Good wishes from colleagues and residents to Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat

Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat was discharged from Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Saturday (June 25) after suffering from a stroke more than six weeks ago.
Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat was discharged from Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Saturday (June 25) after suffering from a stroke more than six weeks ago.PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF HENG SWEE KEAT

Great to have you back, sir!

Such greetings, nearly 2,000 of them, flooded the Facebook page of Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday after he posted for the first time about his recovery from a stroke and thanked all who had supported him over the last six weeks.

He described the last few weeks as the toughest in his life.

In a video that accompanied the post, Mr Heng is seen walking on his own and sharing lighthearted conversations with the medical staff who aided his recovery.

His post received more than 18,000 likes and was shared more than 4,000 times. The video itself had more than 260,000 views.

"He looks fabulous considering the seriousness of his ill health," wrote Ms Indira Iswaran on her comment to his post.

Many urged him to not rush back to work, but instead focus on getting well - a sentiment shared by many of his colleagues, even as they described his quick recovery as amazing.

"I think it's a good sign that he's able to be discharged so early. I'm glad that the recovery has (gone) beyond what we can imagine. I hope we can give him time for him to fully recover," Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said at a community event yesterday.

"He's an integral part of our team and we need to make sure that he can recover as quickly as possible and come back to work."

Mr Heng has held several high-profile positions in the past few years since being elected as MP in the Tampines GRC in 2011, including the post of Education Minister, and he has been identified as a core member of the fourth generation of political leaders.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan also advised Mr Heng, who started his career in the public sector as a police officer after being awarded a Singapore Police Force scholarship, to pace himself.

"His residents in Tampines and his work in MOF are adequately covered by fellow colleagues and he should just focus 100 per cent on his health and recovery," he said in a Facebook post.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who was an eye surgeon before he entered politics and one of three doctors along with Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and Minister of State for Education and Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary in Cabinet who tended to him when he collapsed, called his recovery "miraculous".

"I would not have dared to hope for such a miraculous quick recovery on that fateful evening as we discussed the emergency treatment options," he wrote in a Facebook post.

He added: "Told Swee Keat that God obviously has plans for him! But first let's give him some time to make a full recovery."

WATCH THE VIDEO

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat thanks hospital staff http://str.sg/4wWh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 26, 2016, with the headline 'Good wishes from colleagues and residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe