Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in stable condition in ICU

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng, religious leaders from the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) and guests observing a minute of prayer for Mr Heng at the IRO office yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng, religious leaders from the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) and guests observing a minute of prayer for Mr Heng at the IRO office yesterday.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was in a stable condition yesterday, the day after he had emergency brain surgery following a stroke.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who visited him at Tan Tock Seng Hospital's intensive care unit (ICU), said: "He was sedated. His condition is stable, but he will remain in the ICU for some time.

"He is in very good hands, like all patients at the National Neuroscience Institute."

PM Lee added that he had spoken to Mr Heng's family.

"It is a tough time for them. They are touched by the sympathy and support from so many Singaporeans, and asked me to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes. We all hope Swee Keat will have a full and smooth recovery," he said on Facebook.

Mr Heng, 54, collapsed on Thursday during a Cabinet meeting after suffering a sudden stroke.

He was taken to the hospital where doctors successfully closed a ruptured aneurysm that had caused bleeding in his brain.

MPs and grassroots leaders were told yesterday to put off their visits until a later date.

Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah said: "The family needs some space and privacy because it must obviously have been a great shock to them.''

Many Singaporeans showed up at the hospital to ask after Mr Heng's condition. A table at the hospital's Heritage Museum was overflowing with flowers, cards and gifts, and had to be expanded.

Yesterday, leaders of nine faiths from the Inter-Religious Organisation came together to pray for a smooth recovery for Mr Heng.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was at the session, said: "Life has its ups and downs for all of us but when things are down, we come together - hope, pray, support, and that's how we come up again.

"And Swee Keat, with the love of his family - his wife and two children - and with prayers of the nation, will recover and we look forward to him being back with us."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2016, with the headline 'Heng in stable condition in ICU'. Print Edition | Subscribe