The Online Citizen

Lee Kuan Yew's 'below the the belt' answer

September 09
12:29 2011

~by: Ghui~

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and 1,700 students and faculty members had gathered in NTU’s main auditorium to hear Mr Lee Kuan Yew give his take on the way forward for Singapore (see HERE).

Singaporean Joan Sim, a PhD student at Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) School of Biological Sciences posed the following question to Mr Lee:

“Given the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity, what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness?”

She had expected Mr Lee to ask her questions as well but the questions he asked her took her by surprise.

He wanted to know how old she was. When she replied that she was twenty-seven, he asked if she was married. In response to her reply in the negative, he asked when she would finish her PHD and calculated that she would be twenty-nine when done.

He then proceeded to ask if she had a boyfriend. Her negative answer led Mr Lee to draw the crowd’s attention to the female biological clock and a woman’s child-bearing years stating that after 35, the dangers of having children with Down syndrome rises.

He concluded their question and answer session with advising her not to waste time and wishing her well in both her PHD and getting a boyfriend.

While the issues of a declining birth rate and immigration are linked, I am not sure that one is a direct causation or effect of the other. In that sense, Mr Lee totally evaded Ms Sim’s question. The government has defended its policy on immigration by stating that foreigners are needed to boost the declining birthrates but is that a long term solution?

Secondly, Ms Sim was not questioning the policy of using immigration to boost declining birth rates; she was merely asking how to build social cohesiveness. There was simply no need to embarrass her by pointing out that she was single in front of an audience. Besides, it almost seems like he is blaming her and all other singletons for the need for immigration!

There are many reasons for Singapore’s declining birth rate. It cannot be simplified into young people wasting time and not getting married.

In our increasingly busy lives, the business of finding a suitable partner is a complex one. Finding time to meet people is a problem that should not be underestimated. One may argue that we should learn to prioritise but that is so much easier said than done.

The cost of living in Singapore is increasing and people need to work hard to ensure that they are not left behind. Working hours are long and bosses do not necessarily understand the concept of work life balance.

When you are low in the packing order, you tend not to be the first one out of the door so suffice to say, you will spend most of your twenties in the office.

Even if people have partners and get married, they may not have children until they are in their 30s for the same reasons cited above. So in reality, the root causes of the problem are the need for greater work life balance and policies aimed at reducing the costs of living in Singapore.

Using immigrants to boost declining birthrates is but a short term measure that does not deal with the problem head on. Immigrants may not stay and even if they do, immigrants will age as well. It is therefore not sustainable.

At best, immigration can be used as a potential tool for slowing — as opposed to overcoming — population ageing.

The issues of marriage and family are deeply personal ones. For Ms Sim to have been asked these personal questions in front of a crowded room by a well-known politician, who is credited by many to be the architect of modern Singapore, must have been extremely uncomfortable. I feel for her.

Her question to Mr Lee was a fairly straight forward one which deserved a direct answer without bringing in her marital status. Ms Sim’s marital status has absolutely no bearing on fostering social cohesiveness. Nor is it her fault for not having a boyfriend or not being married. These are but side issues to the bigger problems of a declining birthrate due to increasing costs of living and longer working hours.

Singling her out is irrelevant to her question. It is also below the belt and had the dual effect of evading a direct question and shaming her for being brave enough to ask a valid question.

  • Sam

    Typical Lee Kuan Yew tactic. Avoid answering awkward questions by digress . Ms Joan Sim should just tell him to mind his own bloody business.

  • Please Forgive LKY

    Please forgive LKY. This old man, at 88, is too old to do anything worthwhile. His mental faculty is gone and someone has to tell him to stop embarrassing himself and the nation. This will be the beginning of many embarrassing blunders by the old man. SPH will obviously cover up the blunders at the detriment of the old man and the nation.

    Well done,TOC, for raising this up for the attention of all.

  • a little bit of soap

    This is the typical arrogance of a senile man! No need for Joan Sim to get an answer. The next GE2016 will be the answer!.. and who gets the brunt..his son and the PAP !

  • sham

    Another 1700 votes lost for GE 2016 ! LOL !!!

  • Ace

    One of the problem we see today is the result of past policies by the papies. It can take years for a bad policy to cause problem, but they definitely will.

    I believe that the papies see themselves as investors but they really are traders in the stock market definition. Whenever they see a problem, they would find a quick fix and then try dealing with the side effects through a combination of conviction, confusion or condemnation if people do not accept the explaination.

    In this respect the local MSM and the PA are required to tow the gahment line. Hence I have always regarded that the success of Singapore is to a great extent contributed by the hardworking and practical citizens and a smaller extent to the gahment rather that the other way round.

    The question posed by the PHD student touched on an area which the gahment has no answer yet and hence there is no way that he could have given an answer without being slammed by the netizens. Hence he is using a FALLACY technique to re-direct the answer with a problem that is totally unrelated to the original question.

    This techniques had been used by the papies effectively for years until the birth of the active online community which by using their combined intellengence and reasoning taught the audience to see through the smoke screen.

    The gahment will need to find a better solution to the ageing problem in Singapore. The current policy of using immigration to fulfill this role is a ticking timebomb. Unfortunately, the opposition who may form the gahment in the future might be the one who is left holding the BABY if these policy are not resolved in time.

  • Guts

    I think our younger generation still lack the guts to stand up to authority. The PHD girl should tell LKY firmly that he did not answer her question after his barrage of personal questions directed at her!!!

  • Jonathan

    Lee should apologize to her.

  • andrew leung

    Ms Joan Sim should propose to LKY, he will leave her a great inheritance, no need to study so hard.

  • doppelganger

    What the Institute of Policy Studies and LKY fail to understand is that bringing in people and nurturing them in Singapore in such large numbers is not the same as nurturing Singaporeans. LKY and his over paid Ministers are paid by Singaporeans to look after Singaporeans and not look after the babies of China, India, Phillipines, Europe etc.LKY should look for economic strategies for the original population in Singapore.He should cause studies to be done on why the local population is not reproducing itself and not just import babies.Every parent would want to have babies that are from their own bodies not from any sweating body. If Goh Keng Swee thinks like LKY now, he would not have bothered to found Jurong Industrial estates. It would be much simpler for him to invite peoples from the more established countries to colonize us and run the country. I think wether that LKY is senile or that he wants to eliminate the Singaporean bloodline (genotype) in Singapore. What do you expect of the IPS who advises LKY and the Ministers? They don’t know what to do as well, they only churn numbers mindlessly. Even if they know to do, they are afraid of LKY’s ISD.


    Our solution is not to mass import anymore PRCs, indias, pinoys, viets etc

    The SOLUTION IS to EXPORT LKY AND REGIME and never let them in again

  • lim

    The author of the article has obviously never went thru a session with the old man.

    This is a guy that has dossiers of the people attending just so that he can understand the context of what they’re saying. Nothing new.

    Marriage, child-bearing etc is a hallmark of the LKY era. DUH. Where have you guys/gals been living?

    I actually LKY’s response was thought provoking (without commenting on whether I agree with his view). He personalised the response to why the questioner did not herself get married early, have children etc which is the primary basis why the govt continue to choose immigration. A thinker would have added 1+1. Its consistent with what he has been saying all these years.

    P.s. Most people I know that have went thru an LKY session have the same experience. Its a bit disappointing to read the headline for this article. Clearly the author doesn’t know how LKY thinks.

  • Antique

    PAP do not have anyone willing to come up into the open to justify the mass immigration policy in a public forum for fear of online attacks, so they pushed out this piece of antique called LKY to do the job.

  • Sick of him

    @ doppelganger

    Not that lky fail to understand importing a population is different from nurturing our own, what lky want is to have the world’s population esp PRCs population admiring, adoring him and calling him PM father and eco. miracle worker!!

  • David

    Frankly, I didn’t watch LKY craps nor read a single books written by him or anything coming from SPH mouthpiece. However I was furious to learn about an episode of what transpired in the above article. Ms Sim is an innocent girl asking very genuine and down to earth question. By not answering her directly and fudging question only show the quality of LKY leadership in his failing years.

    As usual, such are PAP usual styles of blaming everyone except themselves for the cause of low birthrate. Will LKY still deny his stop at 2 birth policies under his leadership? Todate, he has not uttered a word of taking full responsibilities for his words of keeping birth rate low in his time as PM and discriminating non-graduate mothers by making unfounded statement that their child will be a nuts like the parents if graduates marry a non-graduates. Those were his times of criticing people wanting to choose their choice of parnter.

    Now, his son leadership has creatd a huge impact on our living cost that took away every reason for people wanting to get married and have kids. High cost, High stress, Strive to be cheap, learn to live in crammed space, no certainty of job security, legislation created further financial burden – taking care of parents became mandatory, divorcee has to serve their matrionial or faced bankruptcy, child care fee increased, maid levy increased……and so LKY is saying those are not the problem for not getting married, the problems lies with the people, not the PAP.

    Since when did LKY became a gynae or doctor and which daft doctor told him so that woman at 35yo have risk of abnormal baby. My friend now in her 40s has healthy male baby because she did not work and have less stress to worry about. Besides, she made healthy home cook food which increased her chance of having a healthy baby. Many of my other young colleagues have problem conceiving due to stress at work or other complications. One of my friend even have miscarriage having to squeez in the MRT. Is this not policy created problems?

    Are the people to blame and PAP is still a saint? I would have bombarded LKY in his face that he has not answer to my direct question. His son is a retarde and that is all he could get but at the expense of Singaporeans.

  • Tony Wong

    Just a food for thought .. if everybody say there dont have time to settle down as need time to choose partner and also working hard to earn money to survive..thats the generic comeback from the masses ..Question is why our Bars , Foam Parties, Drink parties , Ladies Nights , F&B expenditures rises every year ? Siglap Geylang red spots thriving like nobody business , Orchard Towers party girls waiting to be picked up every night… So why everybody complainig no time to settle down but lots a lotsa lotsa time to indulge in above leisure and recreation activities ,..Something is not gelling here .. mmm

  • Reary?

    Please , for singapore’s sake , stop embarrassing us singaporeans . Ms Joan Sim has a PHD , highest obtainable in terms of studies . You , retired and muttering garbage , should be grateful that she hasn’t left Singapore NTU for Harvard etc . Have you ever considered that with the freaking amount of foreigners I see whenever I go out of my house would do to my sense of the singaporean identity ? It’s like walking through a ” new ” section in a store and all of them are labelled ” made in china , made in India , made elsewhere ” . I liddat also pitty the girl , having a old man question whether she is married

    my suggested answer -

    married ? married to who ? the 900000 foreigners you welcoming to Singapore ?

  • Zhou

    I do not think there were anything wrong with LKY’s questions. He was merely trying to let Joan see the other side of the coin.

    Quite often, we ask questions solely from our biased perspectives, and it takes others to help us see and appreciate views from another perspectives.

    This is what TOC’s missions are as well, isn’t it? They ask questions and present alternative views to counter what MSM published…but you would not said TOC is hitting below the belt by doing so, right?

  • Disgusted

    Typical of PAP and the Old Man to blame Singaporeans for not increasing the population.

    And so, they flood the population with foreigners who will vote for them in the General Election.

    Trouble is, a majority of Singaporeans will do the same for GE 2016.

    Don’t count on big change for GE 2016. The daft majority and new citizens will see to that.

  • booboo

    Zhou 9 September 2011
    I do not think there were anything wrong with LKY’s questions. He was merely trying to let Joan see the other side of the coin.

    Quite often, we ask questions solely from our biased perspectives, and it takes others to help us see and appreciate views from another perspectives.


    Hey asshole, Joan Sim’s question was: ” Given the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity, what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness?”

    What side of the coin or biased perspective u talking about? ISn’t this an obviously objective question? My same response above to “bastard lim” applies to you: let me devirginize your daughter, and let the Lees rape your mother/wife/sister. How about that? Let the females in your family be raped the way the whites did to black women during teh American civil war. Raped and be thrown to the dogs.

  • mike

    the way i see to it that lky has no clues how on earth that singapore has faced such influx by millions fts caused problems to singaporean simply cos of his so called ‘talented’ civil servants who caused such screwed up policies.

    who is to be blamed? as a businessman, i have believe that if company failed and collapsed is the fault of the boss himself not workers as decision is passed on down to them fo execution.

    so the answer is so obvious that lky and his pap team only screwed up and a big hole as well. hence, how the hell can he solved the problems now?? so only way for the time being is to give to singaporean bit and adjust as it comes.

    indeed, we really need new blood be pap or opposition party who are capable and talented to lead us out of this blackhole created by old fart.

  • Disgusted

    I agree with Sam. Typical tactic of Harry Lee of not answering the question. Instead, he levels a question at the questioners.

    It throws them off and distracts people from what was asked in the first place.

    Typical bullying tactic.

  • Raymond

    It’s pecking order. Not Packing Order.

  • Raymond

    Doesn’t LKY’s answer sound familiar? Tony Tan also told undergraduates to focus more on their studies than waste time debating about the Grad Mom Scheme.

    So the pattern is clear, when they know they cannot convince you, they scare you into thinking you’re wasting youth thinking about something you shouldn’t.

  • Lee Leng Kok

    hey, Young Singaporeans, even you are not marry, but still younger than his daughter, who is a doctor. You may ask him is she married? Has she produced any childrens for Singapore? NO! that what the f**king stupid attittude he had?

  • Titiana Ann Xavier

    LKY fights dirty all the time. His favourite tactic is always to go on the offensive. Attack is the best form of defence.

    He could not come up with a good answer to Joan Sim’s question and used his knuckleduster in reply.

    LKY has lost the respect of Generation Y with his latest display of hubris.

  • Evasive


    This is not a question of trying to get to see the other side of the coin. the question was on “how to foster a sense of belonging and social cohesiveness” with immigration influx and not on how the low TFR and declining birth rate forces the need to have immigration to replace the population.

    LKY evaded the question using his usual talk-down style.

  • popcorn

    All PAP members have ingrained in them, when facing a big audience to answer a difficult question, the best action to take is over turn the table and throw back question/questions, which mostly or wholly unrelated. In the end these politicians taichied the question away, leaving it unanswered.
    LKY, GCT, etc., the same. And they call it engaging the audience.
    All Ms Sim wants to know is how to maintain a sense of belonging of true blue citizens, and how to create social cohesion among citizens and new immigrants. Have question, no answer. A complete waste of time.

  • sg lee

    I wonder whether the author “Ghui” or any of the above commentators are female. If there are female and age 35 or higher, do they already have babies?

    There are many reasons why there are not enough baby singaporeans. But the primary reason is that for Singaporean women
    a) a significant no. will not compromise and marry a man.
    b) they want to have their owm career and do not want to take care of babies
    c) marrying later, they may have some medical issues that impede childbirth

    I am looking for a woman above 30 to refute or support my views.


    He wanted to know how old she was. When she replied that she was twenty-seven, he asked if she was married. In response to her reply in the negative, he asked when she would finish her PHD and calculated that she would be twenty-nine when done.
    that is leekinyou famous dirty trick to evasive answers he cannot rebutt
    ow many times hav he used this knuckle style before…
    the last time he asked the nus student
    1)who are you
    2)what is your father name
    3)where do you lived

    what does all this gotta do with askin a decent Q to a man of ministerships

  • xlandjy

    Whether it is in communist China or liberal US, the students in Beijing Or Washington would not let LKY off…

    The PhD student is a by-product of LKY and thus could (or deserve) take all the insults hurled by LKY.


    If someone else were to answer Joan Sim by asking her her age and marital status, which has absolutely no bearing to her question, Ms Sim would probably retort by telling him not to dwell into her personal bio if he is unable to answer her question.

    In the case of LKY, nobody in the audience had the audacity or simple sense to step up and ask: so what is the answer to her question?

    Obviously the answer is totally out of context, every listener knew that. Ad nauseam, it was a slap on Sim’s face for trying to elicit an answer from the veteran old man when she should know better. I suspect these young people really do not possess political acumen or political awareness as LKY just mentioned earlier in his speech.

    Dont expect to be treated equally in such Q&A with the man. Or expect an answer from an innocuous question.

    Joan Sim would be better off keeping quiet and save herself a lot of embarrassment from this episode.

  • http://Website(optional) iworkhardsometimes

    is the low fertility rate a real unsolvable issue or a useful bogeyman to justify immigration?

  • lee kwan yew is racist

    LKY should look at home first before criticizing others. what about the 50+ yr old virgin daughter of his? she wanted to marry an indian, but the racist pig LKY forbade her from doing so.

  • mike

    To all those commenting, I suggest u take a look at the clip 1st. LKY did provide a pretty long explanation at first (whether u subscribe to it is a another story altogether). But when he asked her if she was married etc, he was doing it in a very candid manner and offered more of a fatherly advice. Everyone had a gd laugh and I believe nobody took offence to it. Just my two cents..

  • doppelganger

    The PAP treats Singapore like a cow for milking. It fattens the cow with all sorts of people willing to come here for the short term exploitation of their economic contribution. Thus the whole range of labour are indiscriminately welcomed whether or not they complement or replace the local workforce. Because of this the local workforce from manual to managerial and professional find extreme difficulty to secure and retain work which earn fair incomes.To ease the frustration of the citizenry the PAP throws money at them in the form of workfare and the like.It is notable that the rulers of the middle eastern countries also throw money at their populations in the form of cash payout, price controls of essential goods and other subsidies but could not stop the great uprisings now in progress.By continually adding to the population in astronomical numbers each year to jack up the GDP, the PAP is merely buying time, maybe 5 years, 10 years or even 20 years before the inevitable explosion comes. Because it is certain that a world depression is in the cards, whether tomorrow or in 10 years time. At that time the Government has to look after all these millions more of people it brought into Singapore in such frenzy. I envisage a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions which even our supposedly billions of reserve dollars cannot sustain for a reasonable time to ride it out.So LKY, forget about Singapore punching above its weight. You are creating a weight of people who will sink the country once the world economy snaps. Even US, UK , Australia etc takes in foreign talent, but not stupidly like the PAP. Anyone who has ever applied to work in any of these places would testify as to the degree of carefulness, these countries choose their workers and their potential citizens. Your million dollar salaried officeholders are so mesmerized that they are unable to tell the difference between judicious choice of migrant workers and a mad rush to fulfill your instructions.

  • xlandjy

    I recall that there was one Mr Han from NUS ever took on LKY a few years back and Han prevailed…

  • Joel

    Perhaps LKY’s daughter should take the lead by contributing some babies for Singapore. It will be fantastic Lee family lead by example.

  • Priscilla

    Why is everyone complaining that he didn’t answer the question. He answered the question brilliantly, hit it on the nail if I may add.

    Sense of belonging is all in the mind, what can you possibly do to foster social cohesiveness? Gather round and sing national songs?
    To foster social cohesiveness, firstly…everyone has got to ACCEPT that foreigners will be part of our social fabric.

    However, it seems like there are hoards of Singaporean out there who don’t understand the why this is necessary. He’s simply reminding us the reason for the influx of immigrants…..and even manage to provide an actual case study. Bravo.

    And all that talk about him going senile, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s one man senile or mass stupidity. Hmm.

  • dah

    All these so-called forums, where LKY is invited, are just part of the overall ‘toe the line’ effort to boost LKY’s ego and show that he’s still ‘useful’.

    Come on, don’t be ‘draft’, stop attending such forums. But, if you have to, and have to ask a question, tell him to STOP using his same old tactics – what’s your age (especially if you are a female), where you live, marital status etc… all to put you in an awkward position and feel embarrassed. You are not asking him for some personal advice… so such info are not necessary. Just tell him to answer the question… the moderator should know better and do his job.

    I’m in my 50s… I’ve seen LKY’s same old tactics 100s of times… why keep on inviting this senile person

  • http://Website(optional) iworkhardsometimes

    i am surprised that ppl actually believe that one can actually get answers from politicians.

    no matter what questions u ask, u will always get what they want u to know, not what u want to know.

    if Fareed Zakaria or Charlie Rose can’t do any better, what makes u think u can do better than them?

  • Beltless

    He does not believe in belts. Anywhere can be a hitting target.

  • doppelganger

    The title to the Philemon article,”Keeping Singapore Young….” grips my attention, but when I understood that the young is foreign babies, I despaired. Seems like LKY is the godfather to all babies in the world and any foreign baby born in Singapore serves the purpose.The Singapore problem of low fertility is completely sidestepped. The economic problem is solved by mass immigration. Singapore as we know it is going and gone under the last gasp of this regime.

  • http://Website(optional) iworkhardsometimes

    @ Priscilla

    don’t just gobble up watever figures that are thrown around.

    lets say, if the fertility rate for the original population is 1.8/2.1(a figure stated by LKY himself) all along,

    how the hell are we going to get 5million+ with 2m+population with 2.1 fertility rate to start with?

    so, suffice to say, the figures do not add up and the argument for immigration is highly simplified.

  • booboo

    Priscilla 9 September 2011
    Why is everyone complaining that he didn’t answer the question. He answered the question brilliantly, hit it on the nail if I may add.

    Sense of belonging is all in the mind, what can you possibly do to foster social cohesiveness? Gather round and sing national songs?
    To foster social cohesiveness, firstly…everyone has got to ACCEPT that foreigners will be part of our social fabric.


    Hey sarong party girl, how many illegitimate children have u borne? I’m sure u wanted to bear children as well for the Lee family, but oops, u not good enough. SO which lorong in Geylang do u belong?

  • andrew leung

    “Given the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity, what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness?”

    LKY showed that he was more concerned about declining population. Ms Sim don’t have to feel embarrassed. This shows that MOE needs to inculcate more students to participate in class discussions and think on their feet and participate/lead in some community projects and action etc.

    LKY has said Singapore is not yet a nation and whether our nation/national identity can be forged in a 100 years. He also said the pledge is an aspiration. Ms Sim must work out her own answer and not expect top down answers.

    The government can make use of IT to complement its existing outreach efforts through PA etc. It needs to start a free “dating/facebook” equivalent website to let people “meet” based on search criteria etc and get to know others and create “events/interest group” function like and “who lives in my neighborhood” websites that show who lives in your neighborhood using your postal code to identify other users living within your proximity.

    Other more in-depth policies ideas, you have to approach more ministers like MG Chan etc. LKY does not have all the answers to the world’s problems and he has run the race and fought the good fight. He will get his reward. It’s time for you to take your stage.

  • Brendan

    What would be interesting is for her to lodge a sexual harassment complaint against the old fart to her faculty, hopefully they’ll bar LKY from coming. Better still try a police report.

  • BillyMa

    Firstly, lky is the creator of this problem. His ‘stop-at-two’ policy created this situation. He placed many obstacles so that all, except some, have no choice but to abide by this lky law.

    Next time someone should ask lky how many children his rich & large family got. Or is the lee family like one famous family, who expect everybody sons to serve the army in whatever assignments but kept their own out of harms way.

  • Sesame Street

    @ Priscilla

    To foster social cohesiveness, firstly…everyone has got to ACCEPT that foreigners will be part of our social fabric.


    If Joan didn’t ACCEPT foreigners (Naturalised citizens)she wouldn’t be asking how govt is going to create sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness,would she?

    You hit by nails in the head?

  • booboo

    Sesame Street,

    Good answer. “Priscilla” brains not up there, but down there where it had been ravaged by countless men.

  • hiller

    This immigration policy issue will not totally address the social implications of the declining birthrate. Firstly, the very stressful work environment coupled with the paper chase will hardly abate given the Government’s sole focus on economics. Social considerations are placed a very far second or third.

    The immigartion policy is just as destructive as LKY’s stop at two ploicy. The results and repurcussion will be felt a few years later. It is only then can one truly say this beloved country of ours has truly gone to the dogs.

    It boggles me to note that sociologists in acadamia never really say much or anything about the huge impact of such dare I say “daft policy”

    Only seems to me that economists have their say or maybe “encouraged” to trumpet the need for such policies.

    We should look around our neighbourhood to feel the strain. I for one ironically being born here and my family of seven are all true blue Singaporeans feel the glaring stares from fellow Singaporeans because we are a minority and we do not look like Chinese Singaporeans as we are or mixed ethnicity. The stares we get we had never experienced before the floodgates were opened. Singaporeans think we are not Singaporeans. How ironic!

    What I can derive from this is so much hatred from Singaporeans for foreigners. I hope the Goverment wakes up to this reality before hatred becomes a norm from our once friendly people.

  • lim

    @ Priscilla 9 September 2011
    Why is everyone complaining that he didn’t answer the question. He answered the question brilliantly, hit it on the nail if I may add.


    The problem is that not many people understood the answer.

  • cesspool

    To all Gen Y:

    This is the response you get from someone who thinks he knows it all, who thinks that what’s right during his time should be shoved down your throats, who thinks he is the one to determine your future. Do not let him tell you how to live your life. You do not owe him a living, and you do not need him to carve out your future for you. Show this to him via the ballot box in GE 2016. This man likes to say he is always learning, but clearly is not interested in learning about what you think and what motivates you. Teach this man a lesson he has thus far failed to learn all 88 years of his life. Pride comes before a fall.

  • booboo

    lim 9 September 2011

    The problem is that not many people understood the answer


    Of course, only people like u working in Big 4 accountancy firm as senior partner is on the same wavelength as the old fart. Old fart needs viagra, so do you. Meanwhile, let me service your wife while you watch, would u?

  • Realhardtruth

    Another pathetic article you so very frequent see in this online site that is really long on accusations and totally short on sound observations and balanced comments. And most of what you read in the forum are much worse than pathetic. They are childishly personal, largely gibberish and mostly dirt. I suppose we have to cater for all and this site caters to people whose only intellectual skill is trash talk. Online sites like this must rid itself of mean mouths and blank heads if it want to salvage it’s fast disappearing credibility.

  • booboo

    Realhardtruth 9 September 2011
    Another pathetic article you so very frequent see in this online site that is really long on accusations and totally short on sound observations and balanced comments. Online sites like this must rid itself of mean mouths and blank heads if it want to salvage it’s fast disappearing credibility.


    Sure, why not stick to CNA which helps the old fart spread his gospel truth? And meanwhile, do spare some change in the form of SPH shares to us, could you?

  • Priscilla

    Fair enough. :)

    I have a Masters, and was in the middle of doing a PHD before I dropped it. I have no kids.

    I’m pretty much the same person LKY has “insulted” but I’m not offended at all, so why are you?

    The things people say under the cloak of anonymity… wow… makes me really proud to be a Singaporean…

    “Good answer. “Priscilla” brains not up there, but down there where it had been ravaged by countless men.”

    “Hey sarong party girl, how many illegitimate children have u borne? I’m sure u wanted to bear children as well for the Lee family, but oops, u not good enough. SO which lorong in Geylang do u belong?”

  • booboo

    Priscilla 9 September 2011
    I have a Masters, and was in the middle of doing a PHD before I dropped it.

    I’m pretty much the same person LKY has “insulted” but I’m not offended at all


    Are you? Is there any indication Joan Sim is incapable of completing her PhD?

  • Rhetorician

    LKY answered the question brilliantly by making her come to the conclusion by herself. It proves he is still very sharp.

  • Priscilla


    Any indication that she is capable in completing and I’m not? Try reading sometimes, it helps in comprehension and basic logic.

  • Libran

    His unintelligent answer tells us he is really going downhill, perhaps going senile.

    On a more serious note, it’s high time we Singaporeans wake up to the reality that we have been led down the drain through the PAP’s population Ponzi scheme which is clearly unsustainable.

  • Andrew

    All this stems from the population controls in the past. The stop at 2 policy is the government attempts at social engineering which as we can see can have far reaching consequences for our country. Consequence which now we are facing. The influx of foreigners is another attempt. Who knows what is the outcome for Singapore in years to come. Human can’t stand in the way of nature.

  • reason

    @ Realhardtruth, lim, priscilla

    Unfortunately such online sites will thrive simply cos foul mouths and empty heads have nowhere else to go to voice their vitriol.

    Pity, cos I visit occasionally to read reasoned arguments and an alternative anti-establishment (but not IDIOTIC!)views.

    Whether you like LKY or not, it’s not hard to see that he addressed the answer well. Unless people want to be treated like kids to whom one has to spell out the ABCs?

  • DT

    I agree with the writer fully. I don’t think LKY was impressive at all by fudging the question (it is a very simple question, why can’t he just answer it). It is also very rude to ask a lady about her age. He should also mind his business about the lady’s personal life. It is not nice at all. Perhaps that is the problem with him and the PAP government. They have the eyes on the wrong issues!

  • Rights

    The student can always chose not to answer LKY questions. She chose to answer and thus was not under duress.She has to blame herself for not standing up for herself

  • reason

    .. incidentallly, I _hate_ the crowdedness here, and am no huge fan of LKY’s past policies like the ‘stop at 2′, etc. I don’t agree that this country should be run like an mnc without soul.

    But what we hate and ‘business’ are 2 different things.

  • booboo

    Priscilla 9 September 2011

    Any indication that she is capable in completing and I’m not?


    Wah, getting sensitive, eh? Did you or did you not say u dropped your PhD? Why? Not interested? If so, why pursue in the 1st place? U depriving other people u know? Maybe this is the kind of behaviour the old fart promotes? Or is it only the old fart is good enough to be your supervisor?

    Bottom line: Joan Sim is in the process of completing, she may not complete, but u have dropped out. She has the curiosity and guts to ask the old fart (ok, maybe she’s lacking in political awareness). So how are you the same?

  • Priscilla


    hear, hear.

  • First World

    Lee Leng Kok 9 September 2011

    hey, Young Singaporeans, even you are not marry, but still younger than his daughter, who is a doctor. You may ask him is she married? Has she produced any childrens for Singapore? NO! that what the f**king stupid attittude he had?


    Aiyo, lky believes everything is hereditary mah, so his daughter also believes in the same thing, scare the offsprings becomes like lky so dont want to reproduce loh. Dont implicate her into the topic, she has some of the best interest in the general public lah.

  • macy

    you mean he is scolding his own daughter in public? The old man’s daughter has a phd, no boyfriend and no children, and is most definitely over child bearing age. Poor man took his fustration out on the wrong girl, must be demantia setting in.

  • booboo

    macy 9 September 2011
    you mean he is scolding his own daughter in public? The old man’s daughter has a phd, no boyfriend and no children, and is most definitely over child bearing age.


    U must understand, the old fart’s daughter is too smart & beautiful, no man is good enough for her. So how can he just let a lower being bastardize his genes?

  • andrew leung

    Our national identity has changed. PAP must embark on a national survey for the foreigners on their views on National identity, belonging, social cohesion etc. Maybe we even have to re-look our national anthem and pledge and go right into the roots of the nation. The ingredients have changed and the soup has changed. Nation building is not part of the DNA/equation for the new economic immigrants. The President have to address this unofficial National Unity portfolio within 6 years. He only talk about world economic storm, there will be a political storm in Singapore.

  • alfretztay

    “Given the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity, what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness?” Answering a question with another question seems to be one of the tactics commonly used by politicians when they are stumped by it. I, however, truly believe that it would likely take many years, probably at least a decade or two or even three, to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness. So with ‘the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity’, it would take another decade or two or even three. Meanwhile, most, if not all, Singaporeans have to live with and tolerate the uncouth behaviour of some of these new immigrants! Mind you, I truly believe that some of them are here to only fleece Singapore and Singaporeans as much as they could!

  • Chou

    Zhou 9 September 2011

    This is what TOC’s missions are as well, isn’t it? They ask questions and present alternative views to counter what MSM published…but you would not said TOC is hitting below the belt by doing so, right?


    Are you kidding. The real test is to have these alternative views aired in the MSM arena itself.

    Let’s put it this way, there is a certain section (those not computer literate) being “cheated” by not having gotten the good chance to have / hear alternative views that are made available in the internet.

  • Redemption

    I believed this article was already up in Wan Bao but the editors were smart to edit it in a way that Joan sim looks like the ” lost” sheep and she got blamed sort of for the fertile rate.

    I don’t understand how to have children when a bloody HDB flat is so expensive and now they wanna bring in more immigrants to make it more expensive.

    And on top of that, we have our very own minister yakult’swife which is an American citizen? Strangely or uniquely Singapore, how come she didn’t wanna take up citizen?

    What about his 2 boys?
    Americans citizen and Singapore citizens dual citizen?
    He claimed they were born in america.
    But what the fark he didn’t arrange for them to be born in Singapore?
    What was he thinking?
    Come Singapore take minister pay and then park his money and his children in America? While our we and our children go through army and defend his assets?

    Joan and someone from the 1700 should have ask him this question?
    How you explained this?
    Aint minister should lead by example and he managed to conceal up till now.

    How much more are we kept?
    Are our CPF money still around?


  • perplexed


    First of all, although this is a session with NTU students, LKY knows full well it will be published to all Singaporeans since his office invited the press to attend. Therefore it cannot be excused that his answer is “cheem” because it is meant for the high IQ NTU students as the session is also meant to send a message to all Singaporeans who LKY has called “daft”!

    Daft people are people with simple uncomplicated minds so any answer that does not address the point of the question is considered evasive. Daft people call a spade a spade.

    It does not pay to spit into the wind.


    let us all be honest ere shall we?
    i hav thrown numerous challengs/debates on ALL the ministers includin naaathan himself.. no ministers till today aacepted me challenged even in pacnet forum where sirgeorgeyeo were the online debatees
    the nearest i gok to rebut was sirgeorgeyeo best biblemate ephrame somebody..
    he too says his lips are seal and his limbs are boun..he can ear moi..butt he cannot agreed with moi…
    now you all know why youngpap banned MOI nick permanant……….

    stomp and cna even worst…moi postins all deleted within seconds…

  • BooBoo

    Whether we support LKY or not, the influx of immigrants here in a short time definitely has diluted our national identity and sense of belonging. By his answer, no wonder he no longer has the strong support he used to.
    If the Government does not see the problem by now, why they are controlling the number of immigrants? But we still need to have a long term solution to this problem. The PAPies better think of something good fast.

  • jk

    Very well said Macy….very well said.

  • HaiGong

    I think LKY needs to attend English class, I Chinese helicopter also can understand Ms Sim question.

    He is avoiding a really good question from Ms Sim and trust me LKY cannot answer that simple question liao. Is his mind still working?

    Ms Sim is respecting him as a senior citizen by not telling him that he is not answering her question. He is side tracking everyone in the auditorium and showing disrespect to Ms Sim.

  • Alan Wong

    This old man who warned Aljunied voters to repent recently has absolutely no regards for other people’s feelings.

    For all the money in the world, I just can’t imagine what life would be like for HC to tolerate a father-in-law like that.

  • Criscilla

    Priscilla 9 September 2011

    And all that talk about him going senile, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s one man senile or mass stupidity. Hmm.


    What do you think after much wonder.

  • Zhou

    I find it highly hypocritical that TOC had deleted my post against booboo’s name calling, yet deemed it for him/her to continue ravaging others with vulgarities.

    Isn’t this a double standard below the belt tactic in condoning some who’s for while censoring another who’s against?

  • E45

    Priscilla, we understand his answers and its implications. We merely do not agree with it. Nor do we think its the right way to deal with a simple question. A simple question deserves a simple answer. This is a Q&A session after all. Not a “let me shame you for asking questions” session. So please refrain from calling the masses stupid. You know what’s stupid? Stupid is when you alienate the masses but still persist in doing so. No one is infallible.

  • Suarez7

    Hey, just wondering how come so many people are asking why Old Man didn’t ans the question. Note the question is “Given the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity, what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness?”

    I am anti-PAP but I thought he answered it tactically very well. He’s advising her to look for her husband while doing her PHD. And it’s common knowledge that PHD courses are all dominated by foreigners!

    Essentially, he’s saying that foreigners will be better accepted when they integrate, settle down, and marry Singaporeans. His solution is increased interaction, acceptance, and thus more marriages betw Singaporeans and foreigners! I may be daft and wrong, but that’s how I interpret his answer, which admittedly is sharp.

  • E45

    He is sharp but I don’t think its the correct way to deal with this question. It only irritates Singaporeans more. I don’t think the issue is whether he answered the question. The issue is whether he answered the question directly. He should have because it really is a simple question. By answering it the way he did, he just makes people feel more “cheated”

  • Chou

    Zhou 9 September 2011

    Isn’t this a double standard below the belt tactic in condoning some who’s for while censoring another who’s against?


    Haha. This is call leveling the uneven field and playing catching up. Double standard begets double standard.

    Some comfort for you, you can set your own website and create your own rules and do the same to others. Can you do the same for MSM.

  • Libran

    There are solutions to our low fertility problem. But our money worshiping PAP govt. only paid lip service to the problem, and would rather go for quick-fix solutions that gave short term gains but long term pains.

    One simple solution is to give true and generous incentives to couples who love children and who wouldn’t mind having 4, 5 or 6 children. A friend told me he and his wife would have gone for at least 4 children if given support by the govt. in the form of perhaps cheaper housing, free pre and post natal care, free nursery and health care for children, etc.


    Alan wong
    For all the money in the world, I just can’t imagine what life would be like for HC to tolerate a father-in-law like that.
    do you know that hochin biologal parents are NOT allowed to mingle with the lee family @ all whether get together or dinner
    that YOU all didn’t know………

  • booboo

    Suarez7 9 September 2011

    Essentially, he’s saying that foreigners will be better accepted when they integrate, settle down, and marry Singaporeans. His solution is increased interaction, acceptance, and thus more marriages betw Singaporeans and foreigners! I may be daft and wrong, but that’s how I interpret his answer, which admittedly is sharp.


    No, lah. As someone mentioend, the old fart already had dossier of those in attendance. He would not be surprised by the question. He is telling Joan Sim there need not be so many immigrants & problems with cohesiveness if only she were to procreate. Only problem is he does not care why people not interetsed to procreate. He just wants people to do something regardless of whether they inclined or not. If they don’t, he will shove his method down their throats.

  • Ron

    “what can WE (including Joan Sim) do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness?”
    I though that the question was answered, though might rub people the wrong way. The government can have policies and programs to help the situation, but the sense of belonging and social cohesiveness cannot be manufactured artificially. It can only come through real life experiences that touches the heart.

  • Suarez7

    E45 9 September 2011
    He is sharp but I don’t think its the correct way to deal with this question. It only irritates Singaporeans more. I don’t think the issue is whether he answered the question. The issue is whether he answered the question directly. He should have because it really is a simple question. By answering it the way he did, he just makes people feel more “cheated”

    @E45, Yes I agree with you that the sharp answer, however intelligent, was probably unnecessary. Now the whole of Singapore knows that a PHD girl called Joan Sim is unattached.

    Anyway, going by Pinky’s recent comments about ‘communications’ instead of wholescale policy reviews, the PAP govt will probably last only 1 more election, and be forced into a coalition govt with WP in 2021.

    Pity many of the old PAP supporters including Old Man won’t live to see the day.

  • AT

    Reading some of the posts above really irk me. Why the need to be rude and vulgar? It only goes to show that you do not have any more reasons to put forth, hence resorting to using 4 letter words or name calling or personal attacks…

    In my opinion LKY gave her some very good advice. Whether she takes it or not, it is her prerogative. Every parent wants what is best for their children but the parent cannot control whether the child listens or takes up the advice.

    If you think the Opposition can do a better job than go ahead and vote for them. BUT do not be blind to what PAP has achieved for Singapore.

    And I am one (and PROUD to be) of the 60%.

  • georgia tong

    LKY is a bully. He uses this tactics when he don’t have the answer. He is a pathetic senile old man still clinging on to power for dear life. Listening to him is just a waste of time. He has nothing new to share.

  • hahn

    perhapes we should put things in a little perspective here:

    old fart: how old are you?

    girl: i like to eat happy meals.

    old fart: are you married?

    girl: diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

    old fart:when would you finish your phd?

    girl: polygamy seems like a dirty word.

    old fart:do you have a boyfriend?

    girl:old chang kee’s curry puffs are very nice.

    you see,by jus simply changing the girl’s reply,you can see clearly how absurd and completely irrelevant lky’s ans and questions are.

    come back down to earth daft really cozy down on earth and you can see things more clearly when u stop being daft.

  • booboo

    AT 9 September 2011
    In my opinion LKY gave her some very good advice. Whether she takes it or not, it is her prerogative. Every parent wants what is best for their children but the parent cannot control whether the child listens or takes up the advice.


    U mean the old fart fathered the entire population of Singapore, so that’s why he want everyone to procreate so that he got unlimited grandchildren & great-grandchildren? Wah, that means the whole of Singapore all surname Lee, all qualify for scholarship, all will be CEO of some big GLC, all will manage Temasek, all will be minister/MP. Ho say liao! We don’t have to worry about our descendants future anymore!

  • Robert Teh


    The question raised by Joan Sim is not a personal question about her having or not having a boy friend at her age.

    It is about the stop-at-two boo-boo and pro-foreign-labor policies of LKY which have caused major setbacks in productivity and ever-rising costs of living and doing business and erosion of business competitiveness.

    He should have gone ahead and answer it candidly.

    What an autocrat who did more harm than good.

  • E45

    Hi AT, perhaps he was giving advice but I guess there are a few issues that spring to mind:

    1. Did she ask for advice on her personal life? NO – she asked what could be done to foster social cohesiveness. So it is a little presumptous for him to give her advice she was not asking for.

    2. Is there a need to give her advice in front of 1700 strangers?

    3. Some might say she should have stood up for herself but that is so much easier said than done. He is LKY, renowned and scary. She is a private citizen in a room full of strangers.

    4. How can we assume that getting married and having kids would be the “best” for Joan? We don’t know her. We don’t know what she wants?

    5. It’s a round about answer to a direct question? Why is that necessary? It only serves to alienate.

  • Damn

    Totally agree with you.

    This o person blames everyone except himself. The situation today is the backlash from his Stop-at-two policy. He should have admitted that he is the fricking culprit instead of blaming the singletons! The large amount of money spend on integrating new immigrants should be channelled to providing subsidies and grants to encourage young couples to have more babies. I guess he’s just more interested in protecting his Leegime than anything else.

  • Damn

    @georgia tong
    Yes, the “great leader” is definitely a big bully”. He had no convincing answer to her question. The sly fox was only trying to intimidate Ms Sim and anyone in the audience who was thinking of asking similar questions!

  • shocked!!!

    Obviously LKY has dodged Ms Sim’s question, why aren’t the facilitator or moderator bring LKY back to her question again and requested LKY to anwer direct. Obviously this so-called organiser were simply afraid to counter him and let LKY take control again. I don’t call that constructive forum. TOC could have organised something better than those from NTU or NUS.

  • ET

    “In my opinion LKY gave her some very good advice. Whether she takes it or not, it is her prerogative. Every parent wants what is best for their children but the parent cannot control whether the child listens or takes up the advice.”


    Yes I totally agree. A question turned into a good ‘advice’.

    Maybe we can twist it further by saying that he gave the impression that he forgot the question and thought that the girl was asking for his advice.

    Every parent wants what is best for their children but the parent cannot control whether the child wants to be a part-time flatterer or full-time sycophant.

    No one is blind. It is a matter of interest and how it benefits you as a citizen.

    We can explain and argue. If a good explanation does not help your own case but the other side, simply ignore it.

  • http://Website(optional) iworkhardsometimes

    never assume oneself to be omniscient and infallible,

    if Bill Gates met an old man in 1974 who advised him to study hard, get a government job and get married instead of dropping out of Harvard we would have no Microsoft.

  • Ip Man

    So many damn PAP whores here, too few dicks!

  • Libran

    Simply put, the PAP Govt. never had nation building at heart. While they were throwing money at all kinds of wasteful projects, multi-million dollar ministerial salaries,generous budgets for the PA, self-aggrandizement projects like Biopolis and Fusionopolies, wasteful over-spending on defense, etc., they refused to spend money on encouraging marriage and family raising, which was costly but necessary in the long term. There were and still are many married couples who love children and would have many more if the govt. could provide incentives such as free university education, etc.

  • sad

    infact LKY should have a good advice on social cohesion rather than telling a young woman what to do for her life,it is PAP who has always use Education results TO degrade singaporeans when we never acheive good results

  • Tight slap

    To be fair, if all singletons are to just pursue career goals and neglect child bearing duties, we are doomed. The gov gave sinksporeans some years to up the birth rate with some sweet candies lined up. Too bad, didnt work. Its always easy to push child bearing to all sorts of push factors. If u wanna give birth, u will. Ask britney, ask maddie, ask minah.

  • supporter of PAP but…

    History has shown that LKY and PAP are quite an incompetent lot. The only thing they are competent in is the blame game.

    The most disgraceful of the lot now is poor LKY. Senile but still wants to hog the limelight. His lack of basic understanding of questions and his persistent talking nonsense is putting PAP in a very bad light.

  • KTK

    That’s his style. He answers a question with a question. He has used this tactic many times.

    More immigrants to boost population? Why don’t you come up with policies that encourage
    larger families like lowering the cost of HDB flats, lowering the cost of living, etc. Surely you
    can come up with more ideas since you are all so talented. Letting more immigrants in is a
    callous and thoughtless simplistic solution to the problem. Don’t accumulate our reserve
    for the sake of increasing the reserve, spend some on your citizens, don’t think progress above all else,don’t make profit the top priority for the public services such as transportation, health, etc. When you formulate a policy think carefully of the potential negative impact on your citizens. Don’t blindly chase after increasing our GDP. It dosent benefit the ordinary citizen.
    If the GDP increases by 15%, will my salary increase by the same amount? Reply .

  • Permanent Head Damage

    Two problems here. LKY dodging question or misunderstanding question, in my opinion is less disturbing than his failure to understand why Sg women are NOT doing career & children simultaneously or choosing the latter first.

    In Sg, unless you have rich parents sponsoring house & car (need gd transport to save time run errands & ferry children around), it is not possible to do PHD & raising children at the same time.

    You try to break social mobility first, then you think of having children. If you don’t get qualifications & put career first but choose to have children, your children get stuck in the lower end of society so it is no use producing them anyway.

  • ‘Mat

    Don’t you guys get it?

    Ex MM being who he is cannot do or say things the way
    commoners (digits, dafts, dogs, etc) like us do. This
    is his way of proposing to the very shell-shocked Ms Sim.

    Good luck, Fart!

  • Ee Er San

    WHEW! Am I glad that he sent Phoney Tony to be the President instead of assuming the office himself. What a global disgrace he would be to our little red dot…!!!

  • Eastendboy

    I remember MM Lee having an unmarried daughter, and he dares lectures someone else to get married. Put your house in order first before you criticize others

  • Quitter Emeritus

    Ok, let’s see, J Sim is pursuing phD at 27 got no boyfriend and possibly a 5 year window to bear children if not there will be medical complication, so need to import foreigners to boost the fertility rate and to do what Sim “failed” to do or deemed failed to do…

    Is that a brilliant answer? So that is why PRC meimei, filipino maids, viet girls, indian gals come here in the droves for reproduction activities, not just a red dot, a red light dot?

  • wat tokin u?

    Hey Ah Fart, before lecturing others go home and lecture your own dotter, OK?

  • Eric Howdy

    Same-old same-old that he applied on Ken Quek and countless others.

    What a fraud!

  • disappointed

    During the PE election i was so happy because i thought old fart had ‘disappeared’ for good. One wondering maybe he was bedridden, but sad now cos he is still kicking and talking crap to the ‘children’ at NTU. When will my wish come through? My Champagne bottle is going to expire, have been keeping for almost 10 years.

  • is it possible?

    Realhardtruth 9 September 2011
    Another pathetic article you so very frequent see in this online site that is really long on accusations and totally short on sound observations and balanced comments. And most of what you read in the forum are much worse than pathetic. They are childishly personal, largely gibberish and mostly dirt. I suppose we have to cater for all and this site caters to people whose only intellectual skill is trash talk. Online sites like this must rid itself of mean mouths and blank heads if it want to salvage it’s fast disappearing credibility.


    U mean Ah Fart proposing to Ms Sim din happen? Or he dun have a single daughter?

  • Chin Tu Lang

    What MM did was to answer a question with a question and without touching on the real issue raised by the student.

    Perhaps, he did not has an answer for the audiences

  • js

    Simple… LKY is losing it. His mind isn’t what it’s used to be.

  • pugdragon

    “Given the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity, what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness?”

    The lady questioned about what Singaporeans can do to create a sense of still belonging to Singapore, though indirectly, she’s saying that Singapore is too crowded with foreigners & that’s overwhelming locals’ numbers.

    The old fart replied by indirectly telling her that foreigners are needed here to make babies if locals can’t do it.

    The question & problem is that we have too many foreigners in this small, overcrowded island. Yet the old fart still insist babies have to be made on this island, by foreigners or otherwise, without sparing a thought to the issue of overpopulation or overwhelming of this island by foreigners.

    Why should Singaporeans listen to this old fart & make babies for his own agenda unquestioningly? Nobody has the right to force his own ideals upon others. You think locals are not making babies & you need foreigners to do it, don’t shove the blame down Singaporeans’ throats. We have the right not to carry out your ideals unquestioningly.

  • Franc

    It is very expensive to have children in Singapore nowadays. If he wants more children in Singapore, the government should provide free education until graduation from university and more incentives or allowances for families with children.

  • doppelganger

    Someone wrote in these columns that he is surprised that sociologists in Singapore do not make any comments on LKY bringing in 2 million foreigners and more coming. This massive addition to the local population certainly changes the character of the nation.What is most salient is that the very genotype of the people is changed and the genetic history of the coming together of a people Malay, Chinese, Indian in the setting of this island is forever erased.Sociologist would have a field day tracing the consequences of such a real live experiment, never seen anywhere else in the world. But our sociologists and anthropologists are mum. Scared stiff of the regime if they chance to make comments not appreciated by the regime.

  • silly old fart

    After the stupid mistake policy stop at two you think we should listen to him? Once bitten twice shy, never ever listen to his rubbish speech.

  • Stevenkhorfather

    Lky needs to be “replaced” soon.

    He should attempt by citing examples from his own gangs like Amy, TPl, or the H/p tweet queen !

    Stupid and arrogant man indeed !

  • red_dot

    So that old man Lee refused to answer her question but instead insulted her? Can an MP do that and in front of the Education Minister? Have we degenerated to that low low level of social culture?

    I feel sad for Singaporeans! I don’t know what education is for – to get insulted? What is the Education Minister for? To bring students to have them get insulted?

    Come on enough is enough!

  • Young Cock

    Listening to an Oldcock toking Cocks !

  • Young Cock

    And he is only a “kuching kurak” MP now only !

  • RW

    Shame on Lee Kuan Yew for behaving like this!

  • Manda_la

    I’m glad Ms Sim didn’t stand up to the old cork or give him a tight slap across his cheek for his cheek. She would be spending time in the depths of Whitley Detention Centre, rotting away…

  • reachspore

    It is with regrets that supreme leader Mr Lee Kuan Yew has lost his moral compass bearing by not answering Joan Sim’s simple question. LKY continues to be a strong supporter of converting more foreigners to be Singapore citizens. It is a pity our government ministers are leaving such explanations to LKY who is no longer in the Cabinet but yet seems to be representing the views of the Government.

  • shameful

    Ole lky and son and tt and cronies live like emporers/kings of a monachy.

    No where else in the world, you have modern democracies paying so lavishly for the high lifestyle expenses of elected MPs or even ministers!

    Worse than british colonial days!!

  • gone

    he and his party jointly with foreigners are raiding and raping our spore

  • singaporemum

    before LKY utters a word, he should ask the same of his own daughter. he is a shameful disgrace!

  • reflection

    LKY is not as ready for battle as he was before. He is old and senile and cannot control withholding his “hard truths” as was before. He rather escape a battle then face it. He rather evade a question then face it.

    Besides this example in this article.

    Take the election as another example. The fact that the election committee disqualified the oppposition in the last GE was quite a relief for him. He is old and senile and he cannot walk so much anymore. During the period before the election, we can see the press photographs of him show him sitting/being ferry around on the golf car. The opposition were only late in their submission by just few minutes but was disqualified. LKY should said no problem, let them come and challenge me!

    But he did not do that. He is too old and cannot stand the rigours of a election campaign so he prefers the easy way to win.

    He is becoming quite incompetent and his brain functions are slowing at faster rate than he can accept. But he refuses to step down.

    In short LKY is quite an opportunist and a coward for not allowing the opposition to challenge him when he clearly has the power to do so.

    Definition of a coward -a person who shrinks from or avoids danger, pain, or difficulty.

  • yoyo

    Maybe wife less people can import some women from China and make some babies, instead advising young ladies to get boy friends..Hey do you import boyfriends too..

  • jimmy

    LKY is so out of touch in this political-correct world.

    He is still living in the 60s.

  • kan_cheong spider

    Miss Sim is daft. she should have rebutted the old man why his daughter is also not married.

  • Mits

    Totally agree with the writer. A fair and balanced view. LKY avoided answering her question. He did not have to embarass her. Also, he insinuates not having a boyfirend to being not supportive of national foreign immigration policies – which is too simplistic, and also grossly unjust. People go through stages in their lives. Who is he to label her as ‘wasting her time’ while being single. He did not answer her question, period.

    Ms Sim can redirect the question back to LKY: ” Have you been a lady? Do you know hwta goes through a woman’s life at adolescence/ study/ young adult/working etc. stages? Some people get a boyfriend early. Some married early. Some get children, some do not. Some children dies before they do. Some get a boyfriend but ended up not maried to him. Some like your daughter never got married, despite being immensely talented. So, sir, what is the relevance to my original question: to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness??

  • Johnny Jazz

    Well, he lost another vote for his party.

  • ChaneL

    The usual PAP cunning tactic of evading a pointed question by asking a question!!

  • Shameless LKY

    LKY is not even an elected mp. He just use grc to bulldoze into parliament. Just an attention seeking idiot obsessed with his own ego. Instead of respect, he is on many people’s hate list. No solution just say “I don’t know”, don’t try to act intelligent. Or is he becoming a cheekopek? Wonder how he can scheme million dollars salary as a useless MM role and still don’t feel ashamed of himself.

  • http://Website(optional) iworkhardsometimes

    hahaha, oh dear, those who have not watch the dialogue should do so, the best bits are the parts on water issue with malaysia and his usual expert opinion on genetics.

  • Seow Lee

    Wow, Seow Lee getting more and more SEOW!

  • biggie

    Perhaps we can set a ‘date joan sim’ facebook page, much like the curry page….onwards social cohesion!!!

  • Fairplay

    I used to hang on his every word, now I wish he just retire and keep quiet…

  • Xian tang

    I have a bottle of red from swiss that i still cannot open and enjoy it for several years already.

    Yew know y?

  • maybe

    badly written article bro. too narrowminded liao la..i find LKY giving advice here like a grandfather who cares for his granddaughter. don’t blow it up until like that lah wah lao know your limits can

  • knn

    eh Maybe, the advice is misplaced la, hallo.

    She also never ask for his advice. This kind of thing so personal. He got no right to say la brudder. It’s like I don’t know you, I won’t presume to know enough about your life to give you advice can. Maybe he got good intentions but he crossed the line liao. This kind of thing not for him to say. Besides, she asked him a question. What’s the point of having a q and a session if u dowan to answer question? Kinda defeats the purpose wouldnt u say brudder?

  • knn

    It’s not badly written la brudder – u simply don’t agree with it but i think overwhelmingly people agree with the article la. U say “know your limits” very ironical leh cos LKY should also know his limits mah. He is politician not agony aunt so he no need to dispense love advice one. That one can leave to Cleo magazine.

  • Really?

    LKY’s stop at 2 was a big mistake as a long term policy. If I am correct, even GCT subtlely acknowledged this in a past Q&A but cleverly “siam” by saying “it was not his policy”. We all know LKY will never admit any mistake so he publicly made all single highly educated women be the scapegoat. What he is saying is The mistake is not his, it is all these single women. I observed some highly educated single women in this forum can’t see through his antic. Wasted all the education.

  • Ahsoo

    He is past his prime. Way past. Down hill.

  • James

    Foreigner here,
    I saw Lee Kwan Yew Q&A, and what I saw a smart man who has seen a lot and was questioning Singapore’s position in the future.

    I don’t know much about what has occurred in the past 50 years, but what has happened is Singapore marked its place in the world among the leaders. It is surpasses the countries in its close proximity in economic power and infrastructure. In part that is thanks to this man.

    Now I will admit that I was a bit shocked that he was so blunt in his response, but its a good point. You have a birth rate of 1 you need a birth rate of 2.1, if not your culture will be diluted with foreign population. Did he need to call out this lady, no. It was not the most “politically correct” way to do things but he got a point across.

    There is more to life than university schooling, and family is one of those things, as a person you have to balance this. No it is not easy, yes the government can help, but you also can’t expect a man to respond with a perfect plan of action having been presented with a question he’s never heard before. What I saw was this man responding to questions as platforms for giving his thoughts, this seems fine in a question and answer, after all that is kind of the point, to extract the thoughts of the person you are questioning.

    Again I am foreigner so I have not experienced what it is like here on the inside. But as a foreigner I get to see things with a different pair of eyes. What I have see is that Singapore is doing well. I don’t agree with all your policies, and think that improvements can be made, but you have done a lot in 50 years and are just beginning in the building of your country.

    Good luck Singapore

  • Patrick Jiak Liao Bee Tan

    @James: you are skirting around in circles without addressing the point – the old fart went it circles uttering irrelevant stuff rather than answer the question most probably BECAUSE HE HAD NO ANSWER AND HE KNEW IT!

  • QLB

    James, thanks. But don’t you think he could have answered the question directly before going on to cite his justifications? He also did not need to target her. He could have made his point in a less personal manner.

  • Kaleb


    I think the point is for the average Singaporean on the ground, this is a problem that has been existing. I, at least, have been living with it for at least four years of my life, if not more. This problem didn’t come out of nowhere. In all fairness, I don’t see how one cannot expect our highly-praised government, and the Man Himself to not have any idea at all that this is a problem – nor to lack an action plan.

    However, I will acknowledge that this was a rather strategically clever move on LKY’s part.

  • James


    How exactly do you address:
    “Given the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity, what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness?”
    In a concise manner in the matter of a couple of moments.

    In a way everything the government does has to maintain social cohesiveness. It must keep the economy up to provide for its citizens, at the same time it must provide a sense of security with police/military, it has to contend with the logistics of providing space for all its people to live on this island, and it has to listen to the people to understand what people want and dont want. To balance all these things is a nightmare to discuss and cannot feasibly be answered in the time constraints of this speech.

    And yes, I am skirting around in circles. I wont insult people here by assuming I know the details of Singaporean life. So I give you what I observed and hope that at least it does not harm the social cohesiveness of Singapore.

  • busybody

    Low birthrate problem created by Lee Kuan Yew with stop at two policy, he cannot solve it organically. Now he is trying to create a new problem “immigration” to artificially implant birth rate. A new disaster. Further to it, he insists that’s the way to go and the older folks in Singapore, they are mesmerized by his aura, are they going to be sold to it once again?

    Sad to have a great guy who never admit it is time to fade away.

    Singaporean let’s us not depend too much on an aging brain cell which is outdated and collectively younger Singaporean is smarter than that. Lets take on a new paradigm.

  • Rodolfo

    I disagree with most of you. LKY is mostly right about this.

  • Notvotingpap

    This old fart is the root of PAP-arrogance!! The utter of respect for privacy!!

  • Derek Da Cunt

    We proclaim that in Singapore there are only 25% anti Papies. That is why they voted for TJS. …. TCB’s foray into PE was a master stroke of brillant move by PAP.
    Sorry guys I have to utter rubbish statements cos my contract as a research fellow expires end of this year just before the Ministerial Salary Committee’s anouncement of its final report.. Then my Mamak roots bearing a fanciful name will be exposed.

  • andrew leung


    The students at the talk seem to be laughing and clapping along like idiots.

    Ms Joan Sim, LKY did not give you a satisfactory answer. You have to provide your own answer to the problem. Don’t be sidetracked. If LKY is so concerned about singles, he would have given them permission to buy new HDB flats or set up a sperm/egg bank to protect Singaporean women from risk of having down syndrome children. This can also allow older couples who may wish to have children again in future.

  • comicomic

    The old fart is senile and yet he is paraded about like some oracle. He can’t even respond directly to a question. Yet some people treasure his meandering tangential mumble as oodles of wisdom.

  • Al

    Seems like this writer is too young to remember or has just forgotten. This is LKY, not LHL. LKY has never been one for giving answers. Being answerable to YOU, is beneath him. That was the case in the 70′s and 80′s and it is still the case now.

  • ngpy

    LKY should have answered Joan Sim’s straight forward questions, but instead he try to beat about the bushes, no answers never mind, he should apologise, and say he has got no answer to her questions. In this instances he may have lost the respect of this young lady and many with her in the NTU.
    Cannot answer straight forward questions and try evading, by asking irrelevant and embarassing questions instead is not appropriate.

  • Eugene

    MSM’ have started spewing their veterolics. On shit Times the two reporters have gone on to interview and try validate LHL assurances that we are still pro- business. Mr Overmayers said that having different points of view/representation is nothing new in their parliments where these businesses originating countries.
    I am not against foreign talent come here, work for three years or more and move on.. I am against downright import of families from China ( example: Su Zhou just because the ancient Emperor’s scholars and their concubines had settled there and therfore their offsprings will be gifted children) or imports from India (example Indians of Brahmin origin cos it is assumed that they have best of brains).
    Let me give you an example. An employement pass holder was given approval to work here for X company. He was holding the title of Pastry Chef. Six months he applied for PR and got it. He brought his family and stayed in a rented flat. In another two years time he converted his PR to Singapore Citizenship with his family. He resigned his job and started a cake shop with borrowings from local friends. His business flopped he has run away to Malaysia and his family is in a dilemma.
    I cane across a security gaurd who was shaking his head in the wrong direction for Yes or No and found out that he is from India but a PR in Singapore. He is with his family in Singapore.

  • oms

    “Given the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity, what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness”

    - I read the viewed of many, but no answer given to the question.
    Say, if you are lky, what is your answer?

  • oms – my answer

    tkae note of the question “what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness”

    - LKY is indirectly telling her FAMILY.

  • Enough of pap

    This old nut is eithther totally ignoring the concerns of singaporeans or he is senile, cant answer questions , having disparity in thoughts and speech.
    Either way,we do not want a leader like this anymore.

  • Noobiedick

    What it should have been..

    LKY: “Do you know your body clock is ticking?”
    Joan: “I’m a biological student, stop being a prick and answer my question”

    LKY:”You, you.. your father will know!”
    Joan: “Stop bringing my father into this you coward. Still avoid my question?”

    LKY:” Argghh..” Croak and died


    Seriously, Joan is a gorgeous girl. I’ll court her if I’m not already married.

  • oms

    kuai kuai, silang, silang, PAPa will be here for the next 100 years.

  • political pundit

    LKY dispensed grandfatherly advice which Joan may look back on fondly when she has a happy family in time to come.

    But Joan posed a good question which was not answered – dilution of national identity.

    We marvel at how the Japanese handled the Fukushima disaster stoically but we ignore the fact that they are a largely homogeneous society. If they have 40% foreigners in their midst, will the situation be as orderly or more chaotic?

    The Japanese have a penchant for precision, organization, orderly, respect for the elders, etc. but when they accept immigrants in droves, the Japs in 30 years time could be a different creature.

    The same applies to Singapore and we are talking about serious value and identity dilution here. If locals and foreigners mesh well together and good values trumps the bad, Singapore becomes stronger.

    If undesirable traits dilute core values, Singapore will be a much harder place to govern. We could even lose our competitive edge if deficiencies plaguing emerging/third world countries surface here too.

    Raking in economic benefits of increased immigrants while ignoring social costs is what worries many Singaporeans. Not purely xenophobia as what PAP likes to insist.

    The govt has to do more on assimilation by encouraging foreigners out of their enclaves and interacting with locals and upholding our values.

  • Patori

    Many discussions, same old fashion, no solutions!

  • Damn

    Since you are a foreigner and i assume you are not quite aware, we are in today’s predicament of low birth rate is all thanks to LKY’s stop-at-two policy many years ago which he failed to admit. What is worse is he and his million-$ ministers had never tried to do more to right the wrong before putting the blame on the singletons. By flooding Singapore with ‘FT’ is going to worsen the situation. People are worried about losing jobs, housing problems, etc. Having babies will be the last thing on their mind. What i observe is, LKY’s policy is the root cause of the problems and now, his immigration policy will only make things worse.

  • Wise men give wise solutions, intelligent men give intelligent answers

    Simply asking people to get married earlier is not the solution.
    Policy-Makers need to address the roots of the problems of why people are not getting married and having kids earlier and not having more kids.
    Among the issues they need to address are;
    1) the increasing cost of living.
    2) housing issues
    3) education issues
    3) healthcare issues


  • Steve Goh

    Lee controls the govt – Lee & family also control GIC & Temasek
    Holdings- when will SG see the end of the Lee Dynasty ? Remind me of North Korea..

  • oms

    Singapore already lost the culture, even though we are multi-cultural. We lost becos of the PAPa said so…cannot do this, cannot do that.. bang this, bang that..fine this..fine that..gradually we lost the culture though we are multi-cultural. Eventually we lost the social cohesiveness. Once lost can never return, even it return, it can’t the same again. PAPa dreams is our nightmare.

  • TK

    Check and balance is important, building higher and higher materialistic world never stop but at the expense of human relationship , best strategy , strike a balance ;-)

  • anoni

    James: …..To balance all these things is a nightmare to discuss and cannot feasibly be answered in the time constraints of this speech……


    Well, you did cut through the nightmare and answered the question, in a manner of speaking, all without insulting, belittling, embarrassing and bullying Ms Sim. And to top it all, you are a foreigner. So what makes it so tough for ole fart, a battle-scarred and wily lawyer and politician, to do the same, ie answer the question in a decent way without going off at a tangent and adding his unique brand of spice where none was required? There is nothing wrong with the question; it’s just da man…


    political pundit
    If they have 40% foreigners in their midst, will the situation be as orderly or more chaotic?
    noped the nipponese hav a ole samurai warlords law..shogun most scarlet laws
    all ada nationality whether made in korea/cina or watever who is born in japan
    will be regards/classified as ^ALIENs^
    so the priviledges is only 90%
    you can die for tokyo as a ronin samurai
    butt you can never be 1 of them in equal status…
    and when was the last time you ever see a nonpured ninhonjin ministers or nobleperson in their kamikaze political parties?

  • Utterly Disappointed

    This bugger has certainly OVERSTAYED his welcome. He should bow OUT graciously instead of making an arse of himself each and every time he opens that rancid mouth of his.

  • New Citizen

    Mr LKY,

    Please be polit, answer her question.

    Or ask your son answer it.

    What a fox !!

  • Laughing at pappies

    I am in china Wuhan now. My wife relatives ask me why singaporean have to slog and work and die. Most of Their males retired at 50 and ladies at 40. Their national pension scheme is good.

    They really can relax more leisurely. my mum in law get 500plus monthly initially and after few years gets 1400plus per month as they adjust with inflation

    I know the answers but I am too embarrassed to answer very negatively only told them don’t know what the pap pies doing and that they might be greedy.

  • Richard

    People and organisations should just STOP asking LKY to speak at forums and other events. Who is he now anyway? An MP? There are 87 MPs to choose from and I will bet $87 that none of the others will be as offensive as he.

    Time to face the wall and shrivel up, LKY!

  • aziz kassim

    The old man got the point through experiences. Look at his son and daughter. Both bioligically not well. Certain things money cannot buy.Can money buy happiness?, I doubt it, look at sultan of brunei, his brothers and sisters and relatives. Singaporean all chasing after papers, trying to do the easy jobs, become analysts, advisors, researchers, not a risk takers, look at zainol abidin rashid the looser come out with the futures of pap after his debacles. Idiot, who cares, u have millions but u lost your prides, we are more interested in how to improve ourselves, another poor loosers, Boy georgy, same path, doing studies, studies untill u droped dead. U see these peoples donot want to come out with their monies, to do business, to help singaporean gain jobs, they are selfish, holding tight to their millions and not investing their capitals into futures of singapore, if we have majorities of singaporean having these kind of ideologist, we are dooom, so LKY got the point.

  • ahbeng ah

    If the incentives are there i am sure the birth rate will increase. Provide free medical, eductaion for babies and children till age 18. I am sure birth rate will rise. So what is the government excuse.

  • Jack

    Hi guys,

    I’m a sgrean and I think although SG is a good place to work in (low-tax, crazy job opportunities, blah blah blah), SG is not really a conducive to live in. One can hardly get into a MRT train, the streets (not just town areas) are barely walk-able during weekends, the housing cost a limb or two, etc).

    In order to curb the low-fertility problem, it’s perhaps wiser to look into those problems mentioned above to encourage birth rather than importing new bloods.

    Oh btw, our immigration policy is shit.

  • Last of Mohicans

    So Ghui, what is the best solution for this tiny, resourceless 700 square km island?
    Endangered then vanished from Singapore?
    The Malaysian Chinese is one good example.
    From 44% in the 60s to 22% today and going.
    Without the political clout to exact a meritocratic system (to counter globalisation) results in a smaller domestic economic pie, managed by a racist government (as aptly observes even by J Mallot, former US Ambassador to Malaysia) further compounds the push dilemma which causes the remaining able ones to migrate continually.

  • Pingback: Daily SG: 10 Sep 2011 « The Singapore Daily

  • Want Your CPF ? Want lower HDB flat Prices? Kick PAP Out ONCE and FOR ALL !!!

    Lets not enlarge, distort or get side tracked to engage in a debate ping-pong or debate gymnastics.

    The point made here by the writer “Kuan Yew hit below the belt – when responding to the ladys question.”

    Yes indeed. Simply look at the relevant key points -

    the lady is fair and respectful in that she duly respond by providing the relevant answers to Kuan Yews questions tho we can factfully state that Kuan Yews questions are irrelevant to her very question relating to the topic of Kuan Yews own talk – whether we need to frame Kuan Yews thoughts is an entirely diff matter.

    the ladys question is fair, relevant and straightforward -

    and as such Kuan Yews no answer, yet instead counter question is, (no need to digress into ‘platform’ point), I can safely thus condemn that Kuan Yew is unfair, caught pants down, disrespectful AND SIMPLY HAS NO ANSWER to THE PROBLEM HE HAS CREATED, FESTERING for years IN VIEW of his gathering of highly-paid, talented ministers devoid of solutions WHICH THIS Intelligent LADY can see through, and EVEN has the GUTS to ask our faded leader but who is sadly, still being perched by the masses on his pedestal !!!!

  • Singa

    The lame and injured soldiers of the sunk TRE have jumped ship to TOC now.
    Please don’t let TOC share the same fate.
    Write intelligently if you can, with an eye for the macro real world and the make- believe micro.

  • Idol

    Watch the 5-parter on Razor TV.
    See the sharp and wise man fielding questions.
    “Come back again when you are thought through.”
    Little wonder he’s on the board of multi-national Morgan Stantley directors and being sought after by the world over for his intellect and expertise.
    He doesn’t need envious scumbags to condescend.
    The world is his judge! Rightly so.
    About 1 000 000 copies of Hard Truths have been sold! Speak volumes.

  • Women

    The point is, if reflecting on issues of marriage, are Sgean men broad-minded enough to accept such highly educated partners as spouses who will surpass their ability to become breadwinners? No. Then women shall be proud to remain as singles and hardworkers who will resort to adoption as a means of rasising a child. Capable single mum with adopted child. Dad is not necessary because as humans, we each are asexual.

  • Women

    Sgean men are just a bunch of Desmond Choos. Thats why finding a partner who will dutifully pregnate herself with his sperm, rock the crib of their child and stay home cook is IMPOSSIBLE in this society.

  • anti-james

    Hey james, don talk so much when you know nothing. I don want to be aggressive with you, but you should stop talking.
    The answer is simple. LKY knows the policy is not benefiting singaporeans at social level thats why he went in circles talking about rubbish. The ironic part comes in when LKY was the first to educate both man and woman to study and work and only the first to ask woman when are you still not married and have babies.

  • lky

    @ woman,
    I think you are not talking any sense. you must be from china.

  • agongkia

    I am more concern about Joan Sim.Hope that she is fine.Hope this surprise does not affect her in asking question in future.I am willing to give free counselling to her.

  • andrew leung

    We can strengthen our national identity, and facilitate community bonding by creating more outdoor open spaces and indoor spaces for the public to enjoy and interact. Now it’s so noisy and crowded everywhere, you can hardly relax.

    HDB can redesign some of the flats to have indoor carpark and offices in the lower storeys and free up more space from open air carparks. Maybe they can build upwards upon the current indoor multi-storey carparks some more floors for other building purposes. They should build more office buildings in the city center to reduce travelling time to work and congestion. They should allocate one empty floor from each HDB flats for community purpose rooms usage. We have to relook city planning for our future generation, they must include input from the public for the 8 million planning parameter and the new industries of the future. We are no longer people that just need to be resettled by HDB and educated for tomorrows disappearing jobs.

    What can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness? First, please take care of all the Singaporeans and build up the faith/trust in PAP and the dignity of being a Singaporean. If you cannot take care of your own citizens, it is a shame.

  • See

    LKY is getting senile…that’s why he was answering this way.

  • richard


    WOW! Imagine how much space would be freed if HDB builds more multi-stoery car parks. Sure, we still need to maintain certain distance between blocks of flats, but those spaces can be greenery instead of grey bitumen. And more spaces can be freed if we convert present 10-12 storeys into 18-30 storeys.

    But how? Knock down and rebuild entire HDB estates? Seems terribly disruptive but it has already been done in parts anyway. eg within view from my flat in AMK are a whole lot of high rise HDB flats called Teck Ghee View (means LHL constituency) already re-built.

    If do this, may not even have to dig out graves at Bt Brown Cemetery. I vote Andrew to be $,$$$,$$$ National Development Mnister.

  • Richard


    You got your tenses wrong. Should be “LKY has HAS GOTTEN senile”.

  • See

    It is also sad that the audience laughed when LKY asked the girl those irrelevant questions. Where was their conscience?

  • Horrific

    I said to another mother during graduation that I’d look after my grandchild shd my girl get married, her eyes pop out jaw drop n claimed she’ll never do that must enjoy old age n active living. I think if I don’t my children wl never ever get married to have babies with such high living costs, job insecurity n lack of time. So talk about marriage n babies is way beyond imagination n nightmare for all new couples.

  • burongkaka

    He had no answer to the question, so in self defense, he went on to ask those personal questions to deflect his ignorance. This is a common tactic taught in some cheap business school…answer a question with another or more questions if you have no answers. An old trick, but does not work anymore these days.

  • Thor

    First observation is on the many trolls here. If they are genuine and speak from their heart, I have nothing to say. But looking at the responses which sound suspiciously alike, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are paid to ‘engage in social media’.
    LKY has largely become irrelevant. What I am more concerned with is the message that the influx of foreigners will continue.
    It will be wonderful to see Dr Joan Sim standing on an opposition ticket in 2016 with or without husband and child according to her personal choice. Perhaps that will be the best response.

  • AL

    Some of it could be nervous laughter: “ISD is looking, better laugh along OR ELSE…”

  • Working Adult

    Do you guys realise that LKY does not have such Q&A sessions with working Singaporean adults who are in their 30s to say 60s who are not from say NTUC or PA, etc? Put it another way, if LKY were to give the same sort of answers to mature working adults, they will not take lightly to his answers or his tendency to avoid the issues.Or maybe a lot of mature working adults may not even bother to attend. Maybe our varsity students should stop giving him the attention.

  • Ebram

    He was bullying her for all he was worth. That’s his time-tested m.o. to AVOID answering an unwelcome question.

    Why do people still take the trouble to go listen to him and run the risk of being insulted and bullied. Just leave him alone to face the wall…and, as someone said, shrivel up!

  • why bother

    if i were the lady at the audience,i would not bother to attend the meeting or ask question.

    he is not omnipotent nor omnipresent. the old man is senile.

    his tombstone has been prepared and ready to receive him anytime soon.

  • Shame on rude LKY and rude audience

    Lee Kuan Yew was really rude here. It is not okay to ask such personal questions to anyone, especially in front of such a large audience.

    If he wanted to explain that immigration was necessary because of our low fertility rate, he could have done so without drawing attention to Ms Sim’s personal life. Her life is only a single data point anyway; anecdotal evidence does nothing to help his argument.

    The audience also deserves a good scolding for laughing at Ms Sim. This is the country we have become; people think it’s funny to make fun of those who are single. I’m embarrassed to be a Singaporean, and embarrassed of our ‘leader’.

  • Stevenkhorfather

    Poor old fark, kenna F ,Left & Right here.

    But he Sooooooo deserves it !

  • Fed Up

    The same old dirty trick, when he does not want to answer the question he will grill the person.He is a rude and arrogant person who cannot even change at his old age. In fact it was his 2 child policy that has caused all these current issues.But he will never admit it and yet we have people who support him and think he is god.Has Japan open their doors as they have an aging population but they are managing the situation, here we look at the easy way out and bring in any Tom and Dick.We pay them MILLIONS to make such decisions. SHAME.

  • KTK

    When you ask a person where he was on Thursday night, and he answers with “where do you think I was”
    A good policeman would straight away assume that he was guilty of something! So, answering a question
    with a question shows that you feel guilty of something. The question was a simple query, not a critism
    of the immigration policy.

  • Stevenkhorfather

    Why is GCt daughter living in Uk ?

    Why is Jacobs two kids American ?

    Why is Loonsan Albino kid in Australia ?

    Go ask all these leaders ,why ?

    Leaders must lead by example ,not “cheat & skirt” around a system they claim is perfect .

    The answer lies in those same action why their own kids prefers to be out of Singapore .

  • Akram

    He’s totally right , the 1st cause of immigration is low fertility , so he’s saying to here that if she thinks massive immigration is a problem , she is part of that problem .

  • georgeyeo -not that guy

    we should learn to reply to such questions with a ‘mind your own business’ . There is no reason to be polite if you think he is being rude. That would put him off guard!

  • Bornbred Singaporean

    What is the senile old man going on about this time? Is he the only one who hasn’t realised that he’s lost it a long time back and that he should refrain from putting his foot in it and making things harder for his son to go about his job?

    Now he’s talking about the need for a better English standard among Singaporeans. I remember not too long back when he said, in response to a poll, that it wasn’t good enough if one parent is speaking to the child in Mandarin while the other parent spoke in English – they both needed to speak in Mandarin!

    I remember growing up in a Singapore where my friends were a mix of Indians, Chinese, Malays, Eurasians etc and we were all very closely knit – we still ar to this day! That was truly a multiracial society and many young Singaporean social groups were similarly comprised. We were Singaporeans before we were Indians or Chinese or Malays or Eurasians.

    How has this all changed? Well, firstly, our senile and self-inflated leader introduced the Speak Mandarin Campaign and emphasised the importance of knowing your culture. This has led to clans among our teens where you see a lot more same-race teens hanging out.

    What else has he done to “clanify” our population especially the younger segment? Well, he said, more than once, that we would never be a melting pot like the US – rather we were a salad bowl where the different contents would not mix but stay separate.

    I’m not sure if this is true but even if it were, is this something one would want to emphasise to a multiracial society where you would want the different segments to mingle, hopefully merge and live in harmony? Seems to me that he has an agenda here in wanting the races to stay separate.

    He also said, more than once (and supported by his son), that Singapore is not ready for a non-Chinese PM. Even after a recent poll showed that more than 90% of the population responded that they did not mind having a non-Chinese PM, he goes on to rubbish the poll and say that it is not true.

    Here we have someone that the masses are calling the Father of Singapore and he is even more supportive of bringing in more foreigners despite learning about Singaporeans’ displeasure and frstrations. In fact, in his Nat Geo interview, he even goes so far as to say that these foreigners are more hungry than local Singaporeans and that if we couldn’t compete with our new fellow-citizens, that’s just too bad. If only our teens could see and experience how we were back then!

  • Magnesia


    How’s this?
    How old are you?
    Watcha’ doin’ for a living?
    Are you married?
    Got any children?
    Got any idea on how u have contributed to Majullah Singapura?
    My guess is ur just as senile as the former Senile Minister who lately relinquished his Mental position
    Oh before I forget, are you also part of that problem Joan Sim had raised – FT (short for F**k Type)?

  • crap

    questions were all planted and questioners were pre selected. the quality of the questions, the way thet were asked and the confidence of the students who asked the questions, how they were stumped and dumbfounded when lky asked them questions was sad. it reflects how the quality of english has deteriorated and a fundamental weakness in the education system in the country.


    LKY might as well ask her “Have you ever f**ked before?” If not, please go out and f**k more often because graduate mothers and smart Phd ladies like you should procreate more”! hahaha! WTF, the old condescending fart thinks he’s a big deal and trying to hang on to his thin thread of relevance in this world. Gaddafi is down, now Egypt is falling…and so will all tyrannical leadership models of social organization. He’s still desparately trying to hang on to his “Hard Truths” when in fact they are all just “Hard Lies”.

    We are all spiritual beings on a human journey, so if you ask yourself dep within you…your own innate nature knows all the answers already…and the answer does NOT include tyranny and oppression of the human spirit, except maybe only as a pssing phase in human spiritual development.

    Just ignore all these Mass media rubbhish, put some time aside for yourselves and just LISTEN to your inner selves. ALL THINGS PASS, and so will LKY and his supposedly hard truths. Truths that are only relevant for one age of man but will soon fall away in another. In the past ages, people fight in wars and die for their Kings and royalty, but the concept of Kingship eventually dissolved after thousands of years to be replaced with our current social organization of so-called “democracy” and universal suffrage. Eventually, the falsity of the vote in the political process will be shown lacking (afterall 1 vote for every 4~5 years is really a mockery of involvement in the political process) in all countries, and a new form of social organization is in its birth pangs right now….

    REALIZE that it is not a coincidence that many countries (check out google on Israel, Arab countries, Thailand, UK, & many others) there is a palpable sense that the current monetary, consumerist and unequitable social structures are obviously UNSUSTAINABLE whether you look at it from an ecological, environmental, financial or social angle.

    HUMANS must either CHANGE or DIE-OFF. Mother Earth will go on with or without us (homo homo sapiens). Don’t be fooled. LKY is a great man but in the GREATER SCHEME of THINGS, he and his outmoded ideas will pass away. We are all just DUST passing through this tiny speck of an island in a tiny dust mote of a blue planet called EARTH in the vastness of space and the eternity of time.

  • Bombarded

    Bornbred Singaporean
    10 September 2011

    “He also said, more than once (and supported by his son), that Singapore is not ready for a non-Chinese PM. Even after a recent poll showed that more than 90% of the population responded that they did not mind having a non-Chinese PM, he goes on to rubbish the poll and say that it is not true.”

    Then people shdn’t be asking how erh future no minority EP now?
    Man’s just calling a spade a spade.
    He doesn’t mince words like Mamakthir, the double-headed, fork-tongued DKK turned bumi.

  • Eugene

    @ Magnesia – Well done!!!! You Caught ‘F*** Type Akram by his balls.

    @ All things Pass
    Simply said in lehman’s term we are all passing clouds. Then Money go where? Money not enough.
    Were you conducting meditation classes? Did you thaught our Harry to meditate in the Christian way.

  • Small Kid Only

    The days of TOC will be numbered like TRE if charlatans from TRE moved over from their topedoed ship to create mayhem and sow half-truths.

    The GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY IS THE PAP like it or not. Campaigning and hustings can begin in 2016!

    Want democracy yet don’t know how to behave like the civilised now-bankrupt DEMONCRACTIC West. Shame.

    When Bush Junior beat Gore by a mere 0.1% vote he governed as a nation with the Democrats behind. Same now, the “CHANGE” Democrat Black man was allowed to show his ability. So easy meh even with the a huge economies of scale, abundant mineral and human resources, etc., country? Will he last another term? The US’ debt is trillions owing to the 1-party Chinese regime and unemployment DOUBLE-DIGIT! How erh?

  • Eugene

    a bombarded
    This situation of minority EP not arising in the future is due to Leekingyu who one day woke up with a baddream (which he assumes foresight) of a rogues within PAP squandering the reserves. So Leekingyu went about setting parameters of an elected President went on to insert it into our bastardised Constitution. Now the new constitution says that one of the criteria for a SINGAPOREAN to qualify to stand in election is that he must have managed a corporation) company with a paid capital of 100 million dollars.
    Let’s be honest (in your own racial terms) mamaks, DKKs or Malays qualify in Singapore. Too bad the father of a nation Leeking you can’t be wrong or you mean to say he is in the learning loop.
    By the way let’s keep the arguments/comments/thoughts within Singapore. Don’t let it create unnecessary problems between neighbors and then they might rescind the railway land agreement and ISD will look for you. Hahahaha all in the game.

  • andrew leung

    “Given the big influx of immigrants here in a short time, and a dilution of the national identity, what can we do to create a sense of belonging and foster social cohesiveness?”

    It is very clear that LKY did not have the answer to Ms Sim’s question. Mr Tan Jee Say have to continue to run for President in 2017 and rally 500,000 voters to help build up Singapore identity and future again. Cohesiveness and other issues must be discussed, that means more freedom of expression and speech and opposition voices and activities. Mr Tan Jee Say can play a non-partisan role by advocating more political freedoms for all races, religions and political ideologies. He should continue to do walkabouts on weekends and have coffee with some of the residents and keep communicating online with supporters and interested people.

  • Eugene

    @ Small Kid Only
    By the way small PAPIG what did you guys do to TRE? Just the word emeritus does not belong to SME you know. Now youR comments with the pun make you sound like a modernised commi.
    Go troll the PAPIGS websites specially created for you. All your questions will be muted in 24 hours. Beware of the knocks on your door past the midnight??? Is that how it goes??? Goosebum, take a hike.

  • andrew leung

    I think there was some complaints of not having enough carparks because now people own 2 cars etc. Maybe they should also ask the public whether Singapore should have more electric vehicles and install electrical charging points in the carparks in the future.

    They should start to ask people what they like Singapore to be like. Last time people go to the community center to watch TV. Now everybody stay at home. They need to build more community facilities for residents. When it is election time, suddenly PAP got $500 million to beautify your estate etc. They got plans for roof top garden/gyms etc. They should provide more meeting rooms for residents to hold various activities etc. Houses are becoming smaller but problems are getting bigger.

    People must have solutions whether they vote PAP or Opposition parties.

  • Tan Tan

    To the question: What was the best thing Mao Zedong did after 1949? Someone once quipped: It happened in 1976, the year he died. A similar question can be posed for LKY, often mythologized as the modern architect of Singapore: What is the best thing LKY has done since 1965? I wish I wish I know the equivalent to “1976″ in LKY’s case.

  • mice is nice

    well, spells it quite clear to me why its wiser not to reveal one’s own identity when engaging the MIWs.

    they will (figuratively) shoot the messager.

    if our so called founding father (as LKY so wishes the world to view him) isn’t much of a gentleman who treats “lesser” people with basic courtesy, what more can be said about civil servants?

    such personal attack is really uncalled for.

    maybe feisty & highly educated women of today in their mind would reply with, “its such men that puts me off marriage even more!”.

    lousy role model…

  • fpc

    How come nobody ask if this old fellow should die earlier to relieve the young people of supporting old people for too long

  • eaglefly

    locals are DAFT !!!!

    that is why they let themselves into that stupid hall called, “FORUM with lky”

    how to accept his stupid answer or question, unless you are a DAFT !!!!

    NTU and NUS has lots of that stuff called


  • Josh

    He’s deliberately rude and provocative. He just want to highlight the situation of S’poreans marrying later, but that is the same in many developing countries. We are no different from Japan & HK. But the questioner is unlikely to rush out get boyfriend, get married and have kid as LKY wants because (a) studies/work pressures, (b) demands of potential mate,(c) high costs of getting married/flat and need to support family. Very clever of LKY to throw it all back on the citizen. Has the governemnt really helped by (a) reducing pressure cooker in unis/schools/workplace, (b) educating potential mates to be more polite, loving and caring and well-polished, (c) reducing the costs of living for all so less costly for self and family won’t need to make financila demands?

    Even LKY and geniuses in today’s cabinet cannot solve all this in a few months let alone decades.

    If want to really solve, then introduce

    (i) birth tourism: passports for all newborns in S’pore regardless of parent’s nationality,

    (ii) points system for PR and citizenship applicants with more points to couple with two or more pre-teen children. (Or at least pregnant with second child). This is because 2.1 birthrate is the replacement level so makes sense that FT should come in with at least 2 young kids. Pre-teens because teens likely not to be moulded as Singaporeans. More points to be given to those who commit their sons to NS and daughters to civil defence service when they turn 18.

    Problem with his behavious is that he encourages other Singaporeans to be rude and provocative. As a result possibly many young ones try to ape this cocky style, and end up being unattractive to others and so end up finding it harder to find a match. Since little hope for Singaporeans and they cannot get sufficient financial (or tax incentive) help from government, little choice but to rely on foreigners. But gatekeeper does not put much thought and simply allows in all kinds of immigrants – many with no kids or only one kid or with kids who are in teens or evening studyig overseas. So the gatekeeper has to pay more attention and be sure to allow in young kids that follow their parents and have sufficient local schools (not international schools) to accept them. These FT must commit to putting their kids through local schools, otherwise defeats the point of allowing them in if they stay outside the system. They will only turn out to be young expat adults and not young Singaporeans. So why let in so many immigrants just to churn out so many young expat adults who have been through S’pore’s international )ex[at) school system and mostly also do higher studies in the West and won’t return? Meaningless.

  • Josh

    Best of all, he manages to disregard the question of Singapore identity and cohesiveness in ths situation where so many immigrants are brought in. This problem is not faced by Japan (because the number of foreigners they take in are relatively small). But it is faced by Singapore. No solution is offered. If you read the papers, you might find that there are some classes for a few foreigners. Most don’t attend.

    A few classes won’t integrate foreigners as Singaporeans. And many return to their home countries or move on to the West. So where is the integration? Jist ignore it I guess since this is only a numbers game and not a quality (of life) issue for the policymakers who opened the gates.

  • Josh
  • Patrick Jiak Liao Bee Tan

    @James: You should change your specs and read your own quote – the quote was posed by the student Joan, not a reply by the old fart OK?

    You dont even read properly and yet want to comment? Well well, so much for the quality of the foreigners in our midst. what crap!

  • Father of Small kid only

    @ small kid only

    My dear son, do not disgrace me and your ancestors by talking rubbish in TOC. You will be condemn to hell when you die. The only consolation is LKY will be your companion there. Please repent…

  • Stevenkhorfather

    “Below the belt” ?

    “Cowboy Towns ” ?

    Guess they must be the ones behind the ” sudden dissapearance of TRE”.

    Tats their usual method of “engaging”.

    To “disengage” U..via “Treats”, “Sue”,”Isa”.

    Like tat how to call Democratic, better call themselves Socialist !

    No need use nice terms like courses to train how to engage public online…better be train how to “fixed” your so called “cowboys”

    WTF !

  • doppelganger

    To LKY, whether you make a baby from your own body or get it from somewhere it is all the same, as long as it stocks up the population. Therefore it is no surprise that he has ordered millions of people to be imported into Singapore within a short period of 5 years. And he is recently explaining the matter to U students why more and more immigrants need to be taken up to keep the population young.This mass immigration just to back up the GDP is certainly a Ponzi scheme to keep the economic highly tuned while the going is good. We cannot predict when the global economy will turn real bad but as Tony Tan says , bad times is coming.When it comes all these new PRs and citizens will find that there is no utility for them to be hereand they fly off and we indigenous Singaporeans will have to hold the fort. The fort will be certainly in a worse condition than now. Therefore this immigration of labour units without end is building an economic time bomb. Moreover the indigenous genotype of Malay, Indian and Chinese is wiped out by the overwhelming influx of new peoples. This is also a loss albeit a sentimental one. Is the risk of this continual immigration to uphold and maximize the economy worth the risk. Should we not be more careful, making do with our present population by replanning the economy. How? The PAP has always prided it itself to be the sole repository of wisdom and knowledge. Can the PAP not think of something other than pumping in peoples upon peoples into Singapore ad infinitum?

  • No Brainer

    LKY’s “hit below the belt” question is nothing new – I heard the same question years ago at another so called forum. What LKY is doing is simply the lesser of two evils – let locals fertility continue to decline and we age faster or let foreigners come in and boost the population numbers and age slowly. Never mind the social issues, just solve the problem first and worry about consequences later. The end justifies the means. That’s his style and will always be.

  • mice is nice

    how to create a sense of belonging?

    just tie everyone down with decades of (housing = rental) debt lo. not too different from being imprisoned with little chance of excape. not that its the only way to tie people down, but its effective.

    those who managed to escape, i mean migrate, were very on, branded as traitors. traitors probaby defined as independant-minded individuals who do not always agree with their grand plans. personally, i doubt they have any grand plan/s. maybe just plan to keep the status quo alive for their own benefit at the expense of everyone else.

  • True Singaporean

    The only way to catch a liar(lawyer) – Bring it back to the point. Tell him, old man or not, that he should answer the question with a statement, not another question.

    I feel bad for her, she should simply have said that she will remain more attractive than him for as long as he lives. That is the answer his snarkiness deserves.

  • http://- batmanspoor

    Interesting Analysis by a professor of SMU but you won’t find this on the Straits Times.

    A new Singapore? Politics in the wake of May GE

    By Bridget Welsh, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor in Political Science at SMU.

    A new Singapore? Politics in the wake of May GE

    Aug 31, 11

    ANALYSIS: The extremely narrow – less than one percent – victory of PAP stalwart Dr Tony Tan for Singapore’s presidency is yet another marker of the political transformation sweeping the island republic.

    After the May 2011 polls secured the strongest opposition victory in history, with a win of a Group Representative Constituency and 40 percent of the popular vote, this month’s presidential polls serves to illustrate that Singaporean politics is increasingly competitive, as 65 percent of the electorate voted for candidates not endorsed by the PAP establishment and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    From afar, this comes as a surprise as the political transformation is taking place at an unexpected level and pace. Yet in Singapore, the signs and reasons are clear that the country is moving towards new politics – a politics of greater empowerment, democracy and uncertainty.

    The presidential campaign was tame compared to the GE as all four candidates sought to project a dignified image of leadership. Yet behind this veneer there was intense competition along five trajectories that illustrate how much Singaporean politics is shifting.

    The May GE had opened up a groundswell of issues that are not going away, and arguably have gained momentum. No question, the call for political reform is now stronger than ever and there is greater uncertainty on how to respond to this new political landscape.

    Let me take each of the major changes in turn, drawing attention to the broader processes that are in many ways shattering the image of Singapore as an authoritarian country that defies the norm of greater democracy.

    Singapore has indeed become less exceptional, and arguably now serves as an example of political transformation. The double whammy of two elections in less than four months and advent of social media and generational differences have created conditions for a significant rupture from the past.

    1. Public accountability

    Both campaigns have had at their core calls for greater checks and balances. In the GE, the call for a ‘First World’ parliament took hold, and in the presidential contest there was an open call for an activist ‘watchdog’ president. The underlying issue is that there are substantive concerns with the lack of public accountability.

    The ‘government knows best’ attitude that has permeated Lee Kuan Yew’s PAP rule is being called into question, as voters are increasingly calling for explanations of why policies are being adopted, and the need for more scrutiny and transparency in government.

    While more Singaporeans continue to have a deep respect of the PAP’s accomplishments, the age of paternalistic government is over, especially among the young, as they reject the nanny attitude of the past. The calls for checks on government extend from the social media netizens to those within the system. In a system where questioning and challenging is not acceptable, this is a radical move.

    The demands of public accountability from a variety of polls are being driven by those not attached to the government, private property owners, those who have career options, especially independent professionals, and a core anti-PAP collective that extends its roots from Operation Cold Storage in the 1960s which undermined the left as a political force to more current authoritarian measures associated with the 1987 ISA arrests, which Tony Tan was seen to be associated with.

    Most of those core opposition supporters of former Singapore Democratic Party candidate Tan See Jay would comprise this group. He won 25 percent of the vote, securing third place. Others voted for the softer anti-PAP alternatives.

    This call for accountability has gained momentum in an unprecedented manner.

    2. End of strongman era

    At the same time, there are many Singaporeans who do not want radical change. They appreciate the deliverables of the PAP and see the country’s successes. Make no bones about it – there are many successes of Singapore’s government in terms of governance and economic development. The country stands out for model of development in many ways. Much of this has been associated with the country’s statesman, Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), the premier strongman in Southeast Asia (along with Dr Mahathir Mahathir, of course).

    LKY is the one of the few remaining of a dying breed globally and regionally. Yet, he is from a bygone era, one in which he no longer controls the reins of power where the political system is more diffused.

    His follow-me-and-accept brand of politics is passé, especially among the young who do not connect to the parent-child politics of the past. The PAP now has to deal with a grown-up electorate, and in essentially fielding a candidate of the LKY era – Tony Tan (photo in blue shirt) was LKY’s chosen successor – they were asking for trouble.

    The PAP as a party has to evolve to a new period without LKY-type automated support from the electorate. Singaporeans are no longer looking towards the past; they want a better future and leadership that understands their role in the future. The main obstacle for the PAP has been one of connectivity to such new outlooks and ideals.

    The old PAP guard continues to believe that Singapore is driven by materialist interests and fails to understand the impact of post-materialist values and ideals. Development has brought about Singaporeans who are genuinely and deeply concerned with social issues and the environment, in which a model of development driven by numbers in the fiscal reserves and growth performance do not cut it anymore.

    3. PAP factionalism

    The PAP’s engagement with the electorate has been the most problematic. Follow-me is not acceptable as the society has moved towards the need for explanation. Yet, the dynamic is not just about the rejection of talk-down dynamic, but a real sense that those elites connected with the PAP are disconnected.

    Sheltered by bodyguards, Tony Tan and many in the PAP leadership engage the electorate as observers rather than participants. With whopping salaries that make the average income of Singaporeans – whose real wages have not risen in years despite increases in salaries for leaders – they do not understand the struggles that ordinary Singaporeans face, from crowded transportation systems to finding funds to deal with a medical crisis.

    Many a moment I have witnessed the conditions of the elderly in particular, as I often recall an elderly woman only able to afford the bones of a fish to make a soup at a local supermarket. The elite rule has multiplied in almost cloning fashion in which the PAP only appoint the elites they can relate to, and systematically a corporatist system of divided rule has evolved.

    Tony Tan is part of the PAP-LKY elite. While it is unfair to characterise him as completely disconnected, his personality and his ties to the system created a gap, one in which the majority of Singaporeans rejected.

    In this discussion of the elite, it is important to understand that the elite-grassroots division is not just one in society, but within the PAP itself. From the May polls, PAP divisions have surfaced publicly but no more than in the recent contest.

    Tan Cheng Bock (right), who came in second, represented the grassroots faction in the PAP, one that ironically was accommodated in the LKY and Goh Chok Tong eras, but was not able to thrive in the era of LKY’s son, PM Lee Hsien Loong.

    Part of this is a product of years of elite rule, where the grassroots are no longer seen as important. Another part of this is a product of the fact that the party in its evolution has lost track of the grassroots completely.

    Both are serious mistakes for the PAP as a party’s evolution rests on its base not its leadership. Disconnectivity and even arrogance have made the PAP a very different organisation of the past, fueled by a leadership that is less consensus-based than earlier periods.

    The end result is increased factionalism and division in the PAP. Tan Cheng Bock represented a different PAP, one connected to society. Why he did so well involved his ability to connect, something that both Tony Tan, and to a certain degree, his premier endorser lack.

    The long and short of it is that the PAP is now split more than ever before. When the LKY era finally comes to end, these schisms will emerge furtherand test whether his son’s faction are able to hold onto power.

    4. Middle-ground opposition

    The real test will be the opposition’s ability – within the PAP and outside of the party, especially in the Worker’s Party and Singapore Democratic Party – to appeal to a revitalised and transformed electorate. We have seen in the past year the opposition’s effort to capture the middle ground, to appeal broadly not just to the anti-PAP hardcore but to the large middle ground in the electorate.

    The Worker’s Party was successful in this to a larger extent than other parties. In the presidential polls, Tan Cheng Bock achieved this as he came off as soft anti-PAP appealing to reasonable questioning. He found the right tone for the middle ground to be a major contender for the presidency. It is about both style and substance.

    Winning the middle ground in Singapore is about not crossing the lines of confrontation, and criticising nicely. It is also about following and pointing to issues that need attention, almost like the analogy of the second driver – one that does not really slap but poke. Tan Cheng Boke was Mr Nice Guy, a man who was reasonable, or at least portrayed as such compared to the media caricature of the opposition candidate Tan See Jay.

    This was not just about a general appeal, but one that involves engagement with non-Chinese Singaporeans. Like the Worker’s Party, SDP-aligned Tan See Jay (right in photo) had a problem of engaging non-Chinese comparatively.

    The media portrayal of Tan See Jay did little to cross ethnic barriers as the majority of non-Chinese went either to the PAP or soft anti-PAP faction. The issue of integration in Singapore remains sensitive, as it involves not only the traditional minorities Indians and Malays (who especially feel left out of the presidency for years) but the new citizens.

    Singaporeans in their choices for Tony Tan and Tan Cheng Bock opted for more cross ethnic integration, not rocking the sensitive boat of political representation. It is important to recall that the unspoken issues in the campaign were about national identity and cohesion.

    A softer candidate, one at least with a system that they knew, was preferred. This points to the need for the opposition to deal more effectively with ethnic representation and outreach.

    5. Social inclusion

    The issues of personality and symbolism pale when one brings in the heart of the debate in Singapore, the output of government.

    Singapore’s success has been seriously dented by a dark underside of inequality and, even more problematic, inability to find a policy solution to the challenge of political reform to a welfare state, couched of course in Singapore as the social safety net.

    The focus remains on the poor, but it is based on limited distribution, and there has yet to be a serious rethink of whether the models based on savings are working. No real consideration of wage growth, revamped policy implementation, downsizing of constricted rules-based systems and a sense of charity rather than genuine need have evolved. The groups left out are angry, although many of them continue to be tied to a system dependent on the state.

    What the PAP does not fully appreciate is that they are only seeing the surface of discontent. Younger and richer voters, those socialised in different ways with different patterns of independence, are speaking out, but the class from below, the ones that work until they are 80, night shifts and look at the foreign talent and workers with a sense of displacement are only now politically awakening. When they rise further, even more change will come.

    Uncertainties ahead

    There are some important new features of Singaporeans that have emerged. There is no question that voters in Singapore are more engaged.

    The myth of apathetic Singaporeans is long gone, as all of the voters who went to the polls did so with a fierce love of their country and a passion for a new better Singapore. They also question their leaders with increased sophistication. The LKY follow-me era of politics is long gone.

    Where the uncertainties arise are in the political institutions, namely the political parties to adjust to new conditions. Foremost is the PAP, with splits and leadership issues looming. The opposition on its part is faced with the difficult challenge of mirroring the PAP to reach the middle ground. This challenge is compounded by ethnic outreach.

    Finally, the policy process and reforms need a serious rethink. Premier Lee Hsien Loong’s National Rally Speech tinkered with a system that is not cutting the grade to address social inequality and imbalances.

    As the new Singapore evolves, the changes are coming fast, but in measured ways through windows such as elections. The next one is long down the road, but the evolution of the system in parliament and opening of discourse will not go away anytime soon.

    It remains to be seen whether there will be a conservative backlash to the democratic openings or further adjustment. My bet is a combination of both, but given the fact that Singaporeans are increasingly finding their voice … change will continue.

  • SC

    If you have no answer, just say you have no answer. What you did was wrong and inexcusable. I have downloaded the whole clip and will show it my kids and tell them that that is how NOT to behave, and show them the person you are in reality is different from what textbooks and media portray.

  • sunny

    Only morons/fools/clowns will attend these gatherings and exhibit in such audience to simply show-off… all of them there was for a show…in the end one poor soul got grilled by the öld man” well she desreve it, either…

    she thought she corner the “OLDMAN” by fielding a tough question…too bad, he’s too smart for her. [ her ego was high too...she wanted to impress the audience that she "ÏNTELLIGENT" WELL... instead got back fired]

    She was dreaming if she was going to get a prompt reply for her question!!!



    NORTH POLE????



    So why blame the oldman…he is doing his job. THE FOOLS ARE THOSE SITTING IN THE AUDIENCE.



  • Waste of Time

    Yeah, Agree with Sunny. Only idiots will attend this old man’s talk. Don’t ever attend this old man’s or the pap’s talk or seminar. it is a WASTE OF TIME! Instead We could use that much time spend to do something else useful.

    Talks a lot of rubbish. We hear rubbish we also become rubbish. Dont attend his talks….Never!

  • Non Quitter

    Attack is the best form of defence.

  • Phui U

    LKY is just trying to divert the question by not answering it.
    May be she should tell LKY, her BF broke off with HER cos of NS.
    Do not be fool by old fox, we need 2b alert now to make sure we are not always on the losing side. So Joan please kindly continue to shoot him with QUESTIONS.

  • Richard

    Agree 100X with Sunny. Why attend his talk in the first place? Any why ask him questions? To ask question is to value his answer or, in this case, his non-answer, rudeness and arrogance. Next time just boycott his talk. let him speak to empty hall. Then the event organisers will know better than to invite him.

  • Eugene

    MSM’s have started spewing their veterolics. On Shit Times the two reporters have gone on to interview and try to validate LHL assurances that we are still pro- business. Mr Overmayers said that having different points of view/representation is nothing new in the parliment where these businesses’ countries of origin.
    I am not against foreign talent come here, work for three years or more and move on.. I am against downright import of families from China ( example: Su Zhou just because the ancient Emperor’s scholars and their concubines had settled there by the Yangtze and therefore their off springs will be gifted children) or imports from India (example: Indians of Brahmin origin are assumed to have best of brains in India).

    Let me give you an example. An employment pass holder was given approval to work here for a company. He was holding the title of Pastry Chef. Six months later he applied for PR and got it. He brought his family and stayed in a rented flat. In another two years time he converted his PR to Singapore Citizenship with his family. He resigned his job and started a cake shop with borrowings from local friends. His business flopped he has run away to Malaysia and his family is in a dilemma.

    I cane across a security guard who was shaking his head in the wrong direction for Yes or No and found out that he is from India but a PR in Singapore. He is with his family in Singapore.


  • Eugene

    Please check the Current Status:
    1. Singaporeans of 3 and 4 generations i.e Great Gf; Gf; father/mother/children = 2.2 mill

    2. New Singaporeans i.e. Father/mother n children = 1.3 million

    3. Foreigners who are Highly qualified under employment pass 1 and 2 holders = 600,000

    4. Foreigners who are skilled and unskilled workers who holds work permits/ S passes = 900,000

    Categoey 1. – have to bear direct competition from category 2 in housing/ education/ transport/ general space…. ‘lTHE LAN LAN NANG’

    Category 2 – Offers direct challenge to category 1 in all aspects.’LUCKY PAP NANG’

    Category 3- No interest in settling down in Singapore unless for sentimental reasons / falling in love etc. This small group immigration n becoming citizens can be tolerated cos they are high income earners, private condo owners and drive their own cars. No direct challenge to heartlanders besides being small in numbers.

    Category 4 – Interest immigration not supported by qualifications especially the unskilled workers. The chances of skilled workers getting in Category 2 are there and they directly compete for space with heartlanders.


    Now my Category 1, the LAN LAN NANG give me a solution cos knowing them well ‘HUSH HUSH’ plans are ongoing to boost Cat 2 asap before 2016.

  • Talk logic

    I don’t know why these student were so keen to hear this demented old chap’s speeches.
    There was no wisdom in his talk. His arrogant and dogmatic approaches to questions is a waste of time to the listeners.
    His speeches are declining in credibility and full of garbage.

  • Sgpmpgrc

    I wonder if LKY gave his daughter the same “pep” talk
    It would have been fun if Ms Sim was fast enough to say yes I have a boyfriend but my father disapproves of him bcos he is not of my race and therefore will not let me marry him, not unlike your own famy situation.

  • Singa2011

    New immigrants are someone’s children too. If they become Singapore citizen chances are they will also have to ask their aged parents to come alone so that they can take care of them in their old age. Even if their parents doesn’t want to come to Singapore, these immigrants still have to send money back home to support them. So I don’t see how new immigrants can solve our ageing population problem and reduce the so called burden caused.

  • Ee Er San

    He was on an ego trip pure and simple and he’s been doing it all his life, thumbing down, insulting and bullying anyone he damn well wishes just to make himself feel good and important. This guy has no more substance and has nothing left to contribute and he knows it. His son Pinkie knows it too that’s why he was removed from political office as soon as GE2011 was over. Trouble is he cannot control his huge ego and has to exercise and give vent to it now and then. That’s the reason why he insults and bullies people around him and worse in the international arena he embarrasses himself and Singapore thinking he is giving earth-shattering advice all round.

    People, do not attend any of his talks, forums, sessions, whatever. Just walk away and let him yak away and throw insults at the furniture.

    And if you are forced into attending, DO NOT ask any questions or seek any clarifications. It serves to feed his enormous ego and gives him the twisted satisfaction of insulting his audience. Leave him be and see him shrivel up.

  • Sun Tsu

    Ms Sim’s parents will be very thankful to LKY for suggeting to their daughter that getting married and have a family is equally important.
    Study and work hard for all you can, but ultimately it is the family that is the most valuable.
    LKy is tired of addressing those unimaginative questions like immigration, Cost of Living, cohesion etc
    He just want to express his advice to the young.

  • Increasing our Local birth Rate

    The anwser to this problem is to lower our cost of living, and increase our local birth rate.

    To bring in more immigrants is just to help PAP to gain power only. Use your brain!!!

  • kukujumuku

    I will worry if our next gen leaders come from NUS and NTU.

    The young should not get married but find another country to immigrate.

    The thinking of present SELFISH people in the civil service, HDB, LTA, URA, etc,and the “BANKRUPTING THE PEOPLE” policies coming out,so as to upkeep the MIW and stealing the nation’s reserves and tax payers money, including our CPF.

    And the next gen will suffer tragedy of the greatest kind, no water, oil,food, and jobs, with such gov and selfish leaders in place.

  • TC

    Why blame singaporeans ?

    I think it is in the 70-80s that we had a very successful “Stop at 2″ campaign whereby one will be fined if you have a third child.

    Singaporeasn are not robots at your heck and call.

    Please admit your failure to see the future of singapore by having that campaign just like how you fail to see the rise of China by simplfying our chinese language and more…

  • RC

    LKY: rumbling rumbling rumbling… and a bunch of irrelevant questions…

    Ms Sim: I’m pursuing my PhD early as I am inspired by Dr Lee Wei Ling. She is my idol who sacrificed her personal life to advance medical Science in Neurology so as to save lives. Despite her being one of the reasons why we have low birth rates, she has the full blessings from her parents. I too have my parent’s blessings.

  • Sure A Nut

    I would love to see Ah Fart try his crap on Ivy Singh Lim.

    I would love even more to see her smack him with one of her coconuts!

  • Citizen

    His response to Miss Joan Sim lacked sensitivity and grace. He just sound like an overbearing Ah Kong out to scold the young for daring to defy the cultural expectations. First, he was the policy master who dissuaded many from having children, next he defined success merely though economic measures and when people bought into these myths either blithely believing the dire projections or fearing the various sanctions that would affect their unwanted children’s future and the population rate plunged south, he began singing another tune. He is just another politician who evades accountability by pretending that he was not responsible for what had happened in this country. He has described very aptly how he would handle dissent: “Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.”

  • Tan Yan Ren

    Let me tell all Singaporeans this…
    Whenever the MM is cornered or could not get out of a tricky or sensitive question , he will attack the “opponent” by counterattacking and putting the opponent on the defensive and subsequent submission…I analyse these …he is a brilliant lawyer , like many in court and they all USE the same technique to disarm and demolish their opponents…Guys, be prepared to counterattack to stun and stay focus …be agressive in the counterattack…you will see results…the idea is to get answers without being intimidated by these bullies.

  • Kiss of Death

    She could politely tell the old cock that her marital status is personal and has no relevance to her question.

  • Bornbred Singaporean

    When the crowd laughed, it was not because they found it funny, many were just lapping up his words like sycophants and acting like doormats in the presence of a supposed luminary.

    I’ve even seen that at work – the director makes a feeble joke one has heard a hundred times and there will still be people in the audience ready to laugh just like canned laughter. Not many noticed and stood up to tell him (or dared to tell him) that he had not answered the question and was evading it.

    This is the aura the old man carries among many Singaporeans. He still dares to rubbish polls done by Singaporeans and even insult their intelligence and many still accept it as pearls of wisdom from a great man!

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  • doppelganger

    When I ponder on Singapore these days I see nothing but hordes of foreigners occupying every niche available on the island. I am reminded of what chaos the importation of rabbits caused to the indigenous marsupial wildlife in Australia. The rabbits later had to be shot and poisoned en masse as otherwise no other living thing would be surviving in the Australian outback. It is not that rabbits are superior and indispensable creatures that they managed to survive so well and displace other life forms in Australia. If that were so, rabbits would be the dominant creatures on Earth itself and would have devised the technology to send themselves to the moon to colonize it too. Let us not delve into the intricacies of evolution, adaptation, survival of the fittest, ecological equilibrium etc for now but consider the analogy of a rabbit colonization of Singapore. This regime’s leaders, lacking the genius of economic innovation of Goh Keng Swee and Winsemius have destroyed our land and heritage with rabbits instead. And here we have the leader of the regime LKY lauding the entry of even more hundreds of thousands of rabbits and promising us a golden age of rabbitage.

  • doppelganger

    When rabbits were brought into Australia in the last century, they bred so fast that they ate up everything, leaving little for the native marsupial animals in the Australian outback.This alarmed the Government because the ecosystem is rapidly transformed and they set about offering bounties for culling rabbits. So rabbits were trapped, shot, poisoned until their population were reduced sufficiently for the native marsupial to gain back a foothold in the outback. I consider the mad importation of foreign populations to do the same to the native Singaporean population. The foreign labour takes over every occupational niche in Singapore, leaving the Singaporean, jobless, homeless and all government services curtailed. When a population does not thrive, it stops reproducing children. So LKY lectures young graduate females and brings in more foreigners to reproduce the lost children. The cycle goes on, now already for 5 years. The positive feedback is still continuing because LKY is now saying that another 600 thousand will be imported to feed the GDP machine.

    The analogy with the rabbit influx into Australia ceases here in Singapore. Because as long as the GDP machine is fed by a constant stream of foreign labour, LKY and his cohorts will earn their millions per year. There will be no one at all to stop the deluge of foreigners at any point- until perhaps world economy fails and Singapore does not provide these foreign hordes the jobs they want. Then the foreign people will flee together with our millionaire Ministers, leaving Singapore with excess capacity and sky-high costs of living from which we shall never escape.

    Archaeologists have come across many ancient and even modern sites where the inhabitants have abandoned the land. Some were clearly abandoned because of natural catastrophes like earthquakes. Others were abandoned because the forest around the settlement were over cut and their source of fuel were gone. Overcut because of over -population. Much more serious is that the natural ecology was also destroyed so that water did not collect in the ground in sufficient quantities to sustain life. Examples are civilizations in the Indus Valley,the Khmer Empire, the Anasazi, the Nabateans,the Aksumite etc. Some of these dead areas were repopulated after the passing centuries have cured their ecosystems. But the repopulation are likely to be unrelated to the original population.

    I urge that Singaporeans vote in leaders of a normal sense of responsibility towards governance so that this cycle of pumping tons of humanity into Singapore is not the only solution they can offer for our economy and our ultimate survival into the next decades. The LKY regime seems to be at a dead end for ideas, except how to prolong their own very satisfying dominance.

  • i am rabbit

    Humans from another country are rabid rabbits?

  • mice is nice

    i am rabbit, 17 Sept 2011

    no lah, but you as about as smart as a rabbit!

  • ProsperityPolitician

    Guys, I believe Mr LKY has made his stand by those questions.
    That’s about making a stand without making it. He’s smart.
    It’s impt to see where he’s coming from.

    We’re not living in “increasing busy lives” as stated in the article but increasing complex lives, that’s why
    finding a partner is ‘complex’. We’ve simply gotten too smart!

    This is where he’s wise not to make a stand.
    For it’s not about not getting the PHD nor abt work-life balance nor priorities.
    Situation is different for different people.

    Advising the lady further would make him seem as telling people what to do…and will draw more flare.

    Have a prosper mind.

  • plebeian

    That is no way to address a lady. One should only look at the stress levels in Singapore to wonder why no one is having babies. They are simply too expensive, and depressed wages from immigrants are not making it any easier.

    Perhaps, this is the way to limit the poor and uneducated to have children.

  • Y6

    He should have given this advice to his own daughter…

  • OMG

    What people want are direct answers! They are sick of these indirect roundabout non answers.

  • Joe

    How about rephasing back the question to LKY.

    The probability of a man near the age of 90 years old to meet his maker is 99% given that on average the life expectancy of human being is 87 years old…what do you want to say on your death bed ?

  • disgusted

    Just more proof of how arrogant someone is ;)

  • bugsbunny

    To doppelganger: Please tell me, who is an “indigenous” Singaporean.

  • doppelganger

    @bugbunny. An indigenous Singaporean is a Singapore citizen before the Tsunami ( of foreign people).