, Singapore
Photo by Fyrol / Grabbed from President Tharman Shanmugaratnam's Facebook page

President Tharman vows prudent use of SG’s reserves 

Singapore has drawn on its reverse twice.

Newly-elected President Tharman Shanmugaratnam assured Singaporeans that he will “weigh carefully” the use of Singapore’s reserves should the need for it arise in the future.

In his speech at his swearing-in ceremony, Tharman said it is his job as president to safeguard Singapore’s reserves.

“In exercising my veto powers on the reserves and key public service appointments, I will confer closely with the Council of Presidential Advisers, and be thorough and impartial in my assessments,” the President said.

“Should the need arise in future to use the reserves to tackle such crises and existential threats, we will weigh the matter carefully.  We will have to balance between meeting immediate needs and preserving the reserves so that every generation, now and in the future, enjoy their benefits,” he added.

Tharman also pledged that he would be “scrupulous and independent” in making judgements that involve the use of the “second key” on Singapore’s reserves.

Singapore has drawn on its reserves twice: first in 2009 during the Global Financial crisis, and the second between 2020 to 2022 during COVID.

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 will not be our last crisis.  We must grid ourselves for more crises in a far more uncertain and volatile world,” Tharman said.

“There are also longer-term threats to Singapore’s existence and the lives of future generations.  Climate change will be a defining challenge for the world, and especially so for a low-lying island,” he added.

Apart from safeguarding the country’s reserves, Tharman also vowed to build a “truly inclusive society” in Singapore.

“I remain committed to making Singapore a more inclusive and socially just society, which has been my life’s purpose. Government policies have shifted significantly to help us achieve this, and they remain essential,” he said.

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