US President Obama mispronounces Lee Kuan Yew’s name during White House welcome


(Photo: Associated Press)

US President Barack Obama welcomed Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the US at an arrival ceremony on 2 August at the White House.

But the US President’s address during the red-carpet greeting was not without a small gaffe.

According to the Washington Times, the US President mispronounced the name of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew.

Describing Singapore’s progress, Obama said, “In less than a generation, under the vision and stewardship of Prime Minister Lee Kew, er, Wan, er, Lee, Lee Kuan Yew, Singaporeans transformed their nation from third world to first.”

The US president chuckled at his mistake, while Lee briefly glanced away.

Before that, the US President managed to make Lee laugh when he described the APEC Summit tradition as “dressing in shirts that are somewhat colourful, a tradition we will reserve only for those summits that we are not duplicating today”.

You can watch the moment below: