July 20, 2022

Home Affairs Minister Shanmugam brings dumbbell to radio interview

By brit

SINGAPORE – Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam carves out 30 to 45 minutes a few times each week to exercise – even during a radio interview if he has to.

On Wednesday, (July 20) he brought his own dumbbell to an interview with OneFM 91.3 at the SPH Media Trust office in Toa Payoh.

Together with radio deejays Angelique Teo and Mark van Cuylenburg, also known as the Flying Dutchman, Mr Shanmugam did squats with his dumbbell midway through the conversation, which centred on his fitness regime and Singapore’s tough stance against drugs.

The squats were followed by a round of push-ups on the studio floor.

While he has never been a couch potato – as a child his father used to wake him up at 5am to exercise – Mr Shanmugam said his regime comprised lot of cardiovascular exercises like running until his knees started giving him problems in his mid-50s.

Realising that people in their 50s and 60s begin to lose muscle mass and bone density, he decided to take up weights and resistance exercises for the first time in his life.

In August last year, Mr Shanmugam uploaded on Facebook a video of himself deadlifting 105kg that has since been viewed more than 275,000 times.

He said he started posting his exercises on social media to encourage others to exercise too.

With Singapore’s ageing population, many here will live longer, but the question is what kind of quality of life there will be, and whether it is going to be a healthier life, he said.

“What’s the point of living an extra five years if you’re going to be on, you know, a lot of support systems? You want to be able to enjoy it,” he said on national radio.

“And I would say to you: Exercise. So I put it out on social media as well, said if I can do it, others can do it.”

Once after stretching inappropriately, he developed a problem with his lower back. The injury was not serious, and went away after he went to a yoga trainer and did more therapeutic stretching.