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“I get a lot of satisfaction from keeping the workspace spick and span. It’s like giving the others a conducive environment to work in, it makes my work purposeful,” Aunty Chan tells me. “No matter what your role in life is, everyone can excel in what they do as long as they put their heart into it.”

To many workers like Mdm Chan, the PWM, together with Workfare Income Supplement have helped to uplift their lives. However, there’s more that we can do for them as we progress together as a country. Perhaps all of us - Government, employers, unions, and Singaporeans alike – have a role to play in the way we support them.



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Progress cannot be made by advocating loudly for a single viewpoint: Heng Swee Keat

We must have the humility to recognise that each one of us have our biases and blind spots. We must also have the humility not to assume the worst of every action or comment and exercise forbearance when engaging such issues, given the deep and emotive undercurrents.

"Being mindful of our biases and correcting them is a constructive step towards progress," Mr Heng said. "Progress cannot be made by advocating loudly for a single viewpoint. We should instead seek out the different perspectives and expand the space for convergence. These apply not just to our youths, but to all of us."



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Government makes advance purchase of Sotrovimab from GSK & Vir Bio

Sotrovimab is an investigational single-dose monoclonal antibody used for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 who do not require oxygen supplementation and who are at risk of progressing to severe COVID-19.

In vitro data indicate that sotrovimab maintains activity against all known variants of concern, including the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants.



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COVID-19 will likely be endemic

COVID-19 will likely be endemic. With vaccination, the risk of infection and transmission are low. Infected people can self-isolate at home.

We already have an effective range of treatments which explains the low mortality rate here. Our researchers actively participate in the development of new treatments. The focus will shift from monitoring the daily number of infections to outcomes: how many fall very sick, how many in the intensive care unit, how many need to be intubated for oxygen, and so on. This is also how influenza is monitored.



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Government accepts higher wages proposed for Cleaners by Tripartite Cluster

What we aim to achieve in Singapore through our tripartite partnership is to have a growing economy which is both pro-business and pro-worker, Mr Chee said. This is ultimately a whole-of-society effort, as the PWM is not only an economic policy but an important part of our social compact.

As such, he urged everyone to support these efforts through our purchases as consumers, and to signal to companies that we are prepared to pay a little more for essential services so that our workers can earn higher wages.



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trade unionism and tripartism

PM Lee said there is no need for Singapore to be defensive of its model of trade unionism and tripartism which has helped us weathered many crises.

In the 1950s, trade unions made common cause with the PAP to press the colonial government for better conditions for workers, and to fight for self-determination and independence. 

In 1961, when the communists broke away from the PAP to form the Barisan Sosialis, the trade union movement also split. The NTUC was established, and stood with the PAP against the pro- communist groups.

Fighting the communists together during the early tumultous years helped forge deep bonds of trust and comradeship between PAP and NTUC leaders. "These bonds endured through the wrenching events of 1965, and saw us through our journey from separation to nationhood," PM Lee said.



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