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Ho Ching mistaken for tea lady at Shangri-La

Posted on 24 April 2013

Hotel management apologises profusely

Red faces were present throughout the 2013 Shangri-La Dialogue yesterday as Ho Ching was ordered by an unwitting waiter to wipe up spilt wine. While the wife of Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong who is also the head of Temasek Holdings obliged with nary a smile, Shangri-La management were clearly mortified.

At the 2013 Singapore-Indonesia Leaders retreat. Pic stolen from PM Lee's own facbeook page.

With the Indonesian Prime Minister and his wife. Pic stolen from PM Lee’s own facbeook page.

“That white napkin was not meant to be anywhere near red wine!” said head waiter Philippe de Garcon. “It’s frightfully embarrassing that Mdm Ho now thinks that we don’t know the first thing about hospitality.”

According to attendees at the annual security dialogue, Ho later pulled the offending waiter aside and gave him pointers on how to clear up spilt fluids using just a quarter of a napkin.

This would not be a first time Ho was not recognised as the most powerful mother in Singapore. Attendees of various functions ranging from the Chingay parade to Chinese New Year celebrations noted that Ho used to be mistaken for a lion dance troupe member due to her distaste for any article of clothing remotely feminine or flattering to the female form.

Chingay 2010

PM Lee and Ho Ching at Chingay Parade 2010

“She certainly cuts a maternal figure,” said style guru Jeannie Mai. “Like many other powerful women in the political world, she doesn’t seem to mind exuding masculinity, though she does fall on the slightly dowdy side.”

Masculinity is the road to power - Angela Merkel, Wu Yi and Ho Ching.

Masculinity is the road to power – Angela Merkel, Wu Yi and Ho Ching.

“Truly, I could never tell that she was the wife of the Prime Minister” said a foreign dignitary present at the Shangri-La dialogue, who chose not to be named.

“The first time I saw her, I honestly thought the world had its second gay prime minister!”

“But after all that’s said, she has a great heart.”

Power gesture from Mdm Ho at the Institute of Policy Studies Luncheon, Wednesday July 29, 2009

Power gesture from Mdm Ho at the Institute of Policy Studies Luncheon, Wednesday July 29, 2009






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  • Anonymous

    better than Malaysian PM Najib’s wife.. overloaded with tonnes of jewelry and oversized Birkins.

    • jack


  • Asex

    This was on my ‘You Might Like’ list: “More Singaporean Men Hiring Prostitutes for Non Sexual Reasons”.

    A bit of a letdown, when you think about the Non Sexual Reasons that our Numero Uno used to marry…

  • Levin

    “The first time I saw her, I honestly thought the world had its first gay prime minister!”

    I thought Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is the first gay prime minister? Or at least first OPENLY gay prime minister.

    • Joey

      You’re right, well done. Corrected. 😉


    I am impressed with HO ching for showing magnanimity(hope my spelling correct). She did the right thing…reverse psychology in implying to the Shangrila and the MNC , the Thousands of employers that locals are NOT GOOD F and B workers…
    Pt 1. Good attitude and message from Ho Ching.
    Pt 2. White man need not better than us
    Pt 3. POOR Management …at least poor judgement and training by the hotel and the HR recruiters.
    Pt 4.The whites like to look down on ASIANS and here Madam Ho Ching is experiencing the insult!!!and i hope the LESSON is LEARNT by PAP and LIM SWEE SAY !!!
    Pt 5.Please tell us., Straits Times, Ho Ching, Lim Swee Say,what is on your minds?
    pt 7.Please tell us WHAT IF this errant waiter is a Singaporean Chinese????What and HOW will Ho Ching, Lim Swee Say, and the Hotel DO !!!TELL US Singaporeans!!!

  • Lesley Tham

    Ho Ching is a woman with true integrity.She is always dignified in every situation thrown at her.. People may say insulting things about her but she holds her calm and is so cultured…I reallly admire her. She is real and she is not afraid to be herself. She dresses not to please others. She does not need to impress. She knows she has arrived. She is a great person

    • Serialmania

      But her husband sucks…

      • Control Tower

        How could you say that?

        • Serialmania

          How can you ask me that?…

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  • Sotong Lah

    I think she should run for President of Singapore.

  • Nic Lave

    Can’t get any cooler than her.

  • Hng Hup Guan

    I can understand why. A neighbor of mine who is a tea lady in her office tells me she is a humble and kind person when she deals with the tea ladies and cleaners. She doesn’t treat them like slaves unlike some of her staff. All her criticisms aside, maybe there is more than 1 side of her we have all yet to see. So I don’t mind her looking dowdy if she is kind, I’ve seen and known ravishing female assholes. I really prefer the former. Disclaimer: I’m not a pap supporter or bootlicker. Just repeating what I’ve heard.

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  • sebastian

    seriously, having her representing Singapore prime minister wife is extremely embarrassing. I am sure one can be a nice person and have a decent taste in her dressing style. she don’t has to over dressed but she should dress with simplicity and elegance and have her grey hair covered. I seriousely don’t blame people mistaken her as a cleaning lady or tea lady. she definitely need a stylist and give Singapore a better image, you can blame people for judging her as she is representing Singapore to the world so I really hope she realized that.