Wow, I was watching the live streaming of the National Day Rally 2016 from Helsinki, and my heart skipped a beat at this moment, when our prime minister basically paused awkwardly and felt ill.
And the response on social media was just as resounding: most Singaporeans who are watching the rally did panic.
What was happening?
Imagine the sigh of relief when PM came back on stage!
So today I just want to write a brief note about why Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore, is so respected in and outside of his own country.
It is because as the head of the little red dot, he really does put Singapore’s interest before his own.
Tonight’s event is testimony of that– he could have chosen not to continue the speech. But knowing that this event would probably appear on the global press the next day (well, it IS a big deal that Singapore’s prime minister sort of “collapsed” briefly during its own National Day Rally), he had to and wanted to finish the speech.
And he did!
The position of prime minister of Singapore–in spite of its perceived huge pay cheque– is hardly enviable. For one, Prime Minister LHL probably has to worry about the issues of this small country all the time– will we survive another 50 years? Will we be the next targets of terrorism? etc. It doesn’t take much for Singapore to suddenly perish as a country–after all, small cities have risen and vanished in the past.
Then anti-government folks always complain about lack of freedom of expression, lack of support for local arts/sports/entrepreneurship, lack of human rights in Singapore. Oh yes, and huge income gap of course. Then it is always the prime minister’s fault and of course the 69.9% (including me since I vote for PAP) who are blamed.
I don’t think the “Singapore system” will ever change in the next 20 years, but apparently for most Singaporeans, it works fine. And to head this system as prime minister with no doubt, with compassion and with the utmost mental strength is absolutely admirable. 🙂
I’m proud of my prime minister! And how many citizens of the world can say that of their prime minister?