After saying that one-third of men and women in Singapore were single “and quite comfortable with their lives”, the Minister Mentor said: “My daughter is one of them. What can I do?”

Then in an unusually emotional mood, Lee told the young audience: “When she was in her early 30s, I told her, never mind all this.

“My wife and I used to tell her, what you want is a “Mrs” (to her name). She didn’t think it was funny. Now, she is 50-plus.

“I’m getting old. I’ve got a pacemaker. We’ve got this big house, everything is looked after now, but what happens when we are no longer there?

“Who’s going to run this place? Who’s going to make sure that the maids are doing the right thing and so on and so forth? That’s the price she (Dr Lee) will have to pay.

“She says, I’ll look after myself, but she has not been looking after herself all these years.

“She went abroad for her studies. And her cooking was just to take the salmon and put it in the microwave and heat it up. You can do it and then go to the canteen, but when you do that day after day …

“It’s a choice she has made and a choice that 35% of our women are making.”

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