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Former PM Lee to PhD student: Do you have a boyfriend?

September 6, 2011 - 12:22am


PHOTOS: Zaobao

SHE thought she had asked a straightforward question on fostering social cohesiveness to former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew last night.

Miss Joan Sim, 27, (above, right) a PhD student at Nanyang Technological University's School of Biological Sciences, expected an equally direct reply.

Instead, the elder statesman spoke about the ageing population and the declining fertility rate here, before firing a string of rather personal questions to Miss Sim, who said she did not have a boyfriend, and would finish her PhD in two years.

Then, Mr Lee drew attention to the biological clock and a woman's child-bearing years, to loud laughter from the 1,700-strong audience.



'As far as I'm concerned, if she does her work as an MP, she looks after her constituents, she makes sensible speeches, she's making a contribution, her private life is her life, that's that.'

Former PM Lee has forgotten what he had said earlier in response to having gay MPs in Parliament.

Whether Ms Joan Sim has a boyfriend or not or is married or unmarried is none of his business. Her private life has been taken out of context and now put under the public spotlight. What's worse is that it drew laughter from a simple-minded crowd.

If I were Joan, I would have had my last say and put the old man in his proper place. People become the subject of laughter because they are too weak in the face of critical attacks


in fact I felt no sly for the lady student.

Perhaps she has been putting all efforts in her studies till Phd without letting relationships interfare her studies... whats wrong...

If I were her, I will challege Lee back by asking "is there anything wrong about it?", "are you encourging relationships during our studies?"....

She got shock is becoz she had never been thrown questions... and especially such question...

Lee says "get a boyfriend and complete Phd", she should steady her mind and question back...."what next? should "we" (married) help SG to gain population growth? or should "we" start to help ecomoics 1st?".... "but helps population growth "we" may not have a happy ending as Tan says we may have poor economics coming leh..."

What ever it is....I have learnt Lee slowly and while you are talking......prepare answers in my mind and question back anytime....WTF

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