Self-sufficency critical to our survival

The idea of producing masks in Singapore is a reminder for us to cherish the value of strategic capability in times of crisis (Singapore should produce its own masks, by Mr David Kong, Feb 11).

Having gone through the dark days of the Japanese Occupation, I raised the issue of Singapore’s food production capability with the chairman of the Economic Development Board in the 1970s.

The recent panic buying of essential items brings to mind unpleasant experiences in past crises and underscores the importance of being strategically prepared.

We as a nation need to learn from the Japanese to imbue a culture of stoicism in the face of natural disasters. It took many decades for the Japanese to nurture this quality of being calm, orderly and ready for crises.

When a crisis strikes, public announcements can only do so much in an unprepared city. Mask production facilities initiated by large Chinese factories demonstrate the importance of self-sufficiency in times of crisis.

For strategic reasons, China protects its essential food supply chains, refusing to buy American rice, for instance.

Are we prepared for long periods of lockdown?

As a sovereign nation, we should be well prepared in basic food production, with our own strategic industries as backup, in the event that the general stockpile runs out.

We need to earmark sufficient land to protect basic agricultural and aquamarine seafood industries for national security because the fallout from global warming, pandemics and conflicts is unpredictable.

It is also wise to implement mandatory “limited quantity” purchases of daily necessities in supermarkets during non-crisis periods to prepare citizens for rationing in times of crisis.

We must maintain local production capability while working with trusted regional and global suppliers.

At the end of the day, should there be an unexpected lockdown, we would have to depend on ourselves.


Paul Chan




26 Responses to “Self-sufficency critical to our survival”

  • Talkcockmp:

    Hello, if japan can support its own SME in producing mask for its own hospitals and old folks home n community hospitals with some to export, why the bloody hell our freak gov cannot do the same ???

    Freak gov ownself check ownself ???

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  • Talkcockmp:

    There are small 5 to 6 workers SME in japan producing mask. Same as in thailand, taiwan, etc etc

    Wafer feb factories in taiwan can adapt it factory lines to produce mask, why in freak gov singapore the freak gov cannot compel our wafer plants the same ?,?


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  • opposition dude:

    PAP will say that Singapore is very small so cannot produce anything in large quantities so die die have to import. Even if we can produce our own fish or vegetables it’s a small amount owing to, you guessed it, lack of land.

    But there is no shortage of land when it comes to selling it off to private developers to build condos or to grow the population to 5.8 million and above. That one the land magically can be produced somewhere anytime.

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  • PAP country plan big fail:

    In simple terms, PAP country plan is actually a city plan.

    It relies totally on imports to support the city. Since it has zero control over imports, the city dies in a real emergency.

    Money cannot buy you everything in times of emergency. You want to import masks? Don’t have!

    When you need to import rice urgently? Don’t have. Other countries stop rice export.

    PAP can never wake up. Money cannot buy what you urgently need in a real emergency.

    All the reserve is no use then. Cannot eat. Cannot mask up. Only good enough for the elite to run road.

    A giant city of 10 million people. Crowded like shit during peace time. And cannabalism during emergency time.

    We must stop PAP from further destroying our country.

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  • Another alternative:

    We dont even have enough land to house the people, 10 million soon, sorry, 6.9 million first.
    Look at the kiasi kiasu mentality of Singaporeans.
    PAP loves it because they think they can control these sheep.
    They cause land price to go up and inflate HDB flats prices, people rush and are willing to pay literally a “bomb”, not unlike the masks and toilet papers.
    If you are rich, you will be safe, any country will accept you.
    We have less than 100 cases of Covid 19 and its fatality is very low (assuming the information from China and PAP are real, not fake).
    You think in wars, we can rely on PAP leaders, our citizen army consisting of reluctant Singaporeans and PRs to fight?
    The rich will flee.
    You might as well say what if global cooling takes place. The sun just need to emit a little less heat or solar flare and the earth will be cold like hell. You believe PM Lee’s on global warming? I think Singapore will sink first like Venice and Jakarta, which our mainstream media reported as sinking, but nothing on Singapore.
    If Jakarta moves its capital to Borneo island, and builds a nuclear plant near to Singapore, what do you think will happen?

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  • Bapak:

    For them no problem. Anything happens here, one flight out the rest YDYB.

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  • Greedy And Worthless:

    Our multi million dollar ministars ask you not to use masks because they couldn’t get the supply.

    They lied to you that mask is not useful, instead of thinking of ways to get more masks.

    This is a classic follower mind set. Work within what is dictated,

    These ministars are not worth the millions they are getting.
    They are not goal getters.
    They can only think within the box.

    Unlike Taiwanese where many could think out of the box to solve issues at hand, overcome limitations. Foxconn can make their own masks, why not Singapore??

    The mask could reduce spread, we could possibly avoid blockade, as others could see we have effective measures. Economic impact could be softened.
    The mask could be sold at cost, costing peanuts, ministars couldn’t think of this?
    Citizens get the masks, mask shops could cost recover, excess capacity can sell overseas, isn’t this a good option?

    These ministars have proven that they are not worth their job and not dependable.

    While talking cock, they made fun of other nations to justify their excuse, created diplomatic issues, created another set of problem while unable to solve the current one.

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  • mike:

    @ Greedy And Worthless

    I totally agree with you. A group of worthless and greedy dungs. Blame everyone including their own dafts but its never about their own incompetency. If not because they were using Singlish, people may thought they are members of CCP.

    Making fun and belittle other nations in order to shift attention away from own deficiencies is simply low ball play in current dire situation.

    Having such ‘leader’ makes one feels both shameless and shameful. Shameless that such leader have a pool of ‘strong daft’ supporters while shameful to be associate my nationally with such dafts.

    Greedy And Worthless:
    These ministars have proven that they are not worth their job and not dependable.

    While talking cock, they made fun of other nations to justify their excuse, created diplomatic issues, created another set of problem while unable to solve the current one.

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  • Rl:

    Checked the N95 mask I bought recently before the crisis. It says “Made in Singapore”. Mask brand is 3M and they have a huge facility in Sembawang/ Woodlands. …. unless they manufacture it elsewhere and do only the labelling “Made in Singapore” here. That will be tragic.

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    REGIME CHANGE is also critical for our survival. PAP is a “spent force”. The shortage of masks compounded by its arrogance is another proof. VTO.

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  • Build local capability:

    Need to build local capability in producing basic needs.Useful in times like this.
    Like building a mask factory in 6 days.
    Where are our talented people?
    Busy making easy money ?
    Where are the billions invested ?In Grab ?

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  • only the packaging:

    //unless they manufacture it elsewhere and do only the labelling “Made in Singapore” here. That will be tragic.//

    now this “Made in ?????” can be very wayang lar ? maybe only the packaging lar ? now in marketing and business, this “Made in ????” can be twisted like 4 = 5 and elected = selected ?

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  • justanothercitizen:

    Behind closed doors, labelled a off the record meeting among political elite and business elites. Statement that slammed citizens who decided to stock up essentials because of worry and uncertainty. Calling them Kiasi, idiots and sia suay!

    Is this how a G minister divide the elites vis a vis the common folks? Tell them how unbecoming we are, that we will cause people from other countries to avoid doing business with us? Thereby implying that those business elites in the room will be affected?

    And the business elites in the meeting, now defending the minister, praising him as being down to earth, honest and forthright. He spoke to you all in lingua pasar, like you wouldn’t understand proper English, like you were some old timer merchant along the wharf of old Singapore river. You business elites of Singapore being spoken down to but still lapping it up with glee.

    I salute the person who leak the audio. If Singapore were to change, we need more from the elite ranks to be brave. All those Academics and Professionals from various fields to scrutinize the G, to criticize them when they are failing, to come forth with your knowledge, ideas and wisdom. To boldly offer your alternatives to the people of Singapore regardless of the G stand, when they are failing. That will be the worthier life, than just acting oblivious after being insulted, so that you can benefit in life.

    We need change, we need brave man in high places. Not a bunch who would insult Singaporeans behind closed door.

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  • Truth Seeker:

    We seem to have leaders who are so arrogant and intolerant of others, especially to those ‘idiots’ who elected them.

    We also needn’t be polite to those who use their power to enact self-serving legislation (eg:POFMA), or who promote elitism, cronyism, greed or bigotry, no matter how it is disguised.

    To paraphrase Mark Twain… “It’s not what a man doesn’t know that makes him a fool…its what he knows for sure that isn’t so”

    I believe I do my part in “suffering fools” politely by watching/listening to the video and not going into a diatribe. Really SIA-SWAY…..

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  • Harder Truths:

    You don’t understand the system is not for you and me to survive. It is meant to steal as much wealth as possible from the people and transfer this to the Clown Management System before it collapses from one reason or another.

    This CoV is nothing compared to a real emergency – yet such a containable thing almost caused mass panic and killed off the economy so easily.

    Do not harbour the illusion idea that $G is designed for the long-term. It is a machine that will be discarded when of no further value. Whats happens to you after that is of no concern.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    If u want to buy surgical masks , at the one end of AMK ave 10 one shop selling. Some more balance stock quite alot. This evening i pass by and saw. A packet of about 8 to 10 pcs ( i did not count exactly the qty , just a rough gauge ) price at $8. So take it or leave it.

    I dont see anyone buy. Virus spread seems to tone down slowly. When its over , reduced selling price to $3 i think also nobody interested.

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  • tan kin lian is pea brained:

    70% sheep all, ALL, sama sama as tan kin lian. pea brained.

    if only 70% sheep get to hear what pap chan chun sing said, as all pap folks are saying, 70% sheep sia suay.

    since time immemorial, as long as crooked humans voted into power by peasants, the crooked humans have all, ALL, disdained the peasants.

    of course, so called business men business women all in cahoots with pap chan chun sing, try to cover up for the leaked conversation.

    but if sheep listen carefully, all these yes men yea women who also got their S$m from pap goodies, all laughed at sheep too.

    ALL, all of them, if sheep listens carefully, laughed when pap chan chun sing said SHEEP is sia suay.

    anyone who laughs at you and then says another story, you believe?

    sheep believes.

    we don’t because we are NOT sheep.

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  • Spoilt Brat Chan:

    He is not fit to lead us.

    Sack them!

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    Straits Times: WHO concerned about coronavirus cases with no clear epidemiological link

    If the virus is airborne then it would explain the link.

    Be safe. Wear your mask when outdoor even if you are not sick. Do it also to show you are “sick of PAP”.

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  • pap chan chun sing sia suay:

    REGIME CHANGE is the solution:
    Straits Times: WHO concerned about coronavirus cases with no clear epidemiological link

    If the virus is airborne then it would explain the link.

    Be safe. Wear your mask when outdoor even if you are not sick. Do it also to show you are “sick of PAP”.

    well said, bro.


    when pap says wear mask only after kenna, it is to hide a truth as revealed by pap sia suay chan chun sing.


    pap Singapore has insufficient masks.

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  • RDB:

    At the end of the dAy, how we can trust Peeing And Pooing GaGament with such flip flop minds and not trust worthy in every which way.

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  • Robotic ical Farms Not Gardens:

    Focus on islandwide robotic vertical farming instead of aesthetic ornamental gardens.

    Budget for maintenance of gardens is a sheer waste but maintenance of robotic flatted farming is beneficial and yields food needed for daily consumption, especially during emergency.

    Durable food produce such as potatoes, carrots, tapioca, etc.. could generate a viable source of income for NGOs that participate in Urban Agricultural programme.

    Robotic flatted farming can be built above reservoirs, rivers and cemeteries to maximise utilisation of land and air space. Solar panels can also be fitted to generate electricity.

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  • Build capability:

    Show that many countries including Singapore have not built sufficient capability that can respond fast in crisis in the area of critical need.
    Our funds are not invested enough in critical capabilities and infrastructure.
    Stop investing in companies like Grab, Gojek, Uber, WeWork etc and change our investing policy quickly. It will not help in time of crisis.
    We should be like China in terms of technical, manufacturing automation , construction excellent etc.
    Just look at how they solve the hospital and mask shortage at unbelievable speed.

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  • Invest in local capability:

    Stop all oversea investment. Temasek or GIC.
    Better to conserve cash and invest in local companies here.
    Build local manufacturing capability in critical items needed in a crisis like now.
    We should be like a mini China, capable to respond quickly.
    Just look at the speed they build Hospitals and up masks factories.

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  • Build local food supply fast:

    Need to build local agrotech capability quickly.
    Support our local companies in this critical area .
    Better to have more vertical vegetable and hi tech seafood farms here ASAP.
    Cannot assume we can always get all our food supplies from Oversea.
    Better to have more local produce as much as possible.
    Need to change our National Policy and new mindsets to support local SMEs.
    Now to slow and not much support to the local guys…

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  • Wear mask lah:

    Too many local cases now.Better promote wearing of Surgical masks.
    Not sure rewashable mask can do the job effectively.
    By now,we should be be producing our own surgical masks already like in taiwan and China.Maybe even more than enough and can export like them.
    What happen ?

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