Minister of Manpower and Second Minister of Home Affairs Josephine Teo expressed personal remorse for controversial comments made during an interview with the Straits Times back in 2016.
When asked about her views on the notion that having children requires having a flat first, one which has resulted in young citizens not getting their flats early enough to have children, Teo, who oversees the National Population and Talent Division said “You need a very small space to have sex.”
Her words caused a firestorm of controversy on the internet with many netizens taking Teo to task for her crude and insensitive remarks. It even sparked a viral hashtag #SexInSmallPlaces which trended on Twitter.
Teo subsequently responded on her Facebook page, saying that social media may not have interpreted her comment accurately.
Now nearly three years later, in an interview with Straits Times journalist Sumiko Tan, Teo reveals that she should not have said the comment.
Teo explained that the comment was “meant as a private joke”. However, she also acknowledged that “nothing is really private anymore” given the public scrutiny she receives as a minister.