"It does not matter whether you are young or old, rich or poor. Your every act of kindness and generosity will impact someone, often in ways we may not be able to imagine."
- Encouraging donors at the Launch of President's Challenge 2006
"Being a good leader does not always mean being a popular leader... Sometimes politicians have to get out in front of public opinion, in the conviction that they are making the right decision and that eventually public opinion will catch up with them."
- At the Asia 21 Young Leaders' Summit, Oct 2007
"... there will always be noise in the environment, you can't stop it. You don't do it because you want to leave a legacy. You do the best you can."
- On stepping down from what some deem an ‘uneventful’ presidency
"I'm not going into Facebook and tell stories. No point. Not all people on Facebook or whatever you call it, are honest people. Some of them are very critical of things without responsibility."
- On what he would be doing after stepping down.
"As long as we remain united and determined in both purpose and deed, there is no reason why we cannot continue to succeed, as we have done over the past five decades."
- At the swearing-in of new Cabinet, May 2011
"In all you do, always have the interest of our people at heart and never forget to show compassion to those who are less fortunate than you."
- Addressing newly awarded President's Scholars in 2011
"Beyond that what stands out is how we as a people and government have shown our ability to develop a society that lives in harmony, cultural differences not having led to intolerance and our multi-lingualism making for intellectual enrichment. Above all, without natural resources we have given our people a better life, than what we inherited at Independence."
- Farewell speech, 2011
"Our choices will determine Singapore’s future in the 21st century. If we are fearful and reluctant to adapt to new challenges, we will lose ground amidst a changing world, and Singapore will become a nation divided by wealth, race and religion. But if we respond boldly and creatively to our challenges, we will make Singapore secure and prosperous, harmonious and cohesive – a country that Singaporeans are proud of and love, and that other nations respect and admire."
- At the opening of Parliament, Nov 2006