When questioned by reporters in Peru if Singapore is going to correct its extreme income inequality, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the poor people in Singapore are not badly off:
“If you’re in Singapore, not everybody is equally well off, but even if you’re not well off, you’re not badly off.”
The Prime Minister stopped short of explaining what is “badly off” but poverty in Singapore has resulted in widespread undernourishment, extended working hours and delayed retirement. PM Lee then claimed that he has implemented welfare schemes to take care of the people and said that his government is helping those who are not doing well to “get an extra leg-up”.
Insulting newly-elected US President Donald Trump, PM Lee Hsien Loong said that Trump won only because of angry Americans. PM Lee also said that the referendum result of British leaving the European Union is similarly borne out of such anger.
PM Lee called for unity in Singapore, telling Singaporeans to rally behind his single-party dictatorship:
“You have to work together, you have to work hard, the government must have policies which generally will be working for people. At the same time, we have to develop a sense of identity and togetherness within Singapore so that you don’t have a deep divide within the society. Social divides cannot be allowed to widen, because rebuilding these bridges will very difficult.”
The statement suggest that the Prime Minister will implement greater punishments for dissent and criticisms against the ruling party. PM Lee Hsien Loong has been abusing police power and tightening up on media censorship by passing bills in PAP-dominated Parliament after his party lost the most number of election votes in 2011.
Two online editors, including one who was 3 months pregnant, were sentenced to 8 and 10 months-long jail sentences for criticising the Singapore government in March 2016. An online blogger was also sentenced to pay the Prime Minister S$150,000 in a default judgment for criticising the Prime Minister and his wife’s role over the country’s retirement CPF funds.