Singapore

Halimah urges youth not to forget the big picture amid Covid-19

Even as young people strive to overcome the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, they must not lose sight of the big picture, said President Halimah Yacob yesterday.

This includes the fact that Singapore's economy is in the process of restructuring, and that new markets and new opportunities will open up.

"Sometimes we look at the subset of issues facing us, but we forget the bigger picture: The various initiatives that are being embarked on to help the economy to grow," Madam Halimah said.

"We started restructuring the economy before Covid-19, and that effort is ongoing... And that is the picture that we also need to look at."

She was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a dialogue with young leaders from Youth Corps Singapore.

Although many such events have gone online since the pandemic began, Sunday's session was conducted in person at the Istana. There were around 20 participants, who were seated at least 1m apart and wore masks, except when they were speaking.

ONLINE COMMUNITY

One participant was Mr Chin Jun Wuen, 21, who started the online community SGExams for students to share notes and help each other with homework.

It has since expanded its scope and now also organises volunteer projects for young people to give back to the community.

"When Covid-19 hit, the students were really quite affected because they had to switch to online learning, and some didn't know how to adapt," said Mr Chin, an undergraduate.

Madam Halimah also spoke at an event organised by interfaith group Humanity Matters yesterday afternoon.

Called The Majulah Assembly, the event featured an online chat between six young people from different religious communities about living with the pandemic through a religious lens. It was hosted by MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling.

In a video message, Madam Halimah noted that many are turning to their faiths to find "strength, comfort and resilience" in the crisis.

Faith volunteers and humanitarian groups have also extended support to vulnerable groups in Singapore, as well as countries in the region, she said.

"As we face this common challenge of the pandemic, let us stand in solidarity with one another, to build a stronger and more cohesive Singapore," she added.

coronavirus