Why PM Lee Hsien Loong is our favourite digital influencer of 2015

"Photo by me"

Why PM Lee Hsien Loong is our favourite digital influencer of 2015
The son of the original Key Opinion Leader has come out tops in our list of Instagram favourites, and here's why

Let's start by explaining how this story even found its roots.

While searching for leads on a possible feature on 2015's newest key opinion leaders and digital influencers in Singapore (think: @prettyfrowns, @angiefeimao and @engnatalie), this writer looked towards Facebook for possible recommendations. As soon as "Favourite local influencer/successful 'Instagrammer' of 2015?" was posted, a comment popped up by an old friend — you know, the sort you never see but who's highly responsive on socials — suggesting Lee Hsien Loong

And why not? The Prime Minister has had quite a year, what with the SG50 celebrations and the passing of his father and Singapore's first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan YewPoliticians and social media can either be a match made in heaven, or a pairing that's just waiting to combust at the slightest crack. On one hand, it's the easiest way to connect with citizens and show that you're just like any other person who enjoys flatlays. But on the other hand, the immediacy of social media can also lead to your downfall at the slightest indiscretion. While other local politicans have proven that it's better to stay away from any form of social media, PM Lee knows what works, and how to keep fans coming back.

To welcome his return from a two-week leave — which just ended on Christmas — we decide to celebrate the five best reasons (out of many) why he wins at Instagram.

1. He keeps us guessing

The #guesswhere hashtag he often employs is a clever way to promote local places you won't otherwise know existed. Whether it's a religious monument that's under the radar or the opening of a highly anticipated building, PM Lee highlights corners and crevices that go unnoticed in Singapore's concrete landscape. 

#guesswhere I'll be this evening? :) - LHL (Photo by me) Read more at

#guesswhere? - LHL (Photo by me)

Good morning! #Guesswhere? :) - LHL (Photo by me)

2. He takes copyright very, very seriously

Photos taken by PM Lee himself are credited with "Photo by me". You can always tell when it's his as well — he favours mood shots, close-ups of nature and the occassional black-and-white snap. Emotive and endearing — that's our Prime Minister.

Two years ago, I posted on a surprise visit to my office by a beautiful barn owl.  The owl came to visit us again today. :) Maybe he is taking shelter from the haze. - LHL (Photo by me)

Ant on an orchid spray. I only spotted the ant after taking the pic :). Hope you’ll have time and opportunity to enjoy nature’s beauty this weekend. Have a good one! – LHL (Photo by me)

Snapped this while chilling out last Saturday before my NDR. The ginger leaf almost looks like it has eyes! Sometimes, the right angle and light can make even the most mundane of subjects come alive. Have a good weekend, everyone! – LHL (Photo by me) #justforfun

3. His creative use of hashtags

#Guesswhere, #jalanjalan, #puddlegram, #hotelwindowview and #justforfun — the list goes on. Like most digital influencers, he's susceptible to some humble-bragging — #hotelwindowview's often used to show off the scenery while he's on an official visit overseas, while #jalanjalan's an excuse to showcase his vibrant social life.

Went to Sentosa for a #jalanjalan yesterday evening. This smiley gingerbread man greeted us the moment we stepped into the cable car. :) - LHL (Photo by me)

I am on leave till Christmas. Will post if I have anything interesting to share, but may not be as regularly as usual.  Meanwhile here is an #upsidedown #puddlegram of the Istana, taken on Thursday evening after the thunderstorm, #justforfun. :) – LHL (Photo by me) Read more at

Grateful to PM Donald Tusk, who was so kind as to offer me a lift on his plane to his hometown Gdańsk. Impressed with the drive of the Polish people as well as the serene beauty of this ancient port city. Snapped this before sunrise from my hotel balcony. – LHL #hotelwindowview

4. His impressive collection of #skyporn

PM Lee loves his collection of pictures depicting cloud-peppered skies, kaleidoscopic sunsets and dramatic hues. It's often accompanied by a little factoid about the place, or simply his sentiments on the occasion. Either way, we know for sure that the Prime Minister stops and stares for a while. 

Arrived in #Antalya yesterday for the #G20 Leaders’ Summit. - LHL (MCI Photo by Kenji)  #sunset #hotelbalcony #G20Turkey #G20LeadersSummit

Was at home yesterday evening when I heard the roar of jet engines. Managed to catch the RSAF rehearsing their flypast for the National Day Parade, including the F-16s forming the number ‘50’. :) Looking forward to this year’s parade! – LHL (Photos by me)  #NDP2015

The magic hour after sunset at the Palacio Real (Royal Palace). Shot this on my walk in #Madrid Old Town two days ago. This is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, although they do not actually live there. – LHL (Photo by me)

5. His "looking through the glass" aesthetic

Sure, Sofia Coppola has her directorial signature shots of a character looking out from the window of a moving vehicle, but for PM Lee, any glass surface will do. It's usually to document the gloomy weather, but not with a negative connotation — it's always captured in awe or anticipation. 

Another view of the #Petronas Twin Towers, reflected in the glass roof. - LHL (Photo by me)
 Just arrived in #KualaLumpur. Snapped this pic of the #Petronas Twin Towers through my #carwindow. Looking forward to attending the #ASEAN Summit over the next few days. – LHL (Photo by me)  #aseansummit #aseansummit2015

Arriving at ITE College Central for the National RC Convention - RAIN!! -LHL

Text: Adibah Isa

  • Image:
    Instagram | @leehsienloong
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