back to article Singapore's PM personally programmed C++ Suduko-solver

Lots of politicians talk about the importance of wielding technology, but Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong has just put his money where his mouth is by revealing he's upset that he doesn't have time to code stuff any more. The PM did so in a speech outlining the city-state's many and enviable innovation. Along the …

  1. MrMeme

    Yeah, but can he ride a bike, wear speedos & skool a schooey?

    1. Cliff

      Does the comrade look good topless on a horse? Intelligence is overrated.

    2. david 12

      Yes, but is he a Rhodes scholar, with an excelent economics degree, like the bloke with the bike and the speedos?

      1. Alfred

        He was Senior Wrangler, which is far more impressive than Rhodes Scholar and negates the need for speedos; as I recall, that lot are happy to run the quads naked.

        Icon not for pedantry, but for relevance in general :)

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Amusingly, one of the selection criteria for the Rhodes Scholarship is "sympathy for and protection of the weak".


    Open data

    They need to do that. The country's internet censorship is one of the two things I don't like about it (the other being national service- although if they allow conscientious objection, I wouldn't object).

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Open data

      I do believe most countries are headed towards internet censorship. Not just for socially unacceptable things like child porn but also political and prossibly religious. Not just in the already "closed" countries but the supposed bastions of freedom.. the 5-eyes.

    2. AbelSoul

      Re: if they allow conscientious objection, I wouldn't object

      I would.

      1. Stumpy Silver badge

        Re: if they allow conscientious objection, I wouldn't object

        ... but you'd have to be conscientous about it.

  3. Paul 129


    No fair! We only get ...... um people ̶w̶h̶o̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶b̶a̶r̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶m̶a̶d̶ we're kinda embarrassed about.

    Hey how about a trade? You'll get a good exchange rate on yours

  4. Dr Scrum Master


    Typical Singaporean programmer... spends some time programming then expects to be elevated to a management position.

    Guess the number of native-born Singaporeans in my Singapore development office?


    1. Jeff Minter

      Re: Typical

      I wouldn't admit to basically foreigners displacing Singaporeans of jobs in public.

  5. Lee D Silver badge


    How many of the government ministers in the UK assigned to education, economy, digital services, etc. are actually officially qualified in that area? It's not even unusual to see someone be a minister of education one moment and then be minister of energy the next, or whatever, and I very much doubt they have any actual qualification in either subject.

    And isn't this is the push that the government are trying to give young people? Get the skills first, then maybe the job will come along.

    I don't get party-based politics at all, but anything that can end up with a former minister-of-whatever running the NHS or deciding children's future on the basis of zero experience, qualification or skills in those areas can't be a good idea. Yes there's a difference between being a teacher, running a school, running a borough education system and running the national education system, but surely you need SOMETHING more than just having been a minister before?

  6. hammarbtyp

    Now there's a politician I could vote for

    Pity he lives in Singapore. My local MP probably thinks C++ is woman's clothing size

    It should be mandatory that all leaders know at least two programming languages (and no Mr Cameroon, Miliband,Farage et al, HTML and Word do not count)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Now there's a politician I could vote for

      Let's be fair here. ATM I'd settle for them knowing that HTML & Word don't count.

    2. Dave 62

      Re: Now there's a politician I could vote for

      I'd rather they knew a bit of physics, chemistry, biology or even economics.

  7. hammarbtyp

    If a political party could choose a programming language...

    Tory - Cobol - Traditional programming values plus tends only used on Mainframes so that poor people can be stopped from using it

    Labour - Java - solves everything, but at a cost

    Lib Dem - Scratch - A language for eveyone which never quite seems to do anything useful

    UKIP - Assembler on a ICL mainframe - harking back to when Britain had an empire, before these pesky foreigners mucked it up for us

    SNP - ML - Scottish languages for Scottish people

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: If a political party could choose a programming language...

      Good one. As well as an upvote, Have one of these ^

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: If a political party could choose a programming language...

      At least you'd have diversity. Here in the States it would either be Flash or Windows Finger Paint.

    3. Arnold Lieberman

      Re: If a political party could choose a programming language...

      Green - PROLOG. No-one understands what goes on inside and the results can be unpredictable. Best way to increase productivity is with green cuts.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: If a political party could choose a programming language...

      I wonder which party would use LOGO :)

  8. Nigel Cro

    "HTML and Word do not count"

    Damn!! that's two paragraphs gone from my CV!

  9. Tom 38 Silver badge


    I guess he doesn't like his Dad...

  10. Fihart

    Sure you aren't....

    ....confusing him with North Korean Dear Leader ?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward Israel? You mean offering a large tech company a quarter of a billion dollars to raze down an old palestinian village and provide tech jobs for the select few? No, nothing quite compares to Israel.

  12. archengel46


    I believe his name is either Hsien Loong if you want to be chummy or Mr. Lee.

    Unless he likes to be called Loong when being referred to by the IT community as that translates to "dragon".

  13. Christian Berger

    The language is kinda unimportant there

    Nobody expects that PM to do feats in software design, though a talent writing elegant computer code might translate into a talent writing elegant legal code.

    What's good about this is that he obviously understands at least some basic ideas about computers. He would be someone who you can tell why election computers are a horrible idea. He would understand why DRM cannot do the things it claims to do. He would perhaps even understand why the computer might bring a new era of efficiency which will mean that there's a lot less work to be done.

    A PM has to have the big picture and for that he has to have some broad experience. Having used a computer, and even if this was just by writing some C++ program, gives him part of this experience.

  14. FozzyBear

    An intelligent poltician

    Its quite sad that this sparks such a debate and cynical ( or are they hopeful) views. If only there was more politicians that like him with "useful" skills and degrees, rather than the mindless suit wearing drones we are all accustomed too.

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