PM Lee answers questions at 'Live' forum - even more personal ones

PM Lee answers questions at 'Live' forum - even more personal ones
PM Lee At Live TV Programme "Ask The Prime Minister" on 4 Sept 2014.

LIGHT-HEARTED

On parenting tips:

I did change diapers, and in those days, we used safety pins so you have to be very careful. As the child grows up, you have to be his friend, his guide, his role model. Spend time with them, engage them. It's a very trying time for your wife when the baby is born, so support her.

On his childhood ambition:

In Primary 3, I wrote an essay about being a pilot. Each time I go on an aeroplane, I peek in the cockpit and wonder what it would be like. Maybe it will be my hobby.

On his childhood heroes:

My childhood heroes included Superman and Tarzan. I didn't like Batman very much.

REDEVELOPMENT OF MANDAI

We have something in mind to make the zoo much better and bigger.There is space. Land is available next to the nature reserve.

Why not move the Jurong Bird Park to where the zoo is? You want an attraction like Gardens By The Bay, with public areas where you can wander around, watch the sunset. It can be a very beautiful place.

By 2020, we should see something. We have been talking to some of the nature groups, and I'm sure they will help us to refine and improve the plan.

EDUCATION

On PSLE:

We have been grappling with the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) for a while. It's important because we use it to know how well we've done, and which secondary school you can get into...

In other countries with no PSLE, the school exam is important and pressure is there...

PSLE won't be the last time you have to prove yourself. But beyond the PSLE, other things come into play.

Glass ceiling for diploma holders?

It should depend on your performance. Whether you are a graduate or not should not be so critical. For many jobs, degree- and diploma-holders work side-by-side.

On university degrees:

When you study for a degree, you have to be sure the degree is rigorous, and there is a market demand for it. Government universities, we make sure the standards are there, and the right courses are there in the right numbers.

In private universities, you have to be careful. We can't say every degree or diploma is worth exactly the same and will be able to guarantee you a job. What counts is what skills you have, what contribution you'll be able to make.

FUTURE OF SINGAPORE

Will there be more MPs who are ITE and poly graduates in the future?

I hope so. Whenever we find a good man or woman, we will field them. Charles Chong, Liang Eng Hwa - we didn't choose them because they were poly graduates, we chose them because they were good. We are casting our net very wide, we are inviting a lot of people to tea.

Will there be a female Prime Minister?

I hope there will be one. I shouldn't be PM when I am 70. Our young ministers are good and promising, and with time, a leader will emerge.

NLB CONTROVERSY

It is an illustration of social tensions, and we have to bridge those differences.

We are never going to be single-valued, single-cultured Singapore. We are diverse, that is our strength - provided we don't let it tear us apart.

Excerpts from the Channel News Asia's live blog.

PM LEE ON GROWTH:

What kind of growth should Singapore aim for? Growth that creates good jobs, that Singaporeans can benefit from. We used to grow more than 10 per cent a year when we were taking off very fast, then we slowed down. Looking forward, I think we have to get used to maybe 2 to 3 per cent a year.

This article was published on Sept 5 in The New Paper.

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