In an interview with local media this week, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reflected on his 10 years leading the country, sharing on the challenges and issues he faces. He also spoke about his experience dabbling with social media. Here’s my take on what he shared with regards to social media in plain speak since it’s my area of expertise:

“I think it makes me a lot more conscious in pitching what I want to say, to ask myself: How will I distil this down in a form which somebody can digest on Facebook or Instagram?”

Plain Speak: How should I post on social media to best present myself in a good light.

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“On Twitter it is very hard. It’s 140 characters, I can just put a bit, but please click on this bit.ly to read more.”

Plain Speak: I cannot write succinctly, so I cheat using bit.ly.

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“But on Facebook, you can say a bit more, on Instagram, if you choose the right picture, the picture can tell a lot of stories.”

Plain Speak: Facebook is to write story book. Instagram is picture book.

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“So it makes me a lot more conscious of the way I boil down my messages down into small chunks, and also the timing and the sense of the messages. You cannot always be putting out long, learned dissertations on some cosmic issue or other.”

Plain Speak: Cannot write too chim even though I am very smart (The Prime Minister has a first class honours in mathematics from Trinity College, University of Cambridge and also has a Diploma in Computer Science (with distinction), plus a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University). 

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“There are times when you have to be light-hearted. There are times when you see a beautiful sunset, you share it with people and hope that they enjoy it with you.”

Plain Speak: Why so serious?

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“When you catch an owl somewhere in the Istana, maybe somebody is interested to see the owl. It’s something unusual and personal. And I think that is helpful.”

Plain Speak: When I post picture of an owl on social media, it is breaking news in Singapore. It is because I am Lee Hsien Loong, a true social influencer. 

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“But it’s necessary, through Facebook, Instagram or whatever the next new thing is coming – I’ve not gone into Snapchat yet – to have not just light banter, but really some serious response, serious content as well.”

Plain Speak: Snapchat is too light weight for me, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Next. 

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