DPM Tharman: The Man Rumoured to Sleep Very Little

Read the papers?

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister THARMAN SHANMUGARATNAM was at the second day of the SG50+ CONFERENCE organized by the Institute of Policy Studies and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and he said that as Singapore looks towards the future, the Government will need to focus on planning for the long term, and holding a strong centre in society.



Hee, so long as it’s him asking, my answer will be, “Okie! I’m gladly be your centre!

Yea, guess you could say I’m having a teeny weeny bit of a crush on our DPM. But hey, I know I ain’ the only one!

Check these out! Even guys have man-crushes on him, bwahwahwah!





Anyway, back to the SG50+ Conference, PM Lee was the guest for the first day. You can read the transcript of the dialogue HERE. Or if watching vids is more your kind of thing, you can also watch the highlights HERE.

Despite being in court stand the previous days and also being under the weather, PM Lee still managed to keep his wits and humor around him. Read that he even teased the SG50+ Conference audience with an ELECTION JOKE, hurhur!

(Yea, PM was NGERNGED! Did you read THAT BLOG POST that revealed how Hamster Hui Hui said Roy had asked her to do some flaming to aggravate the matter, and that Roy’s end goal is to seek asylum? I wish I’ve some power to wish this pair away! Like really really far away!)


Let’s get back to more pleasant things. Or in this case, more pleasant man!



I really really really love the way this man thinks!

He always comes across as calm, cool, collected, very reasonable and very open. He’s able to articulate himself so very clearly, and I love that, despite how brilliant he really must be, he has always chosen the simplest of words and say things in the most straightforward manner.


At the SG50+ CONFERENCE, he’d said,

You must have that culture starting from very young, pre school, primary school, where kids speak up. You don’t need to always make sense, you don’t need to speak logically, but you’ve got to have a mind of your own. There’s something to it. I believe in that. What it implies for political culture and systems – you need some humility on this.


A WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE was floating around last week. The article was written by Fareed Zakaria who writes a foreign affairs column for The Post. He is also the host of CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS and a contributing editor for THE ATLANTIC. Quite a known personality in his field.

Here, let me share parts of the article.


Fareed wrote,

In thinking about the United States’ enduring racial divide, I found myself intrigued by lessons from an unlikely source: Singapore. To help prepare for a trip there next week (as a guest of the National University of Singapore), I asked the country’s deputy prime minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, what he regarded as the country’s biggest success. I imagined that he would talk about economics, since the city-state’s per capita GDP now outstrips that of the United States, Japan and Hong Kong. He spoke instead about social harmony.


DPM Tharman had gone on to speak about what’s perhaps one of the most intrusive policies in Sinagpore. When asked about how Singapore achieve social harmony, DPM had said we have done so by mandating ethnic diversity in all of its neighborhoods. More than 80% of Singaporeans live in public housing. Every block, precinct and enclave has ethnic quotas.

The most intrusive social policy in Singapore has turned out to be the most important,” he says. “It turns out that when you ensure every neighborhood is mixed, people do everyday things together, become comfortable with each other, and most importantly, their kids go to the same schools. When the kids grow up together, they begin to share a future together.”



DPM Tharman had raised this same point when he was at the ST. GALLEN SYMPOSIUM in Switzerland in May.

He was interviewed by BBC HARDTALK presenter Stephen Sackur. Now in case you didn’t know, STEPHEN SACKUR is a rather famous and yes, award-winning too, journalist, with a career that spans over three decades. He’s mostly known for his no-nonsense style, caustic tongue and the balls to ask inconvenient questions to the bigwigs of the world. In fact, a few world leaders are known to decline interviews coz they ain’t certain they can ‘handle’ him.

Oh, closer to our shores, Sackur has interviewed OUR OWN KISHORE MAHBUBANI and also our not-so-friendly neighbour DR MAHATHIR.


Some have said that Sackur had reined his tongue in a little during the St. Gallen Symposium interview with DPM Tharman, but most have said that it was our DPM who had managed to give as good as he got and all the while, remaining the ultimate gentleman. And a very smart one at that too.

Amongst other issues (like sensitive flowers, use of tenses and stuff, hurhur!), he’s discussed Singapore’s economic success, social policies and safety nets as well.


If you haven’t watched it, YOU HAVE TO. It’s really well worth the 48 minutes and 50 seconds, I promise. Or your money back.


He was soooooo gooooooood!

I was practically bursting with pride. Hey, sitting right there and handling the questions so well and representing our nation so impressively is our DPM!

His voice’s so lovely too! Very low, and these’s something akin to toasty-warm melty chocolate kind of sexiness in his tone. I think I can hear him talk all night!

Me? Yea, am totally smitten!

Smitten while watching the interview. Smitten right after watching the interview. Smitten as I was reading all the articles and social media posts about the interview. And even more smitten when I was back-tracking and reading up more on the man, hee!


And his trampoline comeback! Whoa! I sooooo… wanted to scream at that!



PM Lee too posted about the interview on Facebook.


If you’d rather read, then HERE’s the transcript. But haiyo, go watch lah! You won’t get the same flavour if you just read, and part of the fun comes from the volleying between Sackur and DPM.

And yes, how can you not wanna listen to that voice? And look into those warm eyes? *fangirl mode*


If you really really really can’t spare the 48 minutes and 50 secs and don’t have time to read the entire transcript, then at least check out 10 TIMES DPM THARMAN MADE US WANT TO STAND UP AND CLAP FOR HIM. Hehe, that’s extracting the top 10 St. Gallen quotes for you.

Hehe, wanna compare those 10 quotes with 10 choice quotes picked up by FIVE STARS AND A MOON?

Or if MOTHERSHIP is more your kind of news sites, then check out their article on how BBC’s STEPHEN SACKUR GETS SUCKER-PUNCHED BY DPM THARMAN.


And guess what?! Singaporeans ain’t the only ones who love love love DPM Tharman. He was admitted to the GROUP OF 30, an international consultative group made up of 30 leading financiers and academics, way back in 2008.

And of course, he was appointed the Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial (IMF) Committee back in 2011. Seriously, what an honour! We are but a tiny speck of an island. Surely, they didn’t swing that appointment in Singapore’s way coz of whatever strategically politically reasons, or coz they wanted to give us ‘face‘. Nay, none of those. It must have been that they see how Singapore or in this case, DPM Tharman in particular, can add value.

He’s so impressive that there’re people saying how he should be SUCCEEDING CHRISTINE LAGARDE as IMF’s Managing Director. That post’s nearly-always ‘dominated’ by Europeans, especially the French, it seems. So, it will be quite a feat if DPM does become the next person to head IMF. (But… he’s a very very modest man, and has made self-deprecating remarks to brush off the suggestion whenever it’s brought up. Hee!)



He was even named Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney back in 2013!

And… I read a near-purrrfect description about DPM Tharman HERE!

Being selected for leadership roles in the world’s most important multilateral financial institutions doesn’t come from luck. It comes from hard work and recognition that you can and will contribute.

Minister Tharman personifies what Singapore can be as it evolves: urbane, sophisticated, caring, worldly and diverse.


Couldn’t resist uploading this photo of his to share. Why? Hehe, coz he’s wearing a (PINK!) U polo from NTUC! I have a pink one too, woohoo!



Recommended Reads


(Updated 23/9) Saw some people searching for the transcript of this interview, decided to publish a post for that. Check it out HERE.


Image Credits: wikipedia, twitter.com/lupcheong, gotmoneygothoney.blogspot, mas.gov.sg, youtube/StGallenSymposium, Straits Times, Young NTUC

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