Panic-Buying in S’pore Started Again After M’sia Announced Lockdown; Minister Assured We’ve Enough Stocks

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Okay, I’ll be the first to admit: the first panic-buying in Singapore, which stemmed from the change of the DORSCON level from yellow to Orange, didn’t sound rational to me.

But this time, it’s a tad rational.

I mean, Malaysia’s going to be on lockdown? With so many of our produce coming from Malaysia, surely this is going to affect us?

Minister Stepped in to Reassure Singapore the Moment Malaysia Lockdown Announcement is Made

Moments after Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced the lockdown that took Singapore by storm, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing immediately took to Facebook to reassure us that we’ll have enough supplies despite the lockdown.

Lest you can’t read, here’s his text in full:

Malaysia has just announced that it will restrict all movement throughout the country from 18 March to 31 March to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 within Malaysia.

Given the close proximity between Singapore and Malaysia, many Singaporeans may be concerned about what this will mean for them.

The Government has been actively working with essential firms such as NTUC Fairprice, Sheng Siong and Dairy Farm International to increase our stock of food and essential supplies over the last two months. This means that we are not in danger of running out of food or other supplies brought in by our retailers.

In addition to building up our inventory of food and essential supplies, we also have in place a robust multi-pronged strategy that will ensure we do not run out of the essentials we require. For example, we have local production capabilities for products such as noodles, infant milk powder and canned goods among others. In the event that we need to increase supply for our domestic consumption, we can ramp up quickly and easily to do so. We have also continued to diversify our sources of essential goods, for example we get a good amount of vegetables from China and even go as far as Australia and Spain to secure our supply of eggs.

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. Otherwise, no amount of stockpiling will be sufficient.

Businesses that employ Malaysian workers who commute between Singapore and Malaysia daily may have to activate their Business Continuity Plans. If they need assistance, they should contact our economic agencies who stand ready to assist.

We will continue to stay in touch with our Malaysian counterparts as the situation evolves. Our priority is to ensure that our people and our businesses are able to continue with their lives and their livelihoods.

I am aware that many of these new restrictions and announcements may be quite overwhelming for many people. I ask for your continued trust and support as we work hard with all stakeholders to ensure that we get through these short-term challenges together. CCS

One thing to note from his post is that he did address about the Malaysian workers who come in to Singapore daily; it seems like there is a chance that they might not be able to come in to work during the lockdown.

There goes my caipng stall.


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But back to the panic-buying; despite the minister’s post being shared more than 8K times in an hour, Singaporeans are not buying it.

Geddit?

Because for a start…the NTUC FairPrice website is down again (I promise I went there just for research and not to stock up on Indomie):

And over on the Internet, images of people panic-buying in supermarkets late at night have been making the rounds.

Image: Facebook (Singapore Atrium Sale)


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Image: Facebook (Singapore Atrium Sale)

Image: Facebook (Singapore Atrium Sale)

So far, it’s not been as bad as it used to be, but remember: the announcement was made late at night, and people are still queuing up as if tomorrow is not a working day.

For all you know, toilet rolls would be gone again.

You can watch this video about why people hoard toilet rolls here (though it won’t be relevant here since we now have a legit concern):


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What’s going to happen tomorrow? Would we see empty shelves again?

Stay tuned because the situation is indeed so fluid, I won’t be surprised if, erm, Jurong West goes on lockdown tomorrow #justsaying

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