Singapore PM finally taps into Facebook, Twitter

April 20, 2012

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joined Facebook and Twitter on Friday to better connect with citizens who have increasingly vented their frustrations with his government on social media.

Lee, 60, said he decided to "join the fun" and set up a Facebook page with pictures going back to his childhood.

He also launched a Twitter account after being encouraged by cabinet colleagues who were already using the two social networking platforms.

"I hope you will find my Facebook page interesting. I will use it to talk about some of the things I am doing, and thinking about, but I would also like to hear from you," he said in his first post, signed with the initials LHL.

With the mainstream Singapore media widely seen as pro-government, an increasing number of Singaporeans have gone online to complain about everything from an influx of foreign workers to breakdowns in the metro train network.

The ruling People's Action Party, in power since 1959, suffered its worst setback in general elections in May 2011, winning an all-time low of 60 percent of the vote.

News portals and social media played a crucial role in shaping the political debate.

Lee's Facebook page surpassed 10,000 "likes" within hours while his Twitter account had several thousand followers.

His first tweet under the name "@leehsienloong" simply said "Just launched my Facebook and Twitter pages" and included the Facebook pagelink.

Lee received scorn from some followers.

"It's about time you come down from your Ivory Tower and touch the Ground," wrote one Facebook member who identified himself as Raul Panday.

Ten Kuet Fui Brovo wrote: "It's a good platform for you to connect with the ground, especially the young and restless."

The prime minister, in office since 2004, is the son of Singapore's first leader Lee Kuan Yew, 88, who retired from the cabinet after last year's polls but remains a member of parliament.

Explore further: Facebook launches Web page devoted to online safety

Related Stories

Facebook sued for $1 billion over Intifada page

April 2, 2011

Facebook and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg have been hit with a lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion in damages over a page on the social network which called for a "Third Intifada" against Israel.

Facebook launches page for journalists

April 6, 2011

Facebook has launched a media resource page to help journalists use the social network as a reporting tool and better connect with their audience.

Social media open up Singapore political debate

April 22, 2011

When the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) introduced a fresh-faced 27-year-old woman as one of its candidates for next month's elections, it was hoping to generate buzz among young voters.

Facebook sidelines contested Merck profile page

November 29, 2011

Facebook will sideline a Merck page at the social network until a pair of US and German companies work out which one gets the online address, a source familiar with the matter told AFP.

Recommended for you

On soft ground? Tread lightly to stay fast

October 8, 2015

These findings, reported today, Friday 9th October, in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomechanics, offer a new insight into how animals respond to different terrain, and how robots can learn from them.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.