International Left-handers Day: Did you know PM Lee is left-handed?

PHOTO: Pexels

Most of us - in fact, 90 per cent of the world's population - take our right-handedness for granted because many of the objects we use were designed and invented (most likely by right-handers) for right-handers.

Think of scissors, ball-point pens, ball-point pens at counters that are attached to a cord, swiping credit cards (thank goodness for payWave), handling a rifle during BMT, those irritating foldable lecture tables, musical instruments like the guitar... the list goes on.

As if life wasn't already hard enough! Especially for someone with hefty national responsibilities like our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who just posted about his left-handedness:

He points out that he received his Covid-19 jab on his non-dominant right arm before revealing that "I'm left-handed, like about 10 per cent of people".

He goes on to mention the negative associations linked to left-handers, especially in earlier generations: "Some parents would forcibly train their left-handed children to be right-handed."

(In fact, the word "sinister", which means "evil" or "malevolent", comes from the Latin word "sinestra", which means "on the left side". If you were a Lefty in the Middle Ages, you even ran the risk of being accused of witchcraft!)

PM Lee ends his post with a gentle reminder "that we are all unique in our own special ways, and we can all help build a more inclusive world together".

Other left-handed greats include:

  • Barack Obama, former US president
  • Marie Curie, the incredibly brilliant atomic scientist
  • Tom Cruise, yes, Mr "Mission Impossible" himself
  • Lady Gaga, pop icon aka Mother Monster
  • Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance painter and inventor
  • Aristotle, the philosopher and polymath
  • Amita Berthier, Singapore fencer who represented our Little Red Dot at the Tokyo Olympics

This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.