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Valar Qringaomis

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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Hsien Loong in the Sandcrawler

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy" - Winston Churchill

***

Singapore targets 'creative ecosystem'

"Singapore aims to create an open, vibrant economy and promote a spirit of inquiry - vital ingredients for the success of its growing interactive and digital media industry, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said...

Addressing an audience that included Star Wars creator George Lucas and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, he said: "The magic lies not in the equipment or processes, but in the creative spark that resides in human minds... These can only light up in an environment which inspires people, promotes creativity and helps people to realise their dreams and to dream big.

"That is what we are trying to create here."

His speech, which kicked off with an emphatic "May the Force be with you", included several other Star Wars references.

The welcome party for Lee at the Sandcrawler - named after a moving fortress in the franchise - also comprised Darth Vader and several Stormtroopers. Lee later unveiled a statue of Yoda, the Jedi Master."


Somehow I read that he unveiled a statue of Lee Kuan Yew, the ex-Minister Mentor.

Anyhow, I'd been looking for a transcript of the speech for a while to see how bad the jokes were. Unfortunately the government speech repositories are in a mess:

- eGov's Singapore e-Government Speeches stops in June 2013
- What used to be STARS and is still called such by the Archives, and anyway it's not there (as of the time I publish this)
- SG Press Centre (which we are directed to via gov.sg for "recent press releases and ministerial speeches" ) does not have a speeches section and doesn't seem to have speeches

In the end I found it on the PMO website - by Googling "lee hsien loong" "may the force".


Anyhow:

"Ms Kathleen Kennedy
President, Lucasfilm

Mr George Lucas
Founder, Lucasfilm

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

May the Force be with you!...

In Star Wars, the Sandcrawler is a slow moving fortress, home to the Jawas, scavengers – what we in Singapore call “karang guni” or “rag and bone” men. But in real life, this Sandcrawler building is anything but slow moving or a home for desert crawlers. It is the base in Asia for Lucasfilm in a rapidly developing industry; a cutting edge office equipped with latest technology, and a training ground of young Jedis under your Jedi Masters Programme...

I like to thank Lucasfilm for your trust and confidence. We started this dream “a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” at the Skywalker Ranch in Marin County"


I'm not sure if we should be happy that there were only 2 Star Wars references.

Some other lines he could've used:

“I’m Lee Hsien Loong, I’m here to dole out massive tax breaks.”

"These aren't the foreign talent you're looking for."

"Johor Bahru: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."

"You just sold Lucasfilm to Disney. I have a very bad feeling about this."

"Don't be too proud of this modern office building you've constructed. The ability to erect infrastructure is insignificant next to the power of Creativity."
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