PM Lee going on leave for 9 days

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picture credit: Ho Ching's FB

By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

The PMO issued a statement today (11 Jun) stating that PM Lee would be on leave for 9 days (http://www.pmo.gov.sg/mediacentre/prime-minister-lee-hsien-loong-leave).

It said, “Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be on leave from 11 to 19 June 2016. During his absence, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security will be Acting Prime Minister.”

Americans scrutinize their President for taking long vacations

According to an online report (http://samuel-warde.com/2016/01/hey-conservatives-lets-compare-obama-and-bush-vacations), Americans, especially those supporters from the opposing political party, would scrutinize their presidents for having long vacations.

John Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College in California, said that presidential vacations have been drawing more scrutiny in recent decades, beginning with Ronald Reagan, who was accused of not spending enough time at work by supporters of Democratic Party.

However, as Bloomberg has reported, American presidents don’t actually have the luxury of getting away from it all during vacations.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest told the media last year when President Obama went for his vacation, “As we always say, the president will be traveling to Massachusetts with an array of communications equipment and national security advisers and others to ensure that he has the capacity to make the kinds of decisions that are required for the commander-in-chief.”

“If there’s a need for the president to return to the White House, it’s not a long flight from Martha’s Vineyard back to Washington, D.C,” he added.

Indeed, even on vacation, the American president would constantly be updated with briefings.

President Obama being briefed while on holiday in Hawaii in 2009

 

President Obama being briefed by National Security Advisor Susan Rice during his Presidential Daily Briefing while on vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Mass, in 2013
President Obama being briefed by National Security Advisor Susan Rice during his Presidential Daily Briefing while on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass, in 2013

Last December, CBS News reported that compared to past presidents, President Obama takes few vacations (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/compared-to-past-presidents-obama-takes-few-vacations). Since the beginning of his presidency starting from Jan 2009, President Obama has taken 161 days of vacation or 23 days a year on average.

It’s not known if PM Lee would still be working like the way President Obama did while on vacations or he would let DPM Teo Chee Hean handle everything as Acting PM, like what the PMO statement said.