Singapore PM chats with ASEAN journalists

By Nguyen Quang Thong, Thanh Nien News

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joins ASEAN journalists for a group photo. Photos courtesy of MCI Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joins ASEAN journalists for a group photo. Photos courtesy of MCI
Within the framework of the 7th Asean Journalists' Meeting in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on May 5th joined journalists from ASEAN member countries for an interview.
Below are his answers to Thanh Nien's questions.
Thanh Nien: Dear Mr Prime Minister, about the matter of youth. As we know, the youth play a role as the foundation of national development. For Singapore’s 50th anniversary celebrations, do you have any valuable advice to the youth?
PM Lee Hsien Loong: They’re living in a very exciting age. They have enormous opportunities which the previous generation did not have. They may be anxious about competition, anxious about change, anxious that the future is not certain but in fact we have given them and they are well-prepared and probably better prepared than youth in many other countries to deal with the challenges ahead. Education, they have got resources, we an economy which is competitive, which creates jobs for them, a society which values ability, which values contributions and which encourages people to do their best. The next 50 years is actually for the young people to write and we’ve written our chapter. We hope your next chapter will be even more exciting and brilliant.

PM Lee Hsien Loong addresses journalists' questions. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore
Do you think Facebook as a channel of communication is an effective approach to further tightening the mutual understanding between you and your citizens, especially the youth?
I think it is one avenue which is growing in importance. If you look at the way young people consume media or even not so young people consumer media, more and more people are spending time firstly on their mobile devices, secondly on the messaging type platforms like in other words Facebook, Instagram, Twitter even Snapchat. And not so much time on the formal news sites. So, they will not go to BBC but they expect to see BBC turn up on their Facebook feed or Nantian or whatever it is, and so, I want to be there too. And it does not meet all my needs because sometimes you need to make a speech and it is very difficult to have a one hour speech in a Facebook post. But there are people who will be on the Facebook who will not often be reading speeches and this is one way to reach them.
And also if you have, its more informal. If I want to congratulate somebody on a gold medal, I just make a post and you look at it, if you are interested, if you are not interested, you don’t have to look at it. But if every time I congratulate somebody for getting a gold medal, it is on front-page of the newspapers, I think soon people will get tired of me. So, this is a way I can do it in an informal and well, you consume what you like.

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