Singapore minister sheepishly admits cotton does not come from sheep

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 03 2020 07:51 AM

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean minister has sheepishly admitted to saying that cotton came from animals rather than plants in a slip-up during an interview that triggered bleats of mockery online.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing made the error in a video interview on Saturday while attempting to explain tiny Singapore's reliance on foreign trade. 

He gave face masks -- which are widely used in the city-state to fight the spread of the coronavirus -- as an example, suggesting there were not many components that Singapore could produce itself. 

"(We) don't have too many sheeps in Singapore to produce cotton," he said. 

Internet users quickly lined up lambast him over the mistake. 

"Baba black sheep have you any wool? Simple nursery rhymes to remember ok," said one Facebook comment.

It was not long before Chan cottoned on to the error, and said he had a "good laugh" when he realized what he had done. 

"To any one (especially young children) watching the video -- cotton definitely doesn’t come from sheep, it comes from cotton plants!" he said in a Facebook post.

"I should catch up on some sleep," he added -- prompting a netizen to respond: "I heard counting sheep helps."

It was not Chan's first virus-related gaffe. 

In February was criticized over a leaked recording in which he said panic buyers were behaving like "idiots" during a closed-door meeting with members of a commerce chamber. 

cla/sr/fox

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