NEW YORK • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who met about 300 Singaporeans living in the United States at a reception in New York on Sunday, called on them to stay connected to home.
"You are all flying the flag for Singapore all the time... You are representing us and you will show what Singaporeans are, and I think that is valuable," he said.
"Keep in touch with home, keep in touch with us... keep in touch and come home from time to time and, one day, come back home to Singapore."
Mr Lee spent more than an hour chatting and taking photos with the crowd at the event, which featured a spread of Singaporean food including chilli crab, laksa and orh luak (oyster omelette).
The Singaporeans included students and working professionals and their families. Mr Lee wrote on Facebook later that he always looks forward to meeting Singaporeans when he visits a city.
In brief remarks at the reception held at the Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations, Mr Lee said it was an interesting time in American politics, noting that the US presidential election in November will have a bearing on Singapore and the rest of the world.
Keep in touch with home, keep in touch with us... keep in touch and come home from time to time and, one day, come back home to Singapore.
PM LEE, to Singaporeans living in the US.
"It is the American election, but the way America goes - what the mood of the country is and which leader they choose - is going to have an impact on the whole world. In New York, I shall have a chance to meet some people interested in the region to try and put us as a small dot on the radar screen."
Many of the Singaporeans said they were pleased that Mr Lee had made the time to meet them.
Said Mr Tan Wai Choon, 70, a pastor: "It is very gracious of him to spend the time to meet us."
Mr Lee is on a week-long working visit to the US. He was due to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum yesterday, and will head to Washington to attend the 4th Nuclear Security Summit, which begins on Thursday.
Jeremy Au Yong