Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke to CNN in an interview on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali. In the interview, which was posted on CNN's website on Tuesday, he gave his views on the current US shutdown.
ON WHETHER THE SHUTDOWN WOULD IMPACT THE US ECONOMY:
I'm not worried about the impact on the GDP of the US... The dollar amount is not consequential but the signal that the Americans are unable to get their act together and can't vote money to run the government and can't agree that government needs to be run and has national interest greater than the Tea Party or the Democrats or the Republicans. I think that's a negative signal which will last much longer than the shutdown.
ARE YOU MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE DEBT CEILING?
Well, that's another negative signal if you hit it because it just confirms that you can't resolve the practical problems, which should not be practical problems. I mean, these are problems that you have created for yourself in a game of chicken.
SINGAPORE'S LAWMAKERS ARE SOME OF THE HIGHEST PAID IN THE WORLD. DO YOU THINK IF WASHINGTON'S LAWMAKERS WERE BETTER COMPENSATED, THEN THERE WOULD NOT BE AS MUCH DYSFUNCTION?
First of all, we may have competitive salaries but we are far from being the richest lawmakers in the world. I think we operate a clean system, an honest system. We pay people what their job is worth and what the quality of people is worth and we expect them to perform, and if they don't, well, they have to go or the electorate will vote them out.
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