PM Lee Hsien Loong takes viral #10YearChallenge

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared photos of himself from 2009 and this year in a Facebook post with the hashtag #10YearChallenge.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared photos of himself from 2009 and this year in a Facebook post with the hashtag #10YearChallenge.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/LEE HSIEN LOONG

SINGAPORE - Is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong cooler than you?

The most recent figure to join a trending social media activity, PM Lee on Thursday evening (Jan 17) tagged a Facebook post #10YearChallenge.

The post also features the hashtag #MerdekaGeneration - referring to a phrase used by PM Lee at the National Day Rally last August for the generation born in the 1950s,

In the post, he compares two photos of himself from 2009 and this year, saying: "I kid myself that not much has changed after 10 years, other than my hair colour and hair line! My hair is greyer and thinner, but I'm still enjoying what I do."

The photo on the left side shows a younger PM Lee in a polo shirt, with the words "Teck Ghee" on the shirt. Teck Ghee is in Ang Mo Kio GRC, where PM Lee is an MP.

On the right, PM Lee wears another polo shirt, and smiles into the camera. His crow's feet are more prominent, and his hair has greyed considerably.

Most Facebook users reacted favourably to PM Lee's post.

User Bee Ong-Goh commented: "Loving the lighter side of you sir!"

Another user, Ambrose Tan, said: "More and more happy and handsome."

At about 8.35pm, the post had gathered close to 4,500 reactions and over 230 shares since it was posted at around 7pm. A similar post on his Instagram page had over 13,600 likes in the same time.

PM Lee's Facebook account has over 1.2 million followers, while his Instagram account has more than 362,000.

Other politicians have also joined in, with Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam and Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin posting variations of the challenge on their Facebook page on Friday. 

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) also jumped on the bandwagon, posting its take on the challenge on Thursday evening.

A photo on the right shows a soldier carrying an updated SAR-21 rifle, and wearing the newer green pixellated uniform.

In its post, Mindef said: “Much has changed over time, but our values and what we hold dear will always stay the same.” 


The posts add to a growing number by well-known people participating in the 10-Year Challenge, which involves people sharing photos of themselves from 10 years ago next to a photo from this year, usually with a caption.

The trend went viral on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram earlier this year, with several celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Justin Baldoni and Miley Cyrus taking part. On Instagram, the hashtag #10yearchallenge has over 2.7 million posts.

Singapore actors Dennis Chew and Patricia Mok have also jumped in. Mok posted near identical black and white photos of herself, without any caption.

Chew went one step further by comparing photos of himself two decades apart.

Comedienne Michelle Chong followed suit, also sharing a photo of her from 1999 with her more current photo. She said in her post that she could not find a picture from 2009.

Actor Elvin Ng also posted on Instagram, asking if it was better to look the same, or to look different.

Popular DJ Jean Danker posted her challenge together with a separate photo showing a comment from a follower, who said she was a vampire for looking the same despite a decade having passed.

Her husband, One FM 91.3 radio host Glenn Ong, captioned his image: “Like Chinese fine wine!”