Lee Hsien Loong

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http://www.youtube.com/pmosingapore
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Премьер-министр Сингапура
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Here are some of the highlights of my visit to Vietnam. Look forward to returning there for the APEC summit later this year. – LHL (PMO Video by Alex Qiu)
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Back from Vietnam! This video was taken at the Noi Bai International Airport, just before I boarded the plane. Glad to be home! :) Grateful for the warmth and hospitality shown by our Vietnamese friends over the past few days. May the friendship between Singapore and Vietnam continue to grow! – LHL (PMO Boomerang by Alex Qiu)
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Economic ties between Vietnam and Singapore are strong, and we’ve made progress since our 2013 Strategic Partnership. So far for 2017, Singapore is Vietnam’s top foreign investor. The seven Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) all across Vietnam are a good example of our longstanding economic collaboration. Had several meetings in Hanoi yesterday. Met my host Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and other leaders, and witnessed the signing of 5 MOUs. I presented PM Phúc with a copy of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's memoirs. The Vietnamese translation was launched yesterday, on the second anniversary of Mr Lee's passing. I thanked the PM for his warm hospitality, and invited him to make a visit to our shores soon. Heading home later today! – LHL (Welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi./ MCI Photos by Betty Chua)
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KC Low (on my left) showed me some of the organic products he sells in his shop, 5th Element. He grows them on his farm – beetroots, bananas, and even strawberries! He was one of the Singaporean business owners I met at VivoCity yesterday. Not the VivoCity at HarbourFront though, but in Ho Chi Minh City! Visited SC VivoCity and Mapletree Business Centre, just two of the familiar names from home that have made their way to Vietnam. Both developments are located at Saigon South Place Complex, and reflect our strong business presence. Singapore is the top foreign investor in HCMC, and I hope to see bilateral trade and economic ties continue to grow. – LHL (MCI Photo by Betty Chua)
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A busy first day in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday meeting both Vietnamese friends and Singaporeans based here. It’s been 10 years since my last visit. The city has developed tremendously, fueled by the energy and industriousness of its people. Had a good meeting with Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Thành Phong at the Reunification Palace, followed by lunch, where I took this pic of the elaborate table decoration (made of pumpkin), and the traditional musicians entertaining us. Later, we met 300 overseas Singaporeans, young and old, at a get together. Glad to see them flying the high in ! – LHL ([1-2] Photos by me / [3] MCI Photo by Betty Chua)
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Have arrived in Ho Chi Minh City for an official visit. I was last in Vietnam in 2013, and the city is as bustling as ever! Singapore is a good friend of Vietnam. Look forward to meeting the Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, Mr Nguyễn Thành Phong, and in Hanoi, President Trần Đại Quang (whom we hosted last year) and PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, along with other Vietnamese leaders, to explore ways to strengthen our friendship. Will also be meeting many Singaporeans over the next few days, both here and in Hanoi. Will update with photos soon! :) – LHL (PMO #Timelapse Video by Alex Qiu)
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We cannot tell when a crisis or a terrorist attack will happen. While our security agencies are trained to detect and stop such incidents, all of us must also be prepared. Attended an Emergency Preparedness (EP) Day in Teck Ghee today. @Singaporepoliceforce, @myscdf, and volunteers simulated a “live” exercise right in front of the market at Blk 415. Glad that residents found the exercise useful, and learnt some CPR and AED techniques at the exhibition. The terrorists aim to divide us. We must never let that happen. We must stay close to our neighbours and friends of different races. The stronger our kampung spirit, the less chance the terrorists have. You can watch my speech today via the link in my profile. - LHL ([1] MCI Photo by Fyrol/ [2-3] Photos by me)
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We can now admire pretty cherry blossoms, also known as sakura, right here in tropical Singapore! More than 20 varieties have made their way to @gardensbythebay for the second year running, for the Gardens' ‘Blossom Bliss’ floral display. When I visited last Saturday, the Flower Dome was adorned with blooming cherry blossoms in shades of pink and white set in a Japanese-inspired landscape. Glad to see the visitors enjoying the stunning blooms, many with cameras and handphones in hand. :) The floral display will be on until 24 March. Do visit the Facebook page for blossom updates if you plan to visit the Flower Dome for your next #jalanjalan! - LHL (Photos by me)
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Inter-faith understanding is crucial to maintaining peace and harmony. We enjoy such peace and harmony in Singapore, but we have to keep learning from others, especially when we see so many countries experiencing religious tensions and conflicts. I met Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah today. A renowned Islamic scholar, Shaykh bin Bayyah is here on the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) Distinguished Visitor Programme (DVP). He is a strong advocate for multiculturalism and inter-faith understanding, and is the President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies. Shaykh bin Bayyah will be delivering the MUIS lecture entitled “Faith, Compassion and Human Dignity” tomorrow. I hope his experience promoting peace and tolerance through inter-faith dialogues will encourage many more of such acts. – LHL (MCI Photo by Fyrol)
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Happy to open @sgSMU’s Kwa Geok Choo Law Library and new School of Law building this morning. The Law Library is dedicated to my mother, who was a conveyancing lawyer for many years. The SMU Law School is ten years old this year. Its graduates are doing well, and starting to make an impact. Hope that with the new building and library, the SMU Law School will inspire and produce more quality graduates who will contribute to Singapore, and make a difference to our lives! You can watch my speech at the launch via the link in my profile. – LHL (MCI Photo by Betty Chua)
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Snapped this black and white photo in January. #Guesswhere? – LHL (Photo by me) ------ Many of you got it right! This is the Kwa Geok Choo Law Library, named after my mother. The Singapore Management University has dedicated it in her name to honour her life and contributions to the legal profession. I was at the opening of the Library and new @sgsmu School of Law building this morning; you can see more photos in my next post.
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The March school holidays are here! Whether you are staying in Singapore or heading abroad, I hope the coming week will be a good break for all students, parents, and teachers! Our parks are excellent places to explore nature or do outdoor activities. Why not gather family and friends for outings at some of our green spaces? – LHL (MCI Photo by Terence Tan)
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The i Light Marina Bay festival is back in town! Took a #jalanjalan to the Marina Bay waterfront area last weekend to see the show. The area was aglow and decked with fascinating art installations by Singaporean and international artists. This annual sustainable light art festival is a good way to educate our family members, especially the little ones, on being eco-friendly. It runs until 26 March, so do enjoy the night scape with your family and friends during this school holiday! – LHL (Photos by me)
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Wishing all mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, female friends, and colleagues a happy #InternationalWomensDay! I met these 5 sisters in Chinatown before Chinese New Year last year. I was struck by how close-knit and cheerful they were, with matching hats and all. :) Mao Zedong said 妇女能顶半边天 – women can hold up half the sky. Singapore women have come a long way since their grandmothers’ and mothers’ times. Nowadays we take for granted that daughters will go to school, wives will have careers, and (mostly) husbands will help to look after the children. But we can still make our society more inclusive for both men and women. We need everyone to pitch in! – LHL (Photo by me)
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It’s always fun meeting young people, and finding out what they’re up to. These @nanyangpoly students were volunteering at the Teck Ghee Appreciation Day for Elderly yesterday, and they also taught me how to do the Korean “finger heart gesture”. :) My thanks to them and all the other volunteers from the Lions Club of Singapore, Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Skills Training (FAST), PA Senior Academy, and Choon Boon Secondary for contributing your time and skills to this event. Whether it was giving free haircuts, manicures/pedicures, making handicraft gifts, or performing songs and dances, your contributions made the day a special one for our seniors. – LHL (MCI Photos by LH Goh)
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Went down to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore last Saturday to have a look at the Star Clipper – a magnificent 4-masted tall ship that was docked there. Took a #jalanjalan around the area as well. Our surrounding seas are dotted with ships of all shapes and sizes, a reminder of the enterprise and prosperity that geographic luck has brought us. – LHL (Photos by me)
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"The world is a diverse place. Nobody has a monopoly on virtue or wisdom. And unless we can accept that, and we prosper together and cooperate together, accepting our differences...I think it becomes difficult.” This was part of my reply to BBC HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur’s question on imposing conditions of freedom of expression onto trade deals. During our half hour exchange, we discussed many issues, both international and domestic, including how Singapore is navigating forward in these uncertain times. You can listen to the podcast of the full interview on the BBC Hardtalk microsite or BBC iPlayer Radio app. The transcript of the full interview also available on the PMO website (www.pmo.gov.sg). – LHL (MCI Photo by Terence Tan)
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I attended the Camp Sequoia dialogue last Friday. As so often recently, the weather turned and it poured during the event. Very grateful for this row of umbrellas carried by the thoughtful staff of The Ritz-Carlton Millenia to keep me dry as I left! The dialogue was organised by Sequoia Capital, a leading US venture capital firm. They brought their founders, investors, partners, and staff from around the world. We had a lively discussion: How is Singapore navigating forward in these challenging times? What role will tech play in Singapore’s future? What apps do I use? Thanks to the participants for their sharp questions and to Shailendra Singh for moderating the session. The full dialogue is available on the PMO YouTube channel (click on the link in my profile). – LHL (Photo by me)
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Caught this beautiful sunset on my #jalanjalan at MacRitchie Reservoir last Sunday. Singapore’s biggest and oldest reservoir is well-known for school cross-country races, water sports like canoeing and kayaking, and nature trails. For a change, we decided to take the boardwalk skirting the northern shore. Not only did we encounter interesting flora and fauna in the rainforest, we also enjoyed beautiful views of the reservoir along the way. If you plan to explore this nature reserve, remember to check the weather forecast first! :) – LHL (Photo by me)
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Best wishes to all of you receiving 'A' Level results tomorrow! Whatever your results, do take the time to consider what your interests and strengths are, and pursue them. Your early 20s are a great time for self discovery and adventure. Remember to stay focussed, motivated, and driven. All the best! :) – LHL (2016 ‘A’ Level results release. / PMO Photo by Alex Qiu)
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Did you catch the spectacular ‘fire rainbow’ yesterday? Alas I missed it because we were in Parliament listening to Heng Swee Keat deliver his #SGBudget2017 speech. We were all happy to see him back in the Chamber, after nearly a year’s absence. Budget 2017 includes many measures to prepare ourselves to grow in the midst of uncertainty. You can find out more about these measures and watch the speech on the Singapore Budget website here: http://www.singaporebudget.gov.sg/ Swee Keat concluded his speech by naming young Singaporeans who are chasing their dreams and excelling on the international stage: Mathew Tham, Ding Eu-Wen, Nathan Hartono, Nur Syahidah Alim, Yip Pin Xiu, and Joseph Schooling. Their generation is creating new paths and breaking new frontiers. The budget will provide resources to build the bright future they aspire to. – LHL (Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Choo)
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Welcomed Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his first visit to Singapore today. We had met last April in Israel, so I was happy to reciprocate his warm hospitality. Singapore and Israel are old friends. When we became independent, the IDF helped us build and train the SAF. Today, our ties extend to investments, technology and R&D, and we are planning further collaboration with each other. PM Netanyahu updated me on developments in the Middle East. Singapore supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. It is the only way to bring lasting peace and security, difficult though this may be to achieve. – LHL (MCI Photo by Chwee)
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Caught up with Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mrs Wickremesinghe over dinner last night. They stopped over on the way home from an official visit in Australia. PM Wickremesinghe is a good friend of Singapore, having visited us many times (most recently for the South Asian Diaspora Convention last July). We talked about the FTA that we are negotiating, which we hope to complete this year. He invited me to visit Sri Lanka – hopefully to sign the FTA! – LHL (MCI Photo by LH Goh)
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Enjoyed catching up with Eurasian leaders at lunch today. @the_eurasian_association has a long history. It has been serving the community, preserving and promoting the Eurasian culture, for 98 years! The Eurasians inherit a rich heritage, a unique fusion of European and Asian cultures. They comprise less than 1% of Singapore’s population, but they have many contributions and achievements in the arts, sports, business, and politics. Joseph Schooling’s Olympic Gold medal is just the latest example. I congratulated them on the recent launch of their book “Singapore Eurasians: Memories, Hopes and Dreams”. Hope more Singaporeans will learn about the Eurasians through the personal stories narrated in the book. – LHL (MCI Photo by Betty Chua)
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Today is Total Defence Day. This year’s observance is special, being the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore. On 15 February 1942, after an intense week of fighting, the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese invaders at the Former Ford Factory in Bukit Timah. There followed 3½ years of terror, hardship and misery under Japanese Occupation. The world has changed enormously since then. We now have the SAF and Home Team, but Singapore will always be small and vulnerable. No one owes us our sovereignty or security. We depend on ourselves to defend against threats old and new, including terrorism, cyberattacks and pandemics. Let us always remember this. – LHL #NeverAgainSG (2 SIR veteran LTC (Ret) Swee Boon Chai handing a rifle to the 2 SIR Commanding Officer LTC Choy Yong Cong during the weapon presentation ceremony at the Former Ford Factory this morning. / PMO Photo by Chiez How)
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It’s quite the romantic period, with Chap Goh Mei and Valentine’s Day just a few days apart. Thought this photo of a pair of lovebirds especially fitting this rooster year. You may recognise the rooster from my Facebook posts. He belongs to my neighbour, and we recently found him a friend. So now they both spend even more time at our place paktor-ing. In fact, we spotted a freshly laid egg in the garden. :) Whether you are young or old, I hope you let your loved ones know how much you appreciate them, and not just today. Don’t forget to give them a peck on the cheek! Happy Valentine’s Day! – LHL (PMO Photo by Chiez How)
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Had an interesting meeting with Sir James Dyson, inventor and founder of UK technology company @Dyson, today. He is in Singapore for the launch of his company’s R&D centre at the Singapore Science Park. Sir James showed me their latest products including this robotic vacuum cleaner, and updated me on what the Dyson team is doing in Singapore. Dyson is one of many companies offering engineers good opportunities. I hope Singaporean engineers will rise to the challenge, and create remarkable technologies that improve our lives! – LHL (MCI Photo by Chwee)
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Hosted more than 4,000 past and present grassroots advisors, grassroots leaders, and @pafrenz board members to the annual #ChineseNewYear Garden Party yesterday at The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay. It poured before and during the party, but luckily we had a tent, and the rain did not dampen our spirits. Thank you to the PA staff, performers, interest groups and everyone for working hard to make the garden party successful and enjoyable! My thanks also to the grassroots leaders and volunteers, PA’s Second Wing partners, the labour movement and other community partners for their tireless service and dedication. – LHL (MCI Photo by Terence Tan)
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Did you see the moon last night? Caught this beautiful Chap Goh Mei moon at MacRitchie Reservoir last night. Besides being the last day of Chinese New Year, Chap Goh Mei is also the Chinese Valentine's Day. Some families mark it by coming together for a meal and a bowl of tang yuan (汤圆 glutinous rice balls). I hope you’ve had yours with your loved ones too. Yesterday’s Chap Goh Mei brought some sad news – an old tembusu tree in Botanic Gardens toppled suddenly, causing one death and several injuries. Our hearts go out to the casualties and their families. I am reminded of an old Chinese poem: 人有悲欢离合,月有阴晴圆缺,此事古难全. For mortals there is grief and joy, coming together and going apart; The moon has bright and shadowed phases, wholeness and then something gone – Things never stay at perfection. (translation by Stephen Owen) – LHL (Photo by me)
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In its early years, the Chingay parade started out as neighbourhood street parades featuring only Chinese cultural elements such as giant flag bearers, dragon dances and stilt walkers performing to simple choreography. It has since grown into an iconic event featuring different local and international cultures, with a uniquely Singapore flavour! – LHL (Photo by me)
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Happy Chap Goh Mei!! 元宵节快乐!! #Chingay2017 turns 45 this year! It started out as a street parade with only traditional Chinese items like giant flag bearers, dragon dances and stilt walkers. It has since grown into an iconic event featuring local and international cultures, with a uniquely Singapore flavour. I look forward to Chingay every year. Last night’s parade did not disappoint! We all waved our star torchlights and cheered from start to finish. We enjoyed the dazzling visual effects, flamboyant costumes, colourful floats, and energetic performances. A big thank you to @pafrenz, performers, participants and volunteers for working hard to put up a spectacular show. There will be another show tonight, and the Chingay floats will also be going to the heartlands, so do catch it if you can. Find out more at http://chingay.org.sg – LHL (MCI Photo by Terence Tan)
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Met leaders and officials from the Pacific Island States (PIS) and Timor-Leste yesterday. They are on a High-Level Study Visit here, and visited our public agencies as well as ITE College Central. I hope they found the programme useful. The PIS comprise 14 faraway and exotic-sounding places: Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tonga, Nauru, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tuvalu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea. We are culturally and economically diverse, but we all share challenges like climate change and achieving sustainable development. We need to work together on them, and in the process strengthen our friendship. – LHL (MCI Photo by Kenji Soon)