“You Singaporeans are so lucky . . . ”

“You Singaporeans are so lucky . . . ”

The Independent·2018-02-22 02:10

I was having a casual chat with a middle-aged Malaysian visiting his son working in Singapore and his parting shot to me was, “You Singaporeans are so lucky. Your leaders are so frugal, look at the PM and his wife, look at Lee Kuan Yew’s house, furniture that people would have thrown away . . . ”

That was certainly food for thought. On reflection, I guess our leaders do come across as somewhat frugal. PM Lee Hsien Loong and Ho Ching are never flashy and ostentatious; in fact people are often critical of how simply (some call it shabbily) Ho Ching is attired even for state visits.

Images of Lee Kuan Yew’s house, released after his death, showed spartan living spaces with decades-old furniture. We have been told the frugal side of Lee – how he preferred to mend old clothes than buy new ones, how he urged his colleagues to borrow winter clothes for overseas trips, and how he eschewed laundry service by washing his own underwear during hotel stays.

Singapore People