PM Lee says 'Baa, baa, black sheep' during sound check with US vice president Kamala Harris

She replied: 'Have you any wool?'

Belmont Lay | August 24, 2021, 01:50 PM

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Singapore is occupying the front row seat along with many countries in the theatre of global power shift with an ascendant China on one side and the incumbent world leader United States on the other.

But geopolitics is not all business -- even though having the second-in-command from the world's most powerful nation pay a visit is a sure sign of reengaging with Asia Pacific.

At a joint press conference between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and U.S. vice president Kamala Harris at the Istana on Aug. 23, the lighter side of engaging with a representative of a superpower was on show.

Light-hearted moment during sound check

A clip of the sound check portion before the press conference proper went live has been released online.

You can watch the clip here.

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Ice breaker

It showed Harris and PM Lee, both po-faced and preparing to speak.

But they first had to make sure their equipment were functioning as they should before addressing a global audience in the millions.

The sound check exchange as seen on video went like this:

Voice off-camera: "And let's do a microphone check. Madam vice president, if you can start with you, please."

Kamala Harris: "1 2 3 4 5"

Voice off-camera: Prime minister?

PM Lee: Hello, hello. Baa, baa, black sheep."

[Laughter all around room.]

[Camera shutters go off in a frenzy.]

Kamala Harris: [While laughing] Have you any wool?

Voice off-camera: Alright, we're good.

Following PM Lee's ice breaking nursery rhyme sound check, the tension in the room visibly dissipated immediately.

Not in official video

This behind-the-scenes moment between the two leaders was not broadcast live.

The formality of the live press con and the exchange of pleasantries between Harris and PM Lee can be viewed here:

It is not known where the sound check clip originated from.

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