Despite being a well-known public figure, there are always things about PM Lee that surprise us. Take a look at the list and see if any of it has made you do a double take.
1. He learned the Jawi script since he was five
Not much is said about the tidbit, but according to the biography of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, he wanted PM Lee to learn Malay in the original Jawi script. The reason? He thought it would be helpful to use “on the local or international scene”.
When I was five, my only habit was walking into a glass door accidentally.
This means that PM Lee speaks fluent English, Mandarin, and Malay. Word is, he also has considerable knowledge in Russian.
2. He used to play the clarinet
Academics aside, PM Lee also has a musical background. During his time at National Junior College, he played the unconventional clarinet. His mentor was none other than the Associate Professor Ho Hwee Long, a beloved and respected figure in the music field.
3. He was one of the recipients of the President’s Scholarship in 1970
Just so you know, PM Lee was also awarded the Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship in 1971 to study mathematics at Cambridge University.
4. He was one of the top mathematics undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge University
It’s safe to say that PM Lee is a math whiz. Because, word is, the undergraduate mathematics course in Trinity is a killer. Besides his achievements in the numbers field, PM Lee also graduated with a B.A. with first-class honours and a diploma with distinction in computer science in 1974.
5. If he weren’t in politics, he would be a lecturer
You would think that if PM Lee weren’t in politics, he would work in the computer science field. But that’s not the case at all. During a Q&A session on Facebook, he revealed that he would like to work as a teacher or lecturer, citing, “It is fun to interact with young people.”
Hmm, maybe a Computer Science lecturer?
6. He shares a birthday with Big Nose Hyung
Or should I say, Race Starter. South-Korean comedian Ji Suk-jin and PM Lee were both born on the 10th of February; the former was born in 1966, while the latter 1952. I bet this tidbit tickles your funny bone — especially if you’re a hardcore Running Man fan.
7. He’s into coding
By now, most of us would know that PM Lee has a coding background, but did you know that he’s the only world leader who can code?
Back on May 2015, PM Lee revealed in a Facebook post that he wrote a Sudoku solver. Not only did he share his passion, but his coding chops were also clearly shown.
When he visited the Facebook headquarters in America, Mark Zuckerberg gave him an artwork box adorned with the lines from a computer programme PM Lee himself wrote!
If you want to poke around his creation, here’s the link to the file on Google Drive. It’s official: geek is the new cool.
8. He’s the highest paid Prime Minister in the world
Despite taking a 28% pay cut, PM Lee still remains the highest paid political leader in the world. According to various sources, he was earning S$3,870,000 a year between 2008 to 2012. Currently, he earns S$2,200,000 a year.
Take a look at the infographic above, he’s even knocked Barack Obama out of the park.
Did this list surprise you? What are some interesting things you think we should know about PM Lee? Don’t forget to let us know on Facebook!
Source: From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 & Biography Your Dictionary
(Featured image credit: World Economic Forum)
Also read: What Would Singapore Government Agencies’ Slogans Be If They Were Honest?