Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Singapore PM draws laughs in US speech

Update 22 May 2017: Singapore risks being left out of the loop on B&R regional integration

Indeed, on a visit to the US White House in 2013, Lee saw fit to joke about pig soup and pollution at China's expense.

In Chinese, if not Asian culture and diplomatic protocol, this was a big faux pas - all the more so as it occurred in the capital of China's No. 1 strategic rival.

Too often, Singapore, then at the height of its prosperity, seemed to be flaunting its new orientation, without regard for Chinese sensibilities.

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LEE HSIEN LOONG RETIRING

Domestic issues aside, Lee Hsien Loong destroyed the diplomatic relations of long-standing allies due to his irresponsible choice of words.

Lee Hsien Loong mocked China at a US official dinner in 2013, saying that in China’s most influential city, Shanghai, one just need to turn on the tap to have pork soup or open the window to smoke.

Lee Hsien Loong were laughing hard with the white men in US then, mocking his ethnic Chinese roots for having poor record of quality – such amateurish mistake making public closed-door jokes – but Beijing was not laughing for sure.

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Singapore PM draws laughs in US speech
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gestures during his meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April, 2, 2013.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gestures during his meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April, 2, 2013

Singapore is well-known for its efficiency and order, but during a visit to Washington the city-state's prime minister displayed a less advertised attribute — humor.

In an after-dinner speech Tuesday to U.S. businessmen, Lee Hsien Loong made a couple of jokes that could pass for stand-up comedy. He drew laughs — and some groans — with his quips, including one about China's environmental problems:
  • "Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows!" Lee said.
  • "(In) Shanghai, if you want some pork soup, you just turn on the tap," he said.
His audience appeared doubtful if that was good taste, until he added, "That's their joke, not mine!"

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Singapore PM Lee cracks jokes at China's expense, risks hurt feelings
lee-hsien-loong.jpg

"Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows," said Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, in an after-dinner speech to US businessmen this week.

Lee also joked, "(In) Shanghai, if you want some pork soup, you just turn on the tap."

Lee's jokes did not only cover China issues, he displayed a sense of humour which hadn't been apparent on previous trips abroad, and would be an anathema to his Chinese counterparts.

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SINGAPORE PM DRAWS LAUGHS IN US SPEECH

In an after-dinner speech Tuesday to U.S. businessmen, Lee Hsien Loong made a couple of jokes that could pass for stand-up comedy. He drew laughs — and some groans — with his quips, including one about China's environmental problems.

"Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows!" Lee said.

He then alluded to thousands of pig carcasses recently fished from Chinese rivers.
"(In) Shanghai, if you want some pork soup, you just turn on the tap," he said.

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Singapore’s prime minister is funny
Singapore’s prime minister is funny

On Tuesday, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long visited the United States and met with President Obama. That night, in a speech to U.S. businessmen, Lee told a few jokes about China.

AP reports:
  • He drew laughs – and some groans – with his quips, including one about China’s environmental problems.
  • "Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows!" Lee said.
  • He then alluded to thousands of pig carcasses recently fished from Chinese rivers.
  • "(In) Shanghai, if you want some pork soup, you just turn on the tap," he said.

His audience appeared doubtful if that was good taste, until he added, "That’s their joke, not mine!"

read more

Singapore PM draws laughs in US speech

In an after-dinner speech Tuesday to U.S. businessmen, Lee Hsien Loong made a couple of jokes that could pass for stand-up comedy.

He drew laughs — and some groans — with his quips, including one about China's environmental problems.

"Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows!" Lee said.

read more

PM Lee joking about pork soup

Our PM says the darnedest things. For years we have endured or been entertained by his light-hearted banter during National Day Rallies, when serious matters affecting the lives of Singaporeans are delivered with a dose of off-the-cuff, out-of-character humour.

Dead pigs in the drinking water supply is no laughing matter of course, and it’s hard to believe the Chinese themselves would find it worthy of a chuckle, considering how their waters may be tainted with porcine circovirus.

I suppose if the Chinese want to get back at PM Lee for taking potshots at the country’s air pollution and bak-kut teh in the water supply, there’s always Bedok Reservoir to make fun of.

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Malaysia news report: PM Lee is retiring

Nobody is asking for Singapore to kowtow to China or be their vessel state – not even China themselves. China understand the position of Singapore very well, and are ready to provide concessions, as they have done so over the past two decades.

Telling a joke is fine but when not one that denigrate others.

Lee Hsien Loong lacks the sophistication of a statesman, and the tact and craftiness of a diplomat. The real problem lies with himself not realising so – no thanks to the lack of fair criticisms and the greenhouse he created at home with the abuse of defamation lawsuits and the sedition act.

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PM Lee tries to humor his American business audience with bad taste jokes about China during an after-dinner speech in US

The Vancouver Sun, 2 Apr 2013

Singapore is well-known for its efficiency and order, but on a visit to Washington the city state's prime minister displayed a less advertised attribute — humour.
 


In an after-dinner speech to U.S. businessmen, Lee Hsien Loong made a couple of jokes that could pass for stand-up comedy.

He drew laughs — and some groans — with his quips, including about China's environmental problems.

read more

Could this be a monumental gaffe?

PM Lee could have thought that he was being brilliant in his joke and maybe never occurred to him whether or not the Chinese were amused by it. By any standard it could only be described as a sick joke considering the standing of the audience. Even if PM Lee had wanted to please the Americans, was there a necessity for him to insult the Chinese? Is it in Singapore's interest for him to show such abject adulation to the Americans at the expense of the Chinese?

The Chinese are by nature a tolerant people but they also have a long memory. 


It is interesting that PM Lee had tried to explain after he had cracked the unsavoury joke that he was just quoting what the Chinese had said. What is intriguing, if what PM Lee said is true, is why the Chinese would want to denigrate themselves. If the Chinese had cracked the joke about themelves it is strange that our Chinese paper could have missed it. The unsavoury joke by PM Lee was strangely given a miss by The Straits Times and the Lianhe Zaobao. They could have considered it wise not to publish it. So far, there has been no reaction from the Chinese to PM Lee,s antics, probably preferring to keep this matter close to their chest for the time being.

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Singapore PM draws laughs in US speech

He drew laughs and some groans with his quips, including about China's environmental problems.

"Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows!" Lee said.

He then alluded to thousands of pig carcasses recently fished from Chinese rivers.
"(In) Shanghai, if you want some pork soup, you just turn on the tap," he said.

read more

No Laughing Matter

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was obviously not ready for a second career as a stand-up comedian.

According to the same report from Washington, he drew laughs - and some groans - with his quips, including this one about China's environmental problems.

"Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows!"

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PM Lee draws groans as “Mee Siam Mai Hum” comedy gig goes global


Interviewed after the show, Mr Lee said, “I always knew there is a funny yet sophisticated side to me.” 


“There’s this pent-up humour in my belly that was kept inside for too long. I mean, just look at the grim faces I have to live with at home.”

Since the success of his debut act “Mee Siam Mai Hum” at the 2006 National Day Rally, Lee has received strong encouragement from his faithful yes-men fan club to bring the show international.


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PM Lee: Poor sense of humour
lhl
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has a poor sense of humour. During his recent Washington visit, he cracked a couple of off-beat jokes about China during an after-dinner speech attended by corporate big-wigs

Teasing China about its environmental issues, Mr Lee said, “Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke, all they have to do is open their windows!”

The intrepid Prime Minister then alluded to the thousands of pig carcasses routinely fished from Chinese rivers. He said, “(In) Shanghai, if you want some pork soup, you just turn on the tap.”

When the audience appeared taken aback by the distasteful imagery of Bak Kut Teh flowing out of Chinese taps, Mr Lee was quick to qualify himself: “That’s their joke, not mine!”

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PM Lee Hsien Loong inspects Guard of Honour in Germany

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (R) walks ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

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All Singapore Stuff 11 Jul at 08:58

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives in the Philippines and does an impromptu catwalk! #LOL

Garland himself and gaylek with his hands swinging like a lady in a catwalk.


PM Lee: Fix the Opposition

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Lone Ranger PM in G20 Leaders' Summit
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CNA SHOWING PM's HANDSHAKE PHOTO WITH TRUMP

Please see this image that Channel News Asia used for their article about the G20 Summit. It features PM Lee sitting and shaking hands with President Trump in a very feminine and timid manner.

That is what the body language implies. Has Channel News Asia sabotaged our prime minister by showing such an unflattering photo? Many comments on the CNA facebook page remarked on this and some Singaporeans openly criticized him for being so submissive to Donald Trump. Channel News Asia should not have used a photo that showed a “sissy” handshake.

What do you think? Do you think this handshake looks manly and confident?


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Singapore must ‘steal other people’s lunches’ To stay ahead of competition

Amid growing competition, & workers hungry to learn in places like Chengdu & even further away such as Russia, Singapore must not only protect its lunch but steal other people’s lunches, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged.

In this regard, youths in Singapore must especially be on their toes, he said in a discussion with union leaders about the future of jobs in Singapore held recently at Mediacorp.

For example, even as Singapore’s port industry has bounced back from tough times in recent years & is looking for ways to ramp up productivity & stay ahead, it must keep an eye out for new competitors like Malaysia’s Port of Tanjung Pelepas & Port Klang.

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related:
PM Lee Hsien Loong at G20 Leaders' Summit in Hamburg
Singapore must ‘steal other people’s lunches’
PM Lee In The Limelight
PM Lee in Focus
Singapore PM draws laughs in US speech
PM Lee Appalled By Harassment Over Philippine Independence Day Event
PM Lee on BBC's HARDTalk