Saturday, 24 August 2013

PM Fist Bumping at a Dialogue Session

PM Lee's 'fist-bump' move goes viral

PM Lee Hsien Loong learns to fist-bump, courtesy of undergraduate Jasmine Yeo, at an Our Singapore Conversation dialogue held on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Jasmine Yeo)
Yahoo! Newsroom - PM Lee Hsien Loong learns to fist-bump, courtesy of undergraduate Jasmine Yeo, at an Our Singapore Conversation dialogue held on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Jasmine Yeo)

The prime minister asked if he could use his left hand, she said, and the next attempt was a success.

"Maybe next time I can use this to greet people when I meet them," Yeo said Lee told her.

"This will definitely be a moment to remember. Am really happy that the PM is so willing to entertain my nonsensical request," Yeo wrote.

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Hsien Loong: Being 'thick-skinned' is essential to online resilience

Being proud of what you are doing, and having thick skin: these are the two elements of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's resilience in the face of a hostile cyberspace.

At a dialogue on Thursday night with 60 youth leaders, Lee was asked by a participant from the Singapore Kindness Movement how he remains positive, for example on his Facebook page, when online commentators are unkind.

"First of all, you must not be ashamed of what you are doing," he said. "If there are some naysayers, you must decide if you have the majority with you or not."

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PM Lee on online criticisms: I have thick skin & I’m flame-proof - Post #44

In the online world, anyone is free to comment on whatever I post. Some will agree with me, some will not, and some do not care really.

For those who agree with me, I am happy as we understand each others;

For those who don't care, I will leave them alone as I don't know if they agree or disagree with me though I wish that they do declare if they are 'for' or 'against' with reasons stated/explained;

For those who DISAGREE with me, I will read their comments and make my own judgement, rightly or wrongly, if there are some merits for me to consider their input, even if they are insults and harsh criticism. Or if I have missed out some considerations that they had brought up.

This is the KEY point. Listen and then make my own judgement.

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The Thick-skinned Prime Minister

It is interesting to read that the comical PM Lee Hsien Loong has the humility to admit that he is a thick-skinned prime minister  who is "flame-proof" to cyberspace vitriols against him. But is he aware that adventurers are also thick-skinned but it is not suggested that PM Lee is an adventurer. It however depends on the perception of discerning Singaporeans whether he talks like an adventurer. Although he claims to be immune to cyberspace criticisms, but it does not means that he does not monitor adverse cyberspace opinions about him as he is known to have threatened to take defamation suit against some website which was reckless enough to cross the libellous line.

It is not disputed that the social media had played a significant role in the defeat of the PAP candidates in the Aljunied GRC in GE 2011 and in the subsequent by-elections in the Hougang and Punggol East SMCs. And it would have been foolhardy for PM Lee not to have taken cognition of this. Since the cyberspace has been seen to be unerring in its uncomplimentary and vitriolic comments against the PAP leadership, is it not an act of bravado for PM Lee to say that he is thick-skinned and "flame-proof" to all these?

Discerning Singaporeans who are disgusted with the pro-PAP propaganda of the mainstream media, like the Straits Times, are invariably turning to the social media for alternative views which could have a decisive effect in influencing a pro-opposition electorate in GE 2016. So PM Lee could ignore this political trend at his peril and he cannot be merrily oblivious to this political hazard.

PM on online criticism: I’ve thick skin & I’m flame-proof

It is not known how thick a skin Mr Lee has, as he or his Facebook administrators actually remove negative postings from his Facebook page from time to time.

While noting that it can be intimidating for those not in public life to be flamed online, he said, “I am in public life. You flame me, I’m flame-proof!”

This philosophy is very much shared by the rest of Mr Lee’s ministers. In 2010 during a Parliamentary debate, when WP chief Low Thia Khiang criticised Minister Lim Swee Say’s labour movement for not doing more for Singaporean low-wage workers, Mr Lim replied, “We are deaf to all these criticisms.”

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Big plans for S'pore's Golden Jubilee - It's also a time to reflect on past, think of future: PM Lee

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Guiding the young: Mr Lee (left) with Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong at the dialogue involving some 60 youths last night. - PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG/THE STRAITS TIMES

Fresh from chairing the year-long Our Singapore Conversation dialogue, the next big task on Education Minister Heng Swee Keat's plate is to lead a new committee to prepare for Singapore's Golden Jubilee celebrations in two years' time.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced this yesterday as he said that such a milestone - the country's 50th anniversary since independence in 1965 - should be marked properly with not just a big birthday party, but make it an occasion where people could both reflect on the past and think about the kind of future that they want for the nation.

But even as Singapore can be proud of what it has achieved so far, Mr Lee also reiterated that while people desired improvements in areas such as housing, healthcare and education, all these would have to be paid for in the very likely form of higher taxes down the road.

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He was speaking to young Singaporeans at a post-National Day Rally dialogue on Thursday evening.

The dialogue was an occasion for PM Lee to exchange views with his young audience and for him to hear what they think of his recent National Day Rally speech.

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Volunteer youth corps to start in early 2014

A volunteer youth corps, targeted at youths aged 15-35, will be set up by the National Youth Council (NYC) in early 2014 to support overseas and local community projects.

Previously announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, the NYC targets reaching out to 6,000 youth corps volunteers annually.

The youth corps will have two components: One component of the youth corps involves overseas community projects that will be built on the existing Youth Expedition Project, and the other component involves local community projects that will match youths to critical local community needs.

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National Youth Council hopes new volunteer youth corps will be 6,000 strong

Being part of the National Youth Council's (NYC) new volunteer youth corps - which the Council hopes will be 6,000-strong - is more than just signing up for community work. Participants have to do both an overseas project and a local one. -- FILE PHOTO: NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL

Being part of the National Youth Council's (NYC) new volunteer youth corps - which the Council hopes will be 6,000-strong - is more than just signing up for community work.

Participants have to do both an overseas project and a local one.

And although they will be matched to critical local needs at the start, they will have to develop their own projects after doing research on the ground.

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PM dialogue: Community spirit topmost on youths’ minds

Highlights from Our Stories: Conversations With PM Lee Hsien Loong

Some wondered if it was wise to institutionalise volunteering in the form of the recently announced volunteer youth corps. Others debated whether the new generation of Singaporeans have a sense of entitlement and do not care enough for others.

At a dialogue session attended by about 70 young adults to talk about matters raised during Sunday’s National Day Rally, the majority of the 30 participants who spoke raised issues relating to volunteerism with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong. A few, however, touched on housing and other concerns, but it was clear among this crowd that building a sense of community was topmost on their minds.

The 90-minute session was held at the LASALLE College of the Arts.

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Singapore women: Stop telling us to make babies

Singapore women: Stop telling us to make babies
Singapore women demand end to campaigns for babies

Women in Singapore are increasingly angry over the continued campaigns to get them to start making babies. They have told repeatedly and across ethnic and class lines that it is “insulting” and “angering” that women are being viewed as “baby-making” machines.

“For a country that is prosperous and really well-off, I find these campaigns the ultimate slap in the face as if we women are not individuals but simply machines to push out babies to help the government,” Anna, a 22-year-old recent university student, told

In recent weeks, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has been boosting the national debate on babies, with proposals to Parliament that would attempt to stem the country’s slumping birthrate. And women like Anna are having none of it.

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Singapore's Lee learns to 'fist bump'

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s efforts to connect with younger voters may finally pay off after a photo of him doing his first fist bump went viral on Facebook.

The photograph circulating on the popular social networking site on Friday  showed a gleeful-looking Lee performing the greeting with a young woman at a  youth forum.

“Huh, fist what?” Lee asked when asked by Jasmine Yeo if he would go  through the ritual with her, according to the woman’s account of their encounter on her Facebook page.

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PM Lee In The Limelight
‘Ask the PM’ TV forum
Schools Should Instil Spirit Of Service: PM Lee
Important to balance govt's key goals for S'pore: PM Lee
PM Fist Bumping at a Dialogue Session
Tweaks or Tricks - PM's NDR 2013
Trust will determine success of policy shifts: PM Lee
Singapore remains a sampan, but an upgraded 2.0 version: PM Lee
PM: Facing new media's challenges
Lee & Lee - The job has changed
PM's National Day Rally Speech
PM: We will track you down even if you think you're anonymous
Websites of Singapore President & PM hacked