Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made a few quips about Australian food during his speech in the House of Representatives yesterday. He also noted that one of the similarities between Singapore and Australia is “We are informal and can hang loose!” Hansard is all the better for this inclusion in what is otherwise pages and pages of dry political debate. He also name-dropped Victoria Bitter as a an accompaniment to chilli crabs. The man has good taste. Lee went on to pay tribute to the grilling skills of former prime minister Tony Abbott:

“Thus, when Prime Minister Abbott visited Singapore last year I could invite him to join my constituents for an Aussie style BBQ at a public park, only to discover that he was much better at barbecuing than I was! Afterwards, we went to dinner nearby! I made sure to choose some good Australian wine, but, alas, I neglected to check the steak. After dinner, Prime Minister Abbott asked the chef where the beef was from and the chef, with Singaporean directness and candour replied, ‘From the US, Sir’! I will have to do better when Prime Minister Turnbull visits us next year.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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