leekuanyew

New Zealand MP recalls the haircut S'pore gave him

As New Zealand ministers, led by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, paid tributes to Mr Lee Kuan Yew in Parliament, one legislator's eulogy stood out.

Former Labour leader Phil Goff said Singapore's founding Prime Minister had not only inspired him, but his tough policies had also inflicted a free haircut on him in his salad days.

Mr Lee's 1965 speech on Singapore's separation from Malaysia was "the first political speech that ever impacted on me", Mr Goff said in the session on Tuesday.

" I think I was a 12-year-old, a child at that time - he spoke with such power and emotion about why he was taking Singapore out of Malaysia and, decades later, I still remember that as the first political speech that ever impacted on me in that way."

Mr Goff added that his mother was an admirer of Mr Lee. "In 1977, as a student having gone six years without a haircut, passing through Singapore, I was given my first haircut by Customs officials at the airport as a price for entry," Mr Goff said.

"My mother congratulated him (Mr Lee) on achieving something that nobody else had been able to do for years before that time," he told Parliament.