It’s amusing to see the Singapore newspapers have not run the complete BBC interview with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The broadsheet Straits Times and the freesheet Today have not published the last question asked in the interview, which can be heard in a five-and-a-half-minute audio clip on the BBC World Service website.
The interviewer said: “Finally, Prime Minister, I read that you are apparently the highest paid head of government in the world. Your salary is about four or five times what President Obama gets. Are you worth all that money?”
PM Lee laughed and said: “I am not comparing myself and I don’t look at these rankings.We go on a system which is open, honest, transparent – what is the job worth, what is the quality of the person whom you want. We need the best people for the job and these are jobs where you make decisions which are worth billions of dollars. And you cannot do that if you are pretending and you just say, ‘Well, we are all in it for the love of King and Country’. We want it to be honest, we want people not to come in for the money. But at the same time the sacrifice cannot be too great. And at times like these, you want the best possible government you can have.”
Why on earth did the Straits Times and Today censor the Prime Minister’s interview?
The Prime Minister did not hesitate to answer the question.
So why did the Singapore newspapers not run the question and the answer?
It looks silly because people visiting the BBC World Service website are likely to come across the interview and discover that the Singapore media are still censoring the news.