Notable Quotes


"Did I know that this subject (reserved Presidential Election) would be a difficult one? That it would be unpopular and cost us votes? Yes, I knew.

If I do not know that these are sensitive matters, I cannot be in politics. But I did it, because I strongly believe, and still do, that this is the right thing to do."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 23 Sep 2017



"Even in the debate over the presidency, there is something encouraging in it. There is clearly an aspiration for race to matter less. I think race does matter today, everything else being equal, but it is good that people have this aspiration.

It requires continuous work, and should never pretend that just leaving it to the market would lead to more understanding, more harmony, greater multiculturalism. It doesn’t happen that way anywhere in the world. It requires conscious action, conscious acts of the State, which work if they are supported by people."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 20 Sep 2017



"I look forward to the day when we will no longer need to rely on the provision to have reserved elections, and Singaporeans naturally and regularly elect citizens of all races as Presidents."
President Halimah Yacob14 Sep 2017



"I've done my best. It's been hard work but it's always been very rewarding. How Singaporeans will regard me, that's for Singaporeans to decide.''
President Tony Tan Keng Yam, 27 Aug 2017



"What then is the agenda of PM’s accusers?

Are they whistleblowing in a noble effort to save Singapore, or waging a personal vendetta without any care for the damage done to Singapore? I have kept my ears open. From what Lee Hsien Yang and his wife are freely telling many others, it is clear that their goal is to bring Lee Hsien Loong down as PM, regardless of the huge collateral damage suffered by the Government and Singaporeans.



My view remains that when a Minister thinks that an allegation made against him is without basis, he has to sue. PM has explained in his speech why he would prefer not to sue. I can well understand his dilemma."
ESM Goh Chok Tong, 4 Jul 2017



"Good government cannot be achieved in social media. The Prime Minister is faced with serious allegations from his brother and sister. These allegations need to be addressed in a proper manner.

As the PM once said himself such matters cannot be just "you say, I say," it is the hallmark of the PAP government in the past to get to the bottom of such matter via the court.

I believe that the "you say, I say" exchange will continue in social media if the PM fails to take action to put it to a stop.



I am of the view that the correct platform to settle the private dispute is the court. Individuals who make less serious allegations that undermine the reputation and authority of the PM and Cabinet ministers have been brought to task for libel. There’s no reason why this time it should be different because it comes from the Lee family."
Low Thia Khiang, 3 Jul 2017



"He was not a respectable gentleman. My instinct was to give him a slap and I did."
Singapore Ferrari driver, 29 Jun 2017



"It has become routine for people to come forward and condemn terrorism. But that alone is not enough. We need to go beyond that.

No ifs, no buts, not just community leaders, not just religious leaders, but everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims. Come forward, make your stand clear and work for a united, tolerant, multiracial, multi-religious society.

Condemn these people and their actions in clear terms. Religious leaders have a duty to encourage their congregations to do so."
K. Shanmugam, 4 Jun 2017





John McEnroe, 4 Jun 2017




"How much does our water cost?

This bottle of water, 330 ml, bought at a supermarket typically costs less than one dollar. The same amount of money, just under one dollar, will pay for about 1,000 bottles of fresh clean drinkable water coming out of our taps, day or night – after the full price increase phased in over the next two years."
DPM Teo Chee Hean4 Mar 2017



“I would not presume to tell you how your Press Council should operate. Why should you presume to tell me how my country should run?

We are completely open; we have one of the fastest Internet accesses in the world; we have no great wall of the Internet; you can get any site in the world. So where is the restriction?

The world is a diverse place. Nobody has a monopoly of virtue or wisdom. Unless we can accept that, and we prosper together and cooperate together, accepting our differences - differences in values, differences in outlook, differences even in what we see the goals of life to be - it becomes difficult."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 1 Mar 2017



"The lion is born a lion – it means I’m a lion. I feel in good shape. I train hard.

I’m from the old school where they work hard and get what they get from doing the hard work, not like the new school where it is easy to get what you want."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic26 Feb 2017



"What the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) aims to do is to set out the direction and broad strategy rather than a detailed road map."
Heng Swee Keat, 9 Feb 2017



"We are all Singaporeans. We guarantee the safety, security and freedom of religion to all, including the Muslim community...

And as a community, we must covenant to ourselves to never allow xenophobism and majoritarianism to override the protection and guarantee of equality, particularly to minorities."
K. Shanmugam, 1 Feb 2017



"Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.

Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship."
Tim Cook, 29 Jan 2017



"Mr Low Thia Khiang - being the seasoned politician that he is, then stepped in, realising the quagmire all of this was getting them into, and tried to put an end to this sorry spectacle, by saying these are details. Basically a plea: can you please spare us, don’t ask any more questions

But Parliament is the place for asking questions; get your proposals thoroughly examined.



As champions of Parliamentary Democracy, surely the Workers’ Party believes in that? You don’t come to Parliament with half-baked, absurd proposals, and then ask to be spared from searching questions?

Does the phrase “First World Parliament” ring a bell?"
K. Shanmugam, 9 Nov 2016



"Every citizen, Chinese, Malay, Indian, or some other race, should know that someone of his community can become President, and in fact from time to time, does become President."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 8 Nov 2016



"You need a very small space to have sex."
Josephine Teo, 12 Oct 2016



"So we know that while we have a robust set of laws, bans and so on, it will not eradicate the problem of online gambling. Singaporeans are there, and while they are there, it is unprotected space, which is why even the laws have an exemption for operators that can operate a very tightly managed safe space, so that those who, for whatever reason, still want to gamble online - there can be a safe environment where they can hopefully, gamble safely, and responsibly."
Tan Chuan-Jin, 6 Oct 2016



"I'm good at policymaking, I'm good at advising my younger colleagues, and at supporting the PM - not at being the PM.

That's not me."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 28 Sep 2016



"Over the years, whenever I have been called upon to do anything for the country, I have never turned away from duty.

Duty - to friends and family, to my fellow men, to country - is paramount to my view of life, and I have tried my best to live up to this ethic."
S R Nathan, RIP, 22 Aug 2016



"...What happened (vasovagal syncope) makes it even more important that I talk about it now...

Building up leadership and preparing for succession is one of my top priorities. Nothing that has happened has changed my timetable or my resolve to press on with a succession.

In the next GE, we will reinforce the team again and soon after the next GE, my successor must be ready to take over from me. 岁月不留人– you cannot wait."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 21 Aug 2016



"All these suggestions of democracy under attack, we are going to restrict freedom of speech make for fine statements outside if you believe that you can mislead the public.

But for the real debate, it doesn't meet any of the points I have made.

So it really questions whether the speeches here are meant for the real debate in the first world Parliament, or they are made for consumption outside in the belief that the public can be misled."
K. Shanmugam, 15 Aug 2016



 


"This swim wasn't for me. It's for my country."
Joseph Schooling, 13 Aug 2016



"Singaporeans pride themselves on being the “Little Red Dot” -- the little red dot on many maps, but with a very big impact on the world."
Barack Obama2 Aug 2016



"KPMG, AHTC’s own independent accountants, has uncovered even more faults than the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) and AHTC’s statutory auditors. AGO and AHTC’s statutory auditors found 115 failures. KPMG uncovered another 70 – making a total of 185 failures. Since the AGO audit, the situation has not gotten better. It has gotten far worse.

KPMG said that AHTC used highly irregular shortcuts to process millions of dollars in payments to related parties, and “suppliers”. It used “dummy” vendor codes for payments, without specifying who the suppliers were. These practices could have concealed duplicate or fraudulent payments. Obviously, WP’s leadership thought they could play Aljunied residents – and Singaporeans -- for dummies."
K. Shanmugam, 23 Jul 2016



"Violence against any group, in any form, is not acceptable. Here, the Government will act decisively if there is threat of violence against anyone or any group.

The Government's duty is to protect everyone - their race, their religion, their sexual orientation, that's not relevant."
K. Shanmugam, 14 Jun 2016



"Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be.

And to actively do nothing is a decision as well."
Barack Obama12 Jun 2016



"Are we happy? I don't think so, because it will slow us down in terms of day-to-day productivity. In terms of security, safety of our systems, safety of our citizens and information concerning them - it's absolutely necessary. Otherwise one day you find all your NRIC numbers, addresses and income tax returns for sale on the Internet, one package 10 gigabytes.

How will the Government explain?"
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 9 Jun 2016



"If he's (the cleaner) deaf, ask him don't work, go home and sleep. That's for the Government to feed him, go and be a beggar! I don't care, he took my food!"
Alice Fong3 Jun 2016



"I think we can put our club into perspective. One perspective is the last three years; another is the history. I prefer to forget the past three years.

I want to win. I need the supporters and players to feel that."
Jose Mourinho27 May 2016



"PSLE changes will be no silver bullet."
Ng Chee Meng21 May 2016



"We keep our system clean not just for ourselves, but also to uphold our international reputation. Thus we deal strictly also with those who use financial institutions in Singapore to launder money or transact ill-gotten gains from corruption. We are zealous in protecting the integrity of our financial centre and business hub."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 14 May 2016



"A win is a win. You have a race, a hundred-yard dash, and the winner wins by a neck. He wins and he's declared the winner. You do not require the winner to lead the next person by 50 yards or 10 yards. In fact, it is very respectably accepted that mandates can be on plurality voting, and a lot of Commonwealth countries, including Britain, have adopted this. So have we.

Discussing mandates and what constitutes a mandate can get quite academic, because if you look at situations in Britain and in the United States, not everyone votes. In fact, the President of the United States can be voted (in) by 60 per cent of the country, or 40 per cent of the country. Nobody questions this mandate."
Chan Heng Chee6 May 2016



"If we ever lose it and become 'normal', like any other country, where the politics of division takes hold and policies oscillate from one end to the other with the political winds, we will have lost a precious competitive advantage.

And it will be very difficult for us to ever become special again."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 26 Apr 2016



"We are not very impressed with rhetoric alone. Good speeches are one thing. Enjoying safety and security, to the level I have identified – letting your 10-year-old child take public transport alone – that is different.

I say to anyone with a different view (approach to tackling drugs) – come forward. I am prepared to compare our experiences with any city that you choose. Show us a model that works better, that delivers a better outcome for citizens, and we will consider changing. If that cannot be done, then don't ask us to change."
K. Shanmugam, 21 Apr 2016



"Poh Soo Kai's story is just another facet. It has its own validity within the overall picture but crying white just because others say black or blue or grey doesn't in itself create any greater authenticity for his story and to claim such an authenticity is to open his own facet of the story to the sane criticisms he levels at the mainstream story."
Bilahari Kausikan14 Feb 2016



"As tendencies towards greater religious extremism and exclusivity grow in the region, both the Government and our people must make a bigger collective effort to safeguard our racial and religious harmony.

The ultimate aim of terrorism is to create sharp and violent divisions between “us” and “them”. If we remain resolutely “us”, one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, no force can divide us, and terrorism will be defeated."
K. Shanmugam, 19 Jan 2016



"We must be close to the ground, listening to feedback, sensing the deeper concerns that often underlie that feedback, and spotting the gaps in policy delivery that should not be there."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 27 Oct 2015



"Sometimes people criticise this tripartite model, to say, “Oh, you are not fierce enough. You don’t look like union leaders because you don’t make demonstrations, you don’t go on strikes, you don’t shout fierce slogans.” But the best union leader is the one who gets the best deal for the workers, not the one who is the fiercest. It has worked for us.

The proof is this, just one small fact: In most countries, union membership is going down. In Singapore, union membership is going up – we have 900,000 union members. We work through cooperation, not through strife; through tripartism, not industrial warfare. That is how the NTUC has stayed relevant and has improved people’s lives."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 26 Oct 2015



"The haze has impacted the lives of millions of residents in our region in many ways. Schools have closed and the volume of business has dropped. Tourist arrivals will plummet if this becomes a chronic issue.

But to me, the strongest motivation to deal with the haze for Indonesia must be a moral one - the health of hundreds of thousands of their own citizens are affected by this man-made disaster as they breathe in high levels of pollutants. These are strong reasons to act decisively."
Dr Ng Eng Hen24 Oct 2015



"The allure of power that can be exercised in secrecy is difficult to resist. When shrouded under a cloak of invisibility, much like the mythical ring of Gyges, persons in such positions of power have no fear of accountability and tend to become their own worst enemies.

It has thus been wisely said that the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light, and if they choose not to come into the light they do so for fear that their deeds will be exposed, as they surely will in time.”
Judge See Kee Oon, 22 Oct 2015



"The Workers' Party’s arrogant refusal to account for its record is the reason why many Singaporeans are frustrated with it. They can see it will say anything to score political points.

They doubt the motivation of Workers' Party candidates who look good on paper, but are prepared to identify themselves with a party which is opportunistic and unprincipled."
Sam Tan, 15 Oct 2015



"The Singapore Story belongs to all of us. If we have faith that Singapore will endure and thrive, and put our heart and soul into building Singapore, then we will prevail, and secure our place in history. As Mr Lee Kuan Yew once said, “We intend to see that [Singapore] will be here a thousand years from now. And that is your duty and mine.”

We are not done building Singapore, and we will never be done. In this general election, Singaporeans have reposed their trust in me and my team. My team and I take this trust and our responsibility seriously, and will continue to earn, honour and to grow this trust. Together, as one united people, regardless of race, language and religion, we will achieve happiness, prosperity, and progress for our nation."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 1 Oct 2015



"It's a good result for the PAP, but it is an excellent result for Singapore.

These results are also a strong signal of confidence to ourselves that we Singaporeans in the post-Lee Kuan Yew era are able to find the winning formula which can keep us progressing and succeeding.

One issue in this election has been the desire for diverse voices to be heard more in our political system.

I understand this. We have a new generation with better education, with access to social media, who expect their views to be heard and given more weight.

And we have been engaging Singaporeans directly as a result of this, enabling them to make a constructive contribution."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 12 Sep 2015



“We’ve had a good 50 years. Third World to First, SG50, good reason to celebrate. We helped to make this journey possible. We must go forward now, to make the next journey just as fulfilling, just as successful, just as amazing to the world, and to ourselves.

And we’d like to walk this journey together with you, the PAP, together with you. So I ask you tomorrow, think about it, Friday, when you vote, you know who to vote for on Friday.”
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 9 Sep 2015



“First, they said we should go slow on cutting back on foreign workers. Then, within a year, when they saw the popular mood, they changed completely, and said zero growth on foreign workers. Within a month or so after that, they changed again and said you should allow more foreign workers in specific sectors.

You cannot be a responsible Opposition, let alone a responsible Government, if you make U-turns like this and say whatever is politically popular at the moment.”
K. Shanmugam, 8 Sep 2015



"I'll have to say that I made an adult decision to join the PAP and I've never had regrets because it has been a party of change. I'm someone who has felt very strongly about the Prime Minister's thinking and agenda, and I've worked very closely with him to shape our policies,

It is a party of change. But it is balanced change, avoiding the extremes, making sure that we serve Singapore's interest, and I'm proud to be a member of the PAP."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 8 Sep 2015



"Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him or give it up. This is not a game of cards, this is your life and mine.

I spent my whole life building this, and as long as I'm in charge, nobody is knocking it down.


Secretary General Lee Hsien Loong recounted what late Mr Lee said at the past Fullerton rallies. He added: "So long as PAP is around, no one can knock it down."Get breaking news, live updates, and exclusive content, on the go, please click: http://bit.ly/pap_link_up
Posted by People's Action Party on Monday, September 7, 2015


Though Mr Lee is gone, that spirit must live on, that iron must be inside our hearts, and as long as the PAP is in charge, nobody should be knocking this down. And that's why I'm in politics.

If you believe in me and my team, if you believe that together we can make tomorrow better than today, please support me and my PAP team."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 8 Sep 2015



"The Opposition are not working hard enough, they make a mess of things, they are not active enough in Parliament, they are really talking not much sense.

Vote PAP, make the Opposition work harder.

Send it to your friends on WhatsApp."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 8 Sep 2015



"I have just one message to send to the SDP: In the PAP, we do not have a tradition of backstabbing our mentors."
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, 7 Sep 2015



“There is no country in the world that has been able to provide something for everyone without raising taxes for the middle-income group – not France, not Germany, not the UK.

The middle class pays very high taxes in order that everyone gets something. It’s a very expensive system for the middle class - not just for the rich.”
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 5 Sep 2015



“Many think just because you give money you can solve the problem. No. If you have walked the ground and talked to community leaders, you’ll know better.

The most disadvantaged in our community need more than money, they need care, they need concern, they don’t need people to make grand speeches”
Chan Chun Sing, 2 Sep 2015



"When people do something wrong, they don't fix it, they don't admit it, they pretend it doesn't exist.

And then sometimes they say, 'Well, I haven't been sent to jail. If I've done something wrong, I should have gone to jail. I'm not in jail, so everything is okay'.

I think, if your standard for politics is that the people who are in politics should not be in jail, then I think Singapore is in very serious trouble...

We must have high standards for politics."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 2 Sep 2015



"We have educated Singaporeans who behave in a way that is right, not like these supporters who are just jeering. All they can do is jeer!

Even if you jeer against us, we will improve your lives! And the more you jeer, the more we will improve even more because we believe in Singapore."
Dr Ng Eng Hen, 1 Sep 2015



"This is a General Election and the future of the country is at stake. There's a lot at stake because this is an SG50 election. The country is at a turning point. The question is, what direction will we go on now? Where do we now go? Continue up, level off or go down?

I have called this election to get the mandate, to get to decide with the Singaporeans how we get to take the country forward. Therefore it's an election where there's a lot at stake.

I said you're choosing a Government which will run Singapore for the next 5 years. But it's more than that. You're choosing the team of leaders who're going to be around for many more terms if they're successful, and can ensure Singapore a good Government beyond me and my senior colleagues. This gets more urgent every day."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 1 Sep 2015



"If you support the PAP, vote PAP. If you support opposition, vote opposition. But if you think that by voting for the opposition, you can get the PAP to work harder - when you regret it, it might be too late.

Be very careful not to live dangerously (by) wanting one party but voting for a different one. Please take this GE very, very seriously."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 29 Aug 2015



"Anyone who thinks that 700 square kilometres can exist by itself in a cocoon, unaffected by international or regional economic or sociopolitical issues, clearly doesn't understand how Singapore functions."
K. Shanmugam, 27 Aug 2015



"As it was the start of 2015, we talked at length about the celebrations for SG50. We took turns to encourage Mr Lee Kuan Yew to attend as many SG50 events as possible. Actually, we hoped he would be there for the SG50 National Day Parade. Mr Lee listened to our exhortations, but stopped short of saying yes to our suggestions. At each of our gatherings, it had become a tradition to ask Mr Lee “Will there be a Singapore many years from now?” Once, Mr Lee said “Maybe”. On another, Mr Lee said “Yes, if there is no corruption”.

This was classic Mr Lee – ever-believing in Singapore, yet ever-cognisant that there was always work to be done, that we should never take things for granted. Continuing with our tradition and in the spirit of SG50, that evening we asked him “Will there be a Singapore 50 years from now?” Mr Lee’s answer took us all by surprise.

That evening, for the first time, Mr Lee said “Of course there will be … even better!”
PM Lee Hsien Loong, National Day Rally, 23 Aug 2015



“Not everybody from all over the world can just go to New York or London, take up a job and settle down. Management of foreign manpower in many global cities of the world, in fact, is a norm. So Singapore is no different from anybody else.

Every country has to find the right balance … But on the whole, I would say that we have managed the process a lot more effectively compared to some other cities and countries. Through the manpower quota system, we have ensured foreign manpower spread across all sectors and companies.”
Lim Swee Say, 21 Aug 2015



"Let me reassure members that we have a sound system of checks and balances in place in the public sector, which is why it is regarded as one of the cleanest and most reputable administrations in the world.

Public officers and agencies know they have a responsibility to safeguard the use of public funds. Internal controls are in place within each agency, audits by an impartial AGO are carried out regularly and rigorously, and the AGO’s findings are made public.

The agencies take prompt action whenever problems are found, and make no attempt to cover them up. And where there is any suspicion of fraud or corruption, investigations are thorough and errant officers face the full measure of the law regardless of their seniority."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 17 Aug 2015



"Some people come alive during an election. Some campaign very well. Wonderful rallies getting people worked up. It's easier to get people riled up and unhappy. Even I know how to do that. It's much harder to get people to work together on a difficult project - to make trade-offs, strike balances, then unite and work together.

That's much more difficult.

During the elections you can have a party that does all kinds of rabble-rousing, inflaming emotions, influencing the way people vote. But when they get elected into Parliament, these fierce issues which they talk about during elections ... they're silent, even when they can engage the Parliament directly."
Teo Chee Hean, 14 Aug 2015



"It is about your personal future and the country's collective future...We are not electing officials of a debating society where grandstanding speeches have no impact on our lives. We are electing MPs to form an effective government.

At the very least, they must be able to run a town council in a transparent, accountable, responsible manner."
Goh Chok Tong, 14 Aug 2015



“It’s not just the innovation of the last five years. And I recognise, of course, that there’s some political cunning in saying that this all came about because of GE2011.

I’m sorry, it didn’t. The world didn’t start in 2011. We made very clear our intentions and our motivations in 2007, stated that it was going to be a multi-year strategy and, step by step, starting from the kids when they’re young, through working life, and into the senior years, we’ve been moving towards a more inclusive society.

We intend to continue on this journey, learning from experience and improving where we can.

But this is not the result of 2011.”
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 14 Aug 2015



“There is absolutely no need for them to feel that way at all. I could not have asked for a better team....They gave it their utmost. They did their best and I’m proud of them.”
Lui Tuck Yew, 13 Aug 2015



"He was not there but his presence was palpable. I imagined Mr Lee Kuan Yew feeling nostalgic, joyful, proud and confident about Singapore's future.

This is his last parade."
Goh Chok Tong, 9 Aug 2015



"There is nothing to be worried about. Many things will go on just as usual. But be firm, be calm.

We are going to have a multiracial nation in Singapore. We will set the example.

This is not a Malay nation, this is not a Chinese nation, this is not an Indian nation. Everybody will have his place: equal; language, culture, religion."
Lee Kuan Yew, 9 Aug 1965



"It is our job to think of these issues (immigrants and foreign workers) and to make the best decisions which we can, in our judgment, on your behalf. And to account to you and say that, to the best of my ability, this is what I have decided I have to do....And you may agree with it, you may not agree with it, but I can tell you in complete honesty that I am trying my best to do this on your behalf. And I cannot avoid doing this, otherwise, I think, I will be letting you down.

If I did not think it makes sense for you, why should I want to do this? I do not owe hundreds of millions of potential foreign workers from around the world an obligation. I owe Singaporeans a responsibility."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 3 Aug 2015



"Because we are the party in government, we have to worry about taking care of our residents' needs as well as forming the government.

The opposition parties have all said they don't want to form the government or can't form the government. We believe that we are still the best party to govern Singapore, so we have to worry about succession."
Ng Eng Hen, 3 Aug 2015



"Each opposition party stands for different things and different ideologies. It's very cynical for them to come together (horse-trading sessions) just to unseat the incumbent."
Calvin Cheng, 27 Jul 2015



"A great deal. I mean, he’s my father, I grew up learning from him, I worked under him when he was Prime Minister, with him in the Cabinet these last 30 years until he died. So it’s bound to be a very deep influence. Yet at the same time, it’s a different world and he knew that and he was very good at preparing for Singapore to move on and not be stuck in the Lee Kuan Yew mode.

Only very rarely did he assert a strong view and asked us to please rethink something. But otherwise, he allowed an evolution to take place so that Singapore would carry on beyond him.

And if you watch what happened when he died, we had an enormous outpouring of sorrow, but Singapore carried on. The stock market didn’t crash, investors didn’t panic, confidence was maintained."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 23 Jul 2015



"I have a multi-racial mix, but I have a mix where everybody has benefited from the system and everybody has a stake and can see that it is working for it. It has prevailed so far. Will it prevail for another 50 years? I cannot say. I think it’s not easy, we don’t know how the world will change, we don’t know how Singapore society will change. But I think that, for as long as we can, we should try and maintain a system where the interests of the majority of the population is to support a good government, which will give policies, which will develop policies, which will help most Singaporeans.

In most other countries, the governments do not develop policies which are meant to help everybody equally.

But in Singapore, the government’s job is to look after as large a proportion of the population as possible. Whilst still giving people the incentive to vote for this government so that they will get some benefit from it. If we take the view that “if you voted against me, I shall help you first, because that’s shows my largeness of spirit”, then I think we would go extinct as a government."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 2 Jul 2015



"We promote based on merit. There's never been a ceiling. Not based on gender, not based on race.

She just happens to be female (Brigadier-General Gan, SAF's first female general)."
Ng Eng Hen, 1 Jul 2015



"Over the 50 years we have experienced national crisis from time-to-time starting with independence, separation, when our backs were to the wall. But each time we overcame a crisis, we proved our mettle and in the process deepened our shared experience and our Singapore identity. So we got here because of the will, because of that passion, because of the commitment to Singapore.

Over the next 50 years, we will need good policies but just like for the last 50 years, for these policies to succeed, we need a strong sense of identity and of nationhood. We need to be proud to be Singaporeans. We need to want Singapore to be special, to make Singapore special. If we have that fundamental conviction and motivation, then we can make everything else work, then we can overcome all our challenges."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 30 Jun 2015



"Whether you are connected to the Government or not, whether you are the chief of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) or not... if you do something wrong, it is likely that you will be caught, and the system will proceed against you.

Most people don't even think of being corrupt. And for those who want to go down that road, whoever they are, however powerful, they will be charged. And then the courts will decide if they are guilty or not."
K. Shanmugam, 28 Jun 2015



"I think Singaporeans know that the port is important to us, but I suspect that many of us do not realise how critical it is. If PSA were not a major port in the world connected directly to other major ports in the world – Shanghai, Rotterdam, United States and Australia, then we would literally be side-lined. On a side-line, up a cliff. It is not just a completely different port, it is a completely different Singapore.

But because of the success of our port, the world is highly connected to Singapore and we are very integrated into the world."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 23 Jun 2015



"But if we don't acknowledge the crime that is happening here, there is a high likelihood that we will lose and we will be divided... And we will suffer the fate of the Malays in Singapore, in southern Thailand and other places."
Mahathir Mohamad, 17 Jun 2015



"All the teachers of TKPS who were on the trip gave their best to watch over our children, and they deserve our greatest respect and gratitude. Our students tell of their teachers shielding them from falling rocks, and continuing to look after them despite their own injuries. Let us remember and live up to their selflessness and courage.

We must also honour our children by remembering that they have been brave, rugged and tenacious, striving to bring out their personal bests, and excited about heading ever forward together with their schoolmates. Let us remember and draw hope from our children’s spirit to be the best they can be."
Heng Swee Keat, , 8 Jun 2015



"You asked, has the Government been changing? Of course. I have never seen the Government change as much as it did in the last four years.

I am not saying we are perfect, but there are many more things we are doing right and many countries in the world look up to us....so, we must keep improving, keep adjusting, but, at the same time, maintain a certain sense of proportion."
George Yeo, 6 Jun 2015



“I would say 60 per cent (PAP’s performance in GE 2011) is a good result. If you look at the developed countries - in Britain, they have just had an election, 60 per cent voted and about one-third voted for the Tories. So that means 20 per cent of the population have chosen this present government of the United Kingdom. And if you go to America it is also about 60 per cent voting and about 50 per cent will win you the presidential elections …. 

So that is the way democracy works. I mean there are different views within the society. We try our best to bring together people so that we have a broad consensus of support for the government. You may not like everything which the government does. But on balance, you are prepared to say this government is not bad. We vote for it.”
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 5 Jun 2015



“The one thing I know is that countries that divide themselves on racial or religious lines, they do not succeed.

Each country is different, but there are some rules if you look at development patterns around the world that are pretty consistent, and those are two pretty good rules. Don’t divide yourself on religious and ethnic lines and racial lines, and don’t discriminate against women. If you do those two things, you are not guaranteed success but at least you’re not guaranteed failure.”
Barack Obama1 Jun 2015



"Even in Singapore, where we have a peaceful, well-integrated Muslim population, some individuals have been led astray. A few have gone to join ISIS and others have been intercepted and detained before they could leave. We recently arrested a 17 year old student, and detained a 19 year old student who had been radicalised. The 19 year old was planning to join ISIS in Syria, and if he was unable to leave Singa­pore he intended to assassinate government leaders here, including the President and for good measure, the Prime Minister.

This is why Singapore takes terrorism, and in particular ISIS, very very seriously. The threat is no longer over there; it is over here."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 29 May 2015



"Terrorism remains a serious global threat. But it is not just a problem that is "over there" in some other countries. It is also a problem that is "over here", in our region, and here in Singapore as well.

We have seen examples of self-radicalised youths in other countries. The two self-radicalised young Singaporeans show that our youths are also vulnerable. Singapore too, faces real threats from radicalisation."
DPM Teo Chee Hean, 27 May 2015



"It is clear that there are grave and serious questions that have been raised regarding the state of AHPETC's (Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council) accounts and the validity and propriety of payments previously made by AHPETC to related parties or otherwise.

There have also been numerous breaches of the provisions of the Town Councils Act (TCA) and the Town Councils Financial Rules (TCFR). If AHPETC was a managing corporation subject to the Building Maintenance & Strata Management Act, I have no doubt that AHPETC or its officers will be exposed to the possibility of civil liability... or, in an extreme scenario, criminal liability...

I can only say it is a travesty for AHPETC to have ignored their duties and obligations imposed on them by the TCA and TCFR. They owe a duty and a heavy responsibility to their constituents to run AHPETC properly and it is incumbent on them to put their house and finances in order."
Justice Quentin Loh, 27 May 2015



"If you ask any tourist, or even a Singaporean, which country has good service, I do not think Singapore comes immediately to mind."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 18 May 2015



"Indeed, we have done so well that some people suggest that for us, religion is no longer a sensitive no-go area for Singapore. They argue that our society and in particularly our government is overly sensitive on matters of race and religious – that the state intervenes too much and too readily to circumscribe personal freedoms and liberty in the name of racial and religious harmony. And that we should now allow unfettered discussions or even criticisms and blasphemies on matters of race and religion in the name of freedom of speech and perhaps the IRO can now honourably retire.

I think these assumptions are quite unrealistic. Yes, we have become more mature and open in our dialogue. Yes, we can now speak about subjects which 20 years ago would have been hard to raise at all, especially in public. But this does not mean we do not have to be sensitive and respectful, or to worry about actions that provoke and give offense."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 12 May 2015



Do you believe in the concept of a safety net?

"I believe in the notion of a trampoline."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 7 May 2015



"Residents, faced with a breakdown in services, would have to live with it until the next election"
Lawyer for technically insolvent AHPETC, 4 May 2015



"Cheaper, better, faster, betterer and betterest......

I do this not because I have fun doing this... and not to spoil the (English) language or whatever, but just to make sure that the message gets through to the workers, I am not trying to impress anyone.

I just want to make sure that my workers on the ground, my union leaders on the ground, understand the challenge at hand and the solution that we all have to pursue."
Lim Swee Say, 28 Apr 2015



"Fellow Singaporeans, let us move on in a post-Lee Kuan Yew era and continue to behave with kindness and consideration towards each other and work for a better Singapore for Singaporeans.

If we, by the way, also benefit fellow humans who are not Singaporeans, that would not be a bad thing either. We are all born into this life and we shall all eventually die. Our existence between these points in time would be more meaningful and fulfilling if we can help other fellow human beings."
Dr Lee Wei Ling, 19 Apr 2015



"Our Government always should be aware of all constituencies. The rich are a constituency. Their needs and their wants must be regarded also. But the Government's responsibility is to the people of Singapore.

If it is in the interests of the larger society to do what I've suggested - if there are other ways of doing so, great - the Government needs to do it. Hopefully, they could find means that would upset fewer people."
Ho Kwon Ping, 18 Apr 2015



"We've always had rules and there are procedures in place. The managers are not supposed to hire anyone without going through HR (human resources), but if staff on the ground don't follow procedures, what can you do? We are an organisation of more than 300 people and sometimes there is human error.

A reminder has been sent out to all our outlets to ensure it doesn't happen again."
Loh Lik Peng, 17 Apr 2015



"Most importantly, how we honour Mr Lee must be faithful to the ideals he lived by and fought for. Mr Lee made it very clear throughout his life that he did not need and did not want any monument. It was not monuments but ideals that were his chief concern, the ideals upon which he built Singapore: multi-racialism, equality, meritocracy, integrity, and the rule of law.

He hoped these ideals would endure in Singapore beyond him. We can pay no greater tribute to him than to uphold the principles upon which he built this country."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 13 Apr 2015



"I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There's nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got?

A successful Singapore.

What have I given up?

My life."
Lee Kuan Yew, RIP 23 Mar 2015



"We don't shape Budgets to win elections. We shape Budgets that are in the interest of Singapore's future, and we've got to find the right balance"
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 8 Mar 2015



"Budget 2015 takes us into our future. Our aspirations are attainable. We can build a future that keeps social mobility alive in each new generation. A future that meets the aspirations of young and middle-aged Singaporeans, and enables us to realise the best in ourselves. And a future with greater assurance as we grow old.

We must go forward with the blend of imagination and practicality that brought Singapore this far in 50 years. With hard heads, but warm hearts too, so that we all move up together."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 23 Feb 2015



"Did you (Low Thia Khiang) just change your mind when things went wrong in AHPETC or you never believed in what you were doing? Or were Mr Gerald Giam, Ms Lee Li Lian and Ms Sylvia Lim misleading residents?

Do you have any conviction or do you just say whatever is expedient for the moment, even if it means misleading Singaporeans?"
Heng Swee Keat, 13 Feb 2015



"So I had planned to come to this House to make the point that these are serious matters. But then I encountered something quite bizarre. The people I discussed the matter with kept telling me – don’t attack the WP; they will only get more sympathy; find a way to move on; you have to keep in mind the politics.

I could not get my head around that. Has it come to this? This is a matter involving public funds. How could anyone in good conscience ignore or downplay what the AGO and PwC have found?

So, why should the WP be let off easy just because they are the opposition? And why should their residents be forced to accept anything less than full accountability? This cannot be the right way forward."
Hri Kumar Nair, 13 Feb 2015



"Mr Low (Thia Khiang), Ms (Sylvia) Lim keep saying there has been no loss. Maybe there was no one taking money, through the backdoor in the dark of the night.

There was no need because the money was taken from the front door, in broad daylight. Through all this overcharging."
K. Shanmugam, 12 Feb 2015



"I fully believe when I do my house visits this Saturday, some of these questions (on AHPETC's lapses) will come up.

Likewise, they will come up for my fellow WP MPs. We will answer all of them. Why? Because of a duty to the residents. We will answer to them.

Well, minister (Shanmugam), if you were a resident, I'll answer your question. Thank you."
Yet to answer residents Pritam Singh, 12 Feb 2015



"The Auditor-General’s findings confirm that something is seriously wrong at the AHPETC. They paint a picture of financial mismanagement, incompetence and negligence in corporate governance.

If an auditor makes such a finding on a listed company, it will immediately cause consternation among the shareholders, and a call for the removal of the CEO and the Board of Directors. In Japan, the president or CEO will call a press conference and take a deep bow; in the good old days, they may even commit hara-kiri. Where there are breaches of the Companies Act, both the company as well as the individuals responsible could be charged, and if found guilty, punished with fines and/or jail terms for the individuals."
Khaw Boon Wan, 12 Feb 2015



"The biggest change is to offer a choice of three different levels of the Minimum Sum. CPF members can choose to lock away a basic sum of $80,500, a higher sum of $161,000 or an enhanced sum of $241,500 at age 55. The monthly payouts at age 65 range from $650 to $1,900.

Members can also withdraw any amount above the basic sum, provided they are property owners."
CPF Advisory Panel, 4 Feb 2015



"It takes continuous effort to keep Singapore clean. We need to progress from being a cleaned city to a truly clean city.

All of us can play a part – picking up our own litter, educating our children and grandchildren, and reminding others to do the right thing."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 28 Jan 2015



"A small state cannot be just ordinarily successful. If we were no different from our neighbourhood, why should anyone want to deal with us rather than our larger neighbours who, moreover, are well endowed with natural resources?

"To be relevant, we have to be extraordinary"
Bilahari Kausikan, 27 Jan 2015



"There are lots and lots of people - more than before - who feel that life, their employer and the Government owe them a living.

This has manifest itself in an overfussiness or a sense of entitlement which businesses, whether large or small, foreign or local, have been telling me about."
Victor Mills, 24 Jan 2015



"If we give wrong signals and people conclude that you have just become like any other country, with the same pressures and same inconsistencies in policy over time, (they will not invest in Singapore and) we will be in serious trouble."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 17 Jan 2015



"Above all, they will remember that Dr Chee Soon Juan betrayed his own mentor, Mr Chiam See Tong. Mr Chiam had brought Dr Chee into the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), but Dr Chee plotted against Mr Chiam and pushed him out of the party he had founded.

The SDP under Mr Chiam was Singapore's strongest opposition party. The SDP under Dr Chee has become a shadow of its old self.

Singaporeans know who are honourable political leaders, like Mr Chiam, and who are not."
Chan Chun Sing, 16 Jan 2015



"First, its leaders say it is not a big deal. Then, when they can no longer pretend it is not a big deal, they blame someone else - the National Environment Agency, the People's Action Party, even the AGO. Then, when their excuses are exposed one by one, they say "we are looking into the matter", or that things will be explained - in "due time". And then, more silence.

Perhaps, the WP hopes that by lying low and keeping its head down, the matter will go away. The public may forget, or even better, not notice."
Lawrence Wong, 10 Dec 2014



"For every one more “checker” we have in the Parliament, there will be one fewer “doer, thinker and leader” in the Government, to serve the nation, to serve the people. Eventually, there will be no more PAP to check, there will be no able team of ministers working and solving problems for Singaporeans, no progress for Singapore, no future for Singapore.

That will be the last check, because it will be checkmate for Singapore!"
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 7 Dec 2014



"When we face problems, we acknowledge them publicly and deal with them. We do not pretend there is no problem - no comment, studying the matter, thinking about it, we'll clarify one day. We settle now! You lie low, hoping the public will forget the issue and the issue will go away and the public will forget you, and you might as well go away."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 7 Dec 2014



"My take is that when you give a chance and a choice to people (raise re-employment age to 67), nobody will mind. Because nobody is forced to work a day more than he or she wants to. But if (they) want to, then there is the opportunity to. From the worker's perspective, that cannot be a bad thing.

We are reflecting the main sentiment we hear from the ground that many workers are on re-employment, and they want to continue working and are capable of doing so.
Heng Chee How, 11 Oct 2014



“We must never be hard-hearted, but we must never shy away from being hard-headed”
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 4 Oct 2014



"Nama saya Colin Schooling. Anak berna Singapura."

("My name is Colin Schooling, true son of Singapore.")
Colin Schooling, 28 Sep 2014



"As several MPs have noted, some members of the public are asking: is the government now saying that qualifications don’t matter? Then why are we urging people to learn and upgrade?

Let me be clear - ASPIRE is not about dissuading Singaporeans from upgrading ourselves or pursuing degrees or pursuing any form of qualifications. ASPIRE is about creating opportunities for all, not creating more competition for some.

ASPIRE is about keeping pathways open for all, not blocking pathways for some.
Heng Swee Keat, 9 Sep 2014



"We want good growth - growth which creates good jobs; growth which makes the most of the skills of our people; growth which many Singaporeans can benefit from.

Looking forward, if I can make two to three per cent (growth) a year, over the next 10 years, I think that's not bad. I think we have to get used to it. It means things are not going to click and change overnight, but it means that gradually, steadily, we can make things better, year by year"
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 4 Sep 2014



"If you have changed the position and your previous position was wrong, say so.

If you hold by your position, have the guts to reaffirm it and take the consequences. But to weasel away, play with words, avoid the issue and then claim to be responsible, that is what we fear can drive Singapore's politics into the same place where many other countries have gone."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 28 May 2014



"When people say they don't want a nanny state they are, in fact, in a conflicted state of mind.

On the one hand, they want to do whatever they want and not be stopped. On the other hand, if something goes wrong, they want to be rescued."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 12 Apr 2014



"Singapore will not allow this military ship named "Usman Harun" to call at our ports and naval bases. It would not be possible for the SAF, as protectors of this nation, to sail alongside or exercise with this ship."
Ng Eng Hen, 18 Feb 2014



"This is a special package for a special generation. No matter how we design the package, it can never fully reflect the contributions that our pioneers have made to our nation. Nevertheless, I hope you will accept it as a sincere expression of our gratitude, and I hope that it will be of help to you and to your families."
PM Lee Hsien Loong on the Pioneer Generation Package9 Feb 2014



"We risk having an over-reaction, we risk having unrestrained viciousness on the Internet. It becomes like pack behaviour. You scold, you swear, you curse, all the wrong instincts get fed. There is a certain group dynamic. It is like a pack of hounds hunting, which is bad.

Yes, somebody has done something wrong. Repudiate it, condemn it. But do not lower ourselves to that same level, to behave in a way that really makes us also ashamed of ourselves, to become abusive, hateful mobs, especially online and anonymously."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 28 Jan 2014



"Making Progressive Wage Model mandatory in cleaning and security services is a significant but targeted initiative to help lower-income and vulnerable workers in these industries...

It is a targeted approach, not a national minimum wage. We are using licensing rules to ensure progressive wages in these industries because of the prevalence of cheap-sourcing in the two industries. Cheap-sourcing practices discourage wages, skills and quality from moving up in the way they do in most other industries."

DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 8 Jan 2014



"Once you think you are in a cruise ship and you are on a holiday and everything must go swimmingly well and will be attended to for you, I think you are in trouble."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 31 Oct 2013



"Singaporeans sense correctly that the country is at a turning point. I understand your concerns. I promise you, you will not be facing these challenges alone, because we’re all in this together. We will find a new way to thrive in this new environment...We must make now a strategic shift in our approach to nation-building."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 18 Aug 2013



"My largest worry is that we will allow very common and ordinary differences, that any mature society would have, to fracture us because we take it all too seriously. For example, the optimal population size here is not an exact science; it's opinion. So we discuss, we agree, we disagree, we figure it out.

But we make any disagreement so serious that it's like the whole world has collapsed. We cannot even talk to each other about it because we are so angry. Why can't we have a gracious discussion? Every society in the world today is facing the same issue, you know."
William Wan, 9 Aug 2013



"So when I talk about family, it's not an idle boast. I will tell you quite honestly, I'm a very happy person. I'm very happy not because I'm easily entertained or easily satisfied. I'm very happy because of my family. And we should realise that everything else will pass: your job, politics, position - everything is temporary. The only thing that you are forever, is a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather."
Vivian Balakrishnan, 3 Aug 2013



"Good politics is first and foremost about integrity. Singapore has succeeded because we have honest, upright people in politics: people who can be trusted to uphold the public interest, to speak the truth even when it is inconvenient, and to admit mistakes when things go wrong. This is how we have built trust between Singaporeans and their leaders, worked together to build the nation and improved everyone’s lives."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 12 Jul 2013



"Politics is a contest for power. And you know the key principle when you have power is - do not take advantage of people under your charge. And always be honest and upfront with your people. All of us make mistakes. When a mistake is made, just come clean and say so. But do not cover up."
Vivian Balakrishnan, 9 July 2013



"I would like a situation where we have richer policy discourse, whether online or face-to-face, without resorting to attacking the other side......Even if we disagree on policies, it doesn't mean that one side is for Singaporeans and the other side is not. We can agree to disagree and have differences in policy approaches, and that's fine."
Lawrence Wong, 15 Feb 2013



"Our future is not predetermined. It depends on ourselves: what we make of our resources, our education, our people, what we hope Singapore will be and what we will Singapore to become."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 26 Aug 2012



"Successful Singaporeans don't listen enough. If God gave you two ears and one mouth, use it proportionately. It worries me when clever people don't do that... We have had political stability for so long that we've started to take it for granted. If you ask me, all this talk about human rights and liberal democracy is idealistic."
Liew Mun Leong, 3 Aug 2012



"I know in Singapore, we have social media and people have become more critical, and that is our evolution. But we forget that so many other countries have things so much worse and wrong.......as you are trying to right things, you can make some mistakes, and to me that is better than to not do anything." 
Chan Heng Chee, 2 July 2012



"If we just set our ambition to be above average in the league of cities, then we will fail. That is the greatest danger if we tell ourselves, 'Let's slow down, enjoy life today, don't worry about tomorrow'."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 8 Jun 2012



"Good governance requires good policies and good politics that can address both short-term and long-term concerns of the people. It also requires mutual trust, empathy and respect between the leaders and the people."
DPM Teo Chee Hean, 5 May 2012



"In a complex society like ours, we need to know what are the tensions and the trade-offs within our society,
and how we can come to a solution that all of us - or at least the majority of us - can identify with."
Chan Chun Sing, 2 May 2012



"While we must always be open to the world, let me be quite clear – Singaporeans will always be our priority. This is the purpose of all our policies including on foreign workers or talent. We are trying to seek the maximum advantage for Singapore and for Singaporeans."
PM Lee Hsien Loong, 1 May 2012



"Public engagement should start from the point of policy design and continue even as we implement these policies.....but it is often not possible to satisfy everyone. There will be competing interests and demands, some of which contradict one another. Often, there will have to be trade-offs and difficult decisions, which the Government must not shy away from."
DPM Teo Chee Hean, 28 Mar 2012



"Improving care for our needy, disabled and elderly is an ongoing journey. We want to do more and do better as a society. This cannot depend on the Government alone. All of us can contribute, no matter how small the efforts may be. All of us must work together and support each other."
Chan Chun Sing, 20 Mar 2012



"The $1.1 billion government package, or $110 million per year, is a subsidy for public transport commuters and not a subsidy for the public transport operators. It will improve service levels for commuters, not the profits of the public transport operators."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 2 Mar 2012



"We made major moves in the last 5 years, major interventions – Comcare; Workfare in 2007; enhancing housing subsidies very substantially.

I would like to assure Mr Gerald Giam, who might not have caught up with all the developments, that our enhanced housing grants for lower income families are such that a family with a monthly income of as low as $1,000 can now purchase a small flat. 98% of our younger cohorts, those who are below 35, earn at least $1,000 of income a month. A family that earns a bit more, say $1500, can purchase a medium-sized flat.

So your concern about younger people being unable to afford a flat, try and catch-up on what we've been doing."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 1 Mar 2012



"But we all know that building an inclusive society is not just about Government redistributing resources to help the poor. It is about building a society where at its heart, people retain a deep sense of responsibility for their families and seek every opportunity to improve themselves and do better.

Where employers treat workers with respect, value their contributions and reward them fairly. Where the more successful step forward to help others in the community, because they feel for their fellow citizens.

And where Singaporeans actively participate in causes that will make this a better society. An inclusive society will only blossom if we grow this spirit of responsibility and community."
DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 17 Feb 2012