THE TEMASEK TIMES

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New Zealand journalists not allowed to ask Prime Minister Lee questions

Posted by temasektimes on October 11, 2012

When political leaders travel worldwide, they usually have to answer a barrage of questions fielded by foreign journalists, but not for Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

PM Lee who is currently on state visit to New Zealand need not answer questions from the local journalists.

According to the New Zealand media, they are being invited to photo opportunities but have been told there’ll be no questions to Mr Lee.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says that’s Mr Lee’s wish and is the “nature” of the Singapore system.

37 Responses to “New Zealand journalists not allowed to ask Prime Minister Lee questions”

  1. Singkaypoh said

    Kiwis dun pay the million dollar salaries therefore they are not privileged to be part of the National CONversation🙂

  2. Naivety said

    Hey TT,

    What do you expect from a supreme leader who is above all mankind then?

    • Ashok Bhatia said

      I’ve never seen a leader who is so terrified of taking questions from journalist before. Heck, this guy is even afraid of having debates with members from the opposition parties.

      Has anyone of them ever had an open debate in front of the cameras with opposition party members?

      None. The answer is none.

  3. Jack said

    hmm… very interesting … as Singaporean, I would expect our leaders able to handle questions and present well of Singapore on international stage.

    I hope this news is not true. May be we should have a leader who can better present us. Should we vote for DPM Teo to be the next PM, at least he would reply “What Do You Think?”

  4. Ah Pek said

    PM Lee’s stupidity and ignorance will be exposed if he were to face the foreign media. Unlike in Singapore, where he can choose his audience and asinine Straits Times aka China Times journalist who will be prompted to ask pre-determined questions.

  5. johnny said

    LHL is a disgrace.. What kind of leader behaves like that? If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!

  6. LOL said

    Probably would be asked why he chose HC and how on earth did he manage to procreate.

  7. Kramy said

    A bloody disgrace! Chicken!

  8. Jeremy Fitzroy said

    That actually sounds like an indirect insult to Singaporeans! What will happen when he dies?

    • Jeff D said

      That’s a question we should have been asking ourselves at least since Junior ascended the throne. If we really are willing to have a Lord High Leeader with absolute power, we could save billions by simply eliminating Parliament, the courts, etc. It would make it more difficult to papagandise having a “democratic system” or a “Swiss standard of living”, but that’s the price demanded of us by the Pay and Pay system.

      Or we could just get an actual Government with sensibly-paid ministers. But that would be un-Singaporean, say The Minister and His Cronies… which strikes me as an excellent argument for the proposition.

      2016, anyone?

  9. dun know what to say said

    I feel really embarrassed to be a native sgp citizen.
    May be we should not blame him as he is “a small flower in the green house”, overly protected by his papa.

  10. 5vvaper said

    So who’s daft now?

  11. Cannot Make it said

    PAP supporters, open your eyes! See for yourself what type of PM and ministers SG got. Highest paid in the world but don’t even have the balls to be intereviewed by foreign journalists. Compare this with other world leaders. The action speaks for itself. Stop your bragging about how good the PAP leaders are already.

  12. Jaded said

    LHL is right, why bother answering questions? After all, he knows best, he tells you what to do! stop bothering him with your peasant ways!

  13. DustyP said

    I am sure the rest of the world will draw its own conclusions.
    It is sad when a “self proclaimed first world leader” does not have the ability to answer searching questions without an earpiece and someone to feed him the correct answer, at least the PAP correct answer!

  14. Pinkie Softie ball-less said

    First, it is “pinkie”. Now it is “softie” and “ball-less”. Way to go, ball-less pee-m!

  15. Robin Hood said

    Sometimes it is not giviing the right answers, it’s getting the wrong questions which he may very scared of.

  16. R Usha said

    why shld the prime minister of singapore be answering questions from new zealand journalists? he is answerable to the voters of spore not the voters of new zealnd. and what question will they ask him? Temasek? GIC? Ho Ching? Mr Lee Kuan Yew? thats all they know. and we dont need silly reports frm these journalists!

    • dun talk cock said

      Then go NZ for fcuk? Show face, shake hand but zip mouth?

    • Steve Lee said

      @R Usha. Because that is what world leaders do when they go overseas and vice versa. People are curious to find out more about what makes Singapore tick and perhaps which direction we are heading. World leaders answer questions like this all the time as a matter of course.

  17. True BLUE Sinkie said

    When I was serving the SAF as a regular, selected soldiers were given specific questions to ask the Minister during their visits.Also, the soldiers were told to reply with specific answers when asked by the Minister. In the case of NZ journalist, there was no time to prepare the questions and answers for them…. that’s why they were not allowed to PM Lee any questions. That’s the Singapore culture, part of the National CONversation.

    • Pen And Penis said

      obviously PM Lee must have been advised that NZ journalists cannot be easily swayed or forced to accept any claims he was misquoted should he inadvertently put his foot in his mouth…….of course we know this is so highly possible…..with Dopey

      ps: which leader on the planet will publicly say he will fix his opponents, buy votes, cannot solve problems just because there are 6 or more opposition members in parliament and not least, has no fcuking clue that in Asia no one eats “mee siam” with hum !

  18. fish 'n' chips said

    You guys can read from here:

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/opinion/political-report-8oct2012

    By: Barry Soper | Monday, October 08, 2012 6:00 AM

    There’ll be a lot of glad handing around the Beehive today. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s in town and we’ve all been invited for a look and apparently a look is all we’re going to get.

    There are several opportunities for the media to get a glimpse of Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s eldest son but we’ve been told throughout the three day programme that we can take pictures but we’re not allowed to talk to Mr Lee.

    It’s the Singaporean way where the media doesn’t have a say. It’s a model that some of our Prime Ministers would love to adopt, keeping the muzzled media at arm’s length. Certainly State Homie John Key would have loved to have been able to do that over the past couple of weeks.

    The most effusive of our leaders though about the Singaporean system, other than Muldoon that is, was Big Jen Shipley. After her meeting with Mr Lee senior in the late ’90s, she lamented about how easy it was to control the media in that country and how she would have loved to have been able to do the same here.

    It was her battle with the media about the media that was eventually her undoing when she said she’d made up the million dollar figure of former TVNZ newsreader John Hawkesby’s departure package. Clearly she’d made it up, it was well short of what Hawkesby got.

    She’d been on a telly interview programme and was quoted in the green room afterwards saying she’d made up the figure, adding to the couple of journalists present that they do it all the time. In fact one of the journos was none other than our own Mike Hosking who’s now hooked up with Hawkesby’s daughter Kate!

    So the Singaporean Prime Minister will leave God’s Own thinking that our media are as tame as his, that is if we abide by the “photo opportunity only” directions we’re expected to follow during his visit.

    Fortunately we’re not a compliant media, we live in a democracy.

    Perhaps then Mr Lee should be asked why he’s clearly incapable of answering questions!

    • What a joke? said

      But he is capable of getting multi million dollar pay and probably none of his job scope mentioned that he must be capable of answering questions?

  19. solaris8899 said

    so disappointed…if the journalists r from wall street, Mr lee sure will make himself available.

  20. Daft Peasant said

    Nobody can question The God……..!!!!

    NOBODY!!!!!

    The God will speak if He wish to talk…….

  21. True BLUE Sinkie said

    Whenever our Ministers attend functions at PAP kindergardens, community centres, old folks homes, hawker center, our SPH journalists ask questions that are of national importance and concerns at such occasions. Worst still, these journalists were given the questions by the PAP to pose the the Ministers. .. It is all wayang

  22. steve said

    So Embarrassing !! To know that the Leader couldn’t answer question by N Z journalists,
    So what next? Next country he will visit, he will also can’t answer if compared with other leader, them will welcome question and answers to the press.

    • True BLUE Sinkie said

      The DY PM Teo Chee Bye is just as dumb as PM Lee. The former answer a question with a question. The latter has no answers and thus disallow questions.

  23. happy said

    everytime i see this photo of him, it kept telling me of a picture of a desperate man standing by the tree wanting
    to kill himself by hanging from a tree

    pathetic picture

  24. Paper Porsche Green Hyundai Teal Tata said

    Experienced, yet still needs mollycoddling. Reminds me of the old story from the 90’s about a China General meeting BG Lee for the first time. The story goes that the conversation was very short and one sided. The Chinese General asked, “So, how many wars have you fought?”

    I see a trend that never quite ended.

  25. True BLUE Sinkie said

    PM Lee is so accustomed to the Singapore Parlimentary sittings where all questions must be filed in advance for his secretary to prepare all the right answers. Probably he told the NZ journalists in advance to file their questions, but it seem the journalists gave him the middle finger instead. Every goddam minister in the PAP speaks from prepared speeches during the sittings. Don’t our ministers have brains? Cant they think on they own two feet and take on impromptu questions?? For their million-dollar salaries is that the best they can do? I am not surprised the PAP has compiled a ten-year series for all their ministers and MPs to use during the parlimentary debates

  26. steven theo said

    Maybe afraid CSJ may suddenly appear nor that he is not a bankrupt n is mobile….?

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