Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has just opened his Facebook up to questions today from 11:45am-12:30pm.
Member’s of the public can ask their questions to the Prime Minister.
At 11.30am, the minister is live at presumably the Facebook Singapore’s office.
Question: Dear PM Lee, given your hectic work schedule, how do you balance your work with family and personal life?
PM: Always a struggle, like everyone else. But I exercise every morning, and try to take a walk with my wife on weekends. I am also just starting to learn something new – Pilates!
Question: Your photos are great! What kind of camera do you use? If it is your phone, any touch-up or editing with a mobile app?
PM: iPhone, and a compact camera (especially at night). I use Lightroom to edit, and also Lightzone, which is free but very good.
Question: Why do you keep wearing pink shirts? I like pink too! Let’s go to Pink Dot this year!
PM: My TV producer tells me to do that!
Question: I want to know what is your favourite cuisine.
PM: Home food.
Question: You have consented to post Minister Chan Chun Sing to NTUC full time from April. Which areas of work in NTUC and tripartism do you hope to see him building on in the years ahead? Whats most critical for Spore when it comes to worker issues? Thanks.
PM: You should ask Chun Sing that question! Certainly worker upgrading is important, so that our people can do better jobs. So is working with employers and the govt, to cope with the rapid changes in our economy. We talk about restructuring just as a concept, but for a worker whose job is restructured it can be a very painful and difficult thing
Question: Dear Sir. I have 2 retired parents who needs regular follow ups at Polyclinics and Specialists Centres. They have been telling me that they are paying a lot of money for non standard medications that are prescribed by their doctors as there are no generic ones in the market. I applaud the PGcard implementation which really helped them a lot. Please consider extending these subsidies to non standard medications too, at least for old folks like them. Thank you.
PM: There are lots of non-standard medicines (e.g. vitamin pills), so we have to be careful. But if the doctor thinks the non-standard item is essential, and your parents can’t afford it, we have a scheme to subsidise them. Where do your parents live? Perhaps I can ask their MP to help them?
Question: PM – what made you start using Facebook ? I must say its cool to Follow you
PM: I watched my colleagues doing it, and eventually they persuaded me to try. It has been quite a lot of work, but fun too!
This is a letter from my 9 year old daughter, Charlotte. Wanted to attach the picture of her handwritten letter but could not, due to some setting restrictions. So I typed out her letter instead. Hope Mr Lee will take a little time to address her question at the live Q&A session on Facebook.
Dear Mr Lee,
My name is Charlotte Eng. I am from Haig Girls’ School and I am 9 years old. I would like to keep a Golden Retriever but I cannot keep one because I live in a HDB flat.
My mummy told me that people who live in HDB flats cannot keep big dogs because big dogs need big space to run around. Why is it that some condos are smaller and yet they can keep big dogs?
I choose to keep a golden retriever because I did many research and found out that golden retrievers are most suitable for me because they are very intelligent and are easier to train. They rarely bark and are also very family-friendly.
I want to keep a dog because it can teach me to be more responsible.
Mr Lee, can you convince HDB to change their rule so that I can keep a golden retriever? Thank you.
PM: Dear Charlotte, Thanks for your letter. I like golden retrievers too. They are lovely dogs. I have never owned one, though we used to have labradors at home. I think HDB’s concern is that big dogs may cause a nuisance to neighbours, so their rule is only to allow small dogs. If your dog is not so big, perhaps we can ask HDB (and your neighbours) to be flexible about it?
Question: Dear Sir, ever wonder if you were not the PM, what would you want to be?
PM: A teacher or lecturer. It is fun to interact with young people.
Editor’s Note: 15 minutes in (a third of the live Q&A session), the PM only manage to answer the easier questions. No responses on questions regarding policies, COE fare hikes, HDB issues etc.