Mindboggling quotes by politicians in Singapore

By | May 23, 2006

“Retrenchment is good for Singapore. If there is no retrenchments, then I worry.” – SM Goh

“The opposition’s plans to ‘give and give’ will lead to Singaporeans having to pay higher taxes in order to foot the bill.” – then DPM Lee at a rally in Tampines, in 2001.

“$2.6b ‘Progress Package’ for lower-income groups, elderly, NSmen” – now PM Lee, in 2006

“Contrary to public perception, the White Horse classification is not to ensure that sons of influential men gets preferential treatment. Instead it is to ensure that they do not get preferential treatment.” – Cedric Foo

“I don’t think that there should be a cap on the number of directorship that a person can hold.” – PAP MP John Chen who holds 8 directorships.

“It’s not for the money because some of the companies pay me as little as $10,000 a year.” – PAP MP Wang Kai Yuen who holds 11 directorships.

“We are not considering a casino but an IR – an integrated resort. IRs are quite different.” – George Yeo

“If you want to dance on a bar top, some of us will fall off the bar top. Some people will die as a result of liberalising bar top dancing… a young girl with a short skirt dancing on it may attract some insults from some other men, the boyfriend will start fighting and some people will die.” – Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports

“I would want to form an alternative policies group in Parliament, comprising 20 PAP MPs. These 20 PAP MPs will be free to vote in accordance with what they think of a particular policy. In other words, the whip for them will be lifted. This is not playing politics, this is something which I think is worthwhile doing.” – SM Goh

“If you sing Jailhouse Rock with your electric guitar when others are playing Beethoven, you are out of order. The whip must be used on you.” – SM Goh again, on a dramatic u-turn, rethink or backtrack, whatever you call it.

“The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) spends more than 80 per cent of its funds on its beneficiaries.” – Lim Hng Khiang

“Save on one hairdo and use the money for breast screening.” – another gem from Lim Hng Kiang

“We started off with (the name) and after looking at everything, the name that really tugged at the heartstrings was in front of us. The name itself is not new, but what has been used informally so far has endeared itself to all parties.” – Mah Bow Tan on the $400,000 exercise to rename Marina Bay as Marina Bay.

“Having enjoyed football as a national sport for decades, we in Singapore have set ourselves the target of reaching the final rounds of World Cup in 2010.” – Ho Peng Kee

“Only 5% are unemployed. We still have 95% who are employed.” – Yeo Cheow Tong

“Singaporean workers have become more expensive than those in the USA and Australia.” – Tony Tan

“People support CPF cuts because there are no protest outside parliament.” – PM Lee

“No, it was not a U-turn, and neither was it a reversal of government policy. But you can call it a rethink.” – Yeo Cheow Tong

“…I regret making the decision because, in the end, the baby continued to be in intensive care, and KKH now runs up a total bill of more than $300,000…” – Lim Hng Kiang, regretting the decision to save a baby’s life because KKH ran up a $300,000 bill

“If we want to be a world-class city, if we want to be a nation that has got very good standards of public hygiene and cleanliness, the best place to start with is the public toilet.” – Amy Khor, PAP MP

“Restoring the pay cuts of civil servants and ministers is reasonable as Singapore’s economy has now regained momentum.” – Ng Eng Hen

“I don’t think my reading for the economy is strong enough for us to even consider asking for the restoration of the cut in CPF.” – Lim Boon Heng

“If we ever introduce anything like quotas or incentives based on race, it will reinforce the perception that Malays and Indians have low skills and can only get jobs because of an incentive or quota.” – Tharman Shanmugaretnam

“These schools (SAP schools) need to remain essentially Chinese to give the edge in interacting with China…” – self contradictory statement made by Tharman Shanmugaretnam again

“We must encourage those who earn less than $200 per month and cannot afford to nurture and educate many children never to have more than two… We will regret the time lost if we do not now take the first tentative steps towards correcting a trend which can leave our society with a large number of the physically, intellecually and culturally anaemic.” – MM Lee in 1967

“If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society…So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.” – MM Lee in 1983

“The PAP Government has always thrived on its ability to anticipate problems.” – Wong Kan Seng

“We are not able to be everywhere as a government to know everything in Singapore.” – PM Lee

“If you want to dance on a bar top, some of us will fall off that bar top. Some people will die as a result of liberalising bar-top dancing. Not just because they’ve fallen off the bar top, but because it’s usually a young girl with a short skirt who’s dancing on it, who may attract some insults from some other men. The boyfriend starts fighting. Some people will die. Blood will be shed for liberalising the policy.” – Vivian Balakrishnan, on bar top dancing (2001)

“You may be well-behaving, but there may be other people whom you come across when you cycle who may stop you, may want to debate with you and that may attract a crowd, and therefore will result in problems the police want to avoid.” – Ho Peng Kee, denying WP a permit to hold a cycling event at East Coast Park to commemorate its anniversary (2007)

7 thoughts on “Mindboggling quotes by politicians in Singapore

  1. just me

    good stuff. what about the “fixing” opposition MPs comment by our esteemed leader?

    there are plenty more such qutes. maybe you should start a blog devoted to this endeavour.

  2. Anonymous

    astonishing! you gotta ask: what were they thinking when they said that.

  3. Anonymous

    Please date your entries, in any case

    This is link to the PM Lee one: PM Lee says countries worldwide respect and admire Singapore's proven
    03 May 2006 1839 hrs (SST)
    "Right now we have Low Thia Khiang, Chiam See Tong, Steve Chia. We can
    deal with them. Suppose you had 10, 15, 20 opposition members in
    Parliament. Instead of spending my time thinking what is the right
    policy for Singapore, I'm going to spend all my time thinking what's
    the right way to fix them, to buy my supporters votes, how can I solve
    this week's problem and forget about next year's challenges?"

    Go http://info.channelnewsasia.com/ge/video.htm find the relevant one to watch.

  4. Anonymous

    Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen : there are a number of questions that are unexplained and difficult to understand as to why Cpl Fahrurrazi drowned.

    Dr Ng said the incident took place during daylight and the water was calm.


    Senior Minister of State Grace Fu : "I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one considering political office."


    Baey Yam Keng :
    “….he didn’t specifically mention Singaporeans, he just said “in Singapore”. He didn’t mention Singaporeans per se"

    “Even his comment about the dogs – it might not literally mean that, it might mean something else, even though it is definitely not something positive.”

    “We should take this opportunity to reflect upon ourselves, but we should (also) be confident of ourselves. Even though some of us are like that, majority of Singaporeans are gracious, there are good people in Singapore.”

    While defending China Scholar Sun Xu's insults to singaporeans

    Gan Thiam Poh : The Prime Minister is our leader, he has to be responsible for 3.5 million people, thus his salary can follow that of the population. One dollar per person, would add up to 3.5 million dollars. The Prime Minister is generous to give everyone a discount!

    Tan Chuan Jin : “I know that many feel very sorry for old folks who are working. And I do believe some of them do labour under trying conditions…no kids or kids not supporting them…not enough savings. I have met some when I chat with them and even amongst my residents. Funny enough, for these who do work because they have no choice, there is a fierce streak of pride and self respect in them. At least for a number I have met. They don’t want assistance while they can still work.”

    Lim Swee Say : “I (would) rather be voted out for trying to do the right things which may be unpopular, than to be voted in by people for doing the wrong things,”

    DPM Teo Chee Hean ‘What Do You Think’

    BG Tan Chuan Jin posted this on his facebook: “Earn $1000 a month and you want to buy a flat?! Only in Singapore…”

    Lim Swee Say : "cheaper, better, faster"

    Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam : "If you say the government is made up of idiots no one can sue you because that will be considered an opinion, and you are entitled to that opinion, based on your assessment of government policies. "

    PM Lee : “Singaporeans are not poor, but feel less well-off relative to others in society and that there is a relative sense that they should get an entitlement,”

    “Singaporeans will get help, but the help is not something they are absolutely entitled to,”


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