Singapore is moving into a new phase. The message from policymakers is clear — without being complacent about the pandemic, restrictions put in place to control the Covid-19 virus will be progressively eased. Its confidence boosted by a high vaccination rate, a ready supply of booster shots to protect the population against serious infections, and improving treatments for Covid-19, Singapore will open up its economy and re-focus its energies on the post-pandemic age.

As it does so, however, a strange paradox emerges: Singapore has done better than most countries in the world during this crisis and yet, there seems to be a measure of angst in society. The initiatives announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his National Day Rally speech were partly meant to address these undercurrents of unease in society. To better understand where Singapore will be heading in the coming years, we need to get a good grasp of what is causing this angst and of what policy options there are to resolve it.

Economic growth prospects look fairly good — but that may not be enough for the people

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