In Lee Hsien Loong's latest interview with BBC's Stephen Sackur for the programme HARDtalk, Lee was quizzed on Singapore's lack of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Lee retorted immediately saying that the interviewer Mr Sackur was not restrained at all in asking him any questions, hence proving there is freedom of expression in Singapore.
Sackur though momentarily stunned, recovered quickly and repeated his question on whether PM Lee was prepared to offer wider freedoms for the Singapore press if Britain were to make these demands pre-requisites for any trade deals between Singapore and the UK.
Lee went on to deflect the pointed question by turning it on the UK and said that just as he would not presume to tell the UK press how they should operate, likewise, the UK should not be telling or deciding how the press or the country should be run in Singapore.
PM Lee went on to cite Singapore as having one of the world's fastest internet to justify the lack of censorship and highlight the easy access to dissenting views online.
Lee Hsien Loong ended off by saying that nobody had a monopoly on virtue, widsom or morals and reiterated that the world was a diverse place. If the UK or anyone else were unable to accept these differences in values and allow everybody to prosper together, it would become very difficult.