

He stresses,

Although we are not facing any shortages, I urge everyone to continue to purchase in a responsible manner and to purchase only what you need.

Mr Chan says that as long as citizens buy responsibly, Singapore will have enough food supplies for all Singaporeans.

He also cautions that if people panic buy,

No amount of stockpiling will be sufficient.

Keeping calm in the time of crisis

Although Singaporeans may feel worried about availability of supplies in the near future, we should not panic.

Let’s continue to be responsible with not just our purchases but also our actions, so that we can collectively get over this trying time.

Featured image adapted from The Straits Times and Singapore Food Agency.