Sunday, July 19, 2009

PM Lee: Economic outlook still uncertain

The Singapore economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter of this year, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned last night that the outlook remained uncertain.

Speaking at a constituency event, he called on Singaporeans to work together as a team.
The Government recently revised the GDP growth forecast for this year, from a contraction of between 6 per cent and 9 per cent to a smaller shrinkage of between 4 per cent and 6 per cent.

'It's still quite a severe year and it's something that's not over yet because for the second half of the year, we don't know how the economy will grow,' Mr Lee said.

'And for the next couple of years, 2010, 2011, we don't know how the world economy will be, and how that will affect us and what we can do about it,' he said.

He said Singapore is fortunate to have a population that understood and supported what the
Government had to do.

Mr Lee also launched a one-stop helpline for private estate residents of Ang Mo Kio GRC and Yio Chu Kang. The two-year pilot project allows these residents to dial a toll-free number - 1800 CALL 123, or 1800-2255-123 - whenever they need help with maintenance matters, ranging from tree pruning and drain chokage to mosquito breeding. The line is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays and 8.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.

During this year's Budget debate, Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Lee Bee Wah suggested the helpline, which will be funded by the Ministry of Finance. Ms Lee said unlike HDB estate residents who could approach their town councils for help, private estate residents did not have a one-stop centre to turn to.

Mr Wilson Zhuang, 58, chairman of Springleaf Neighbourhood Committee and a Springside Estate resident, called Traffic Police last year about neighbours who used rubbish bins to reserve parking space outside their terrace houses.

The Traffic Police asked him to called the Land Transport Authority, which in turn asked him to call the National Environment Agency since the matter involved rubbish bins.The Traffic Police took action when Ms Lee stepped in last November.

Source: Sunday Times, 19 July 2009

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