PM Lee celebrates 5 years on Facebook

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong fondly recalled meeting Madam Indranee Elizabeth Nadisen at the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong fondly recalled meeting Madam Indranee Elizabeth Nadisen at the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix. PHOTO: MCI

As a "Facebook newbie", Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had asked Singaporeans for their advice, suggestions and patience as he navigated the world of social media.

In his maiden post on April 20, 2012, he said he was encouraged to start his own page by colleagues who had taken the plunge. "Having watched them, I have decided to join the fun."

Five years on, his page has amassed 1.1 million followers as it evolved into a repository of policy explanations, lighthearted personal updates and photographs, many shot by himself.

To mark the anniversary, Mr Lee shared a selection of pictures yesterday that are memorable to him. Most were of people he met in the past five years.

They include Madam Indranee Elizabeth Nadisen, Singapore's longest-serving foster mother; Mr Aziz Ahmad, a bursary award recipient in 1986; Mr Lee's former comrades from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF); and young people and overseas Singaporeans.

Said Mr Lee on his Facebook page: "It's been an amazing journey. I discovered many heartwarming and inspiring stories, got reacquainted with old friends and formed new friendships!"

Among those who inspired him was Madam Indranee. She was among the pioneer generation guests invited to watch the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix.

Madam Indranee, who is in her 70s, cared for 45 abandoned, abused or neglected children under the Social and Family Development Ministry's foster parent scheme, and was described by Mr Lee as an "extraordinary lady".

Another person who made an impression was Mr Aziz, whom Mr Lee presented a bursary award to 31 years ago, and met again in January at a bursary award ceremony in Townsville Primary School.

"This year, I presented his son Adam Zafran with a bursary of his own. Very happy to see Aziz doing well, and his children inheriting his work ethic," said Mr Lee.

Mr Lee also shared pictures of young people, like members of the Taiko drummers from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, whom he said were "changing things for the better and giving back to the community". "I enjoy meeting young people, and finding out what they are doing. Their energy and passion are infectious," he said.

Others whom he wrote about were former SAF colleagues, the Singapore Airlines crew on a flight he took and overseas Singaporeans he met while on official trips.

"To everyone who has shared your stories and views, thank you! Look forward to many more in the future," Mr Lee wrote, signing off with his online moniker "LHL".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2017, with the headline PM Lee celebrates 5 years on Facebook. Subscribe