In the wake of the announcement made by the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) that Jewel Changi has decided to offer a 50% rebate to all its F&B tenants due to to the Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore, industry experts also called on other landlords to follow suit. This, they said, was in expectation that F&B businesses will be hard hit by the virus outbreak.
When you have a largely rent economy that constantly tries to milk the maximum from the Singaporean "cash cow" any shock can drive it to death. Aside from needing short term measures to stave of economic disaster we need a full reevaluation of how our economy is being run and whether this model is sustainable in the long term.
A few hands now control the futures of us all leaving us fragile and exposed and at the mercy of their speed of reaction and their ability to curtail their greed. And it is led by the Government, its policies, agencies and Government linked companies that set the agenda, exploit and compete with our SME's and collect the lions share of the spoils at the same time.
This episode should make it clear that Government should NOT be involved in business and instead should be building an environment and setting policies for resilience, stability, balance and opportunity for all, and not partaking in, protecting and enabling the enrichment of the few.
It is times like this you must confront the hard truths of what we have allowed to happen to our country and think long and hard were the trade-offs worth it? And can we continue without a fundamental change?