SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong dropped by Tanjong Pagar Community Club (CC) on Saturday afternoon to join well-wishers leaving cards and gifts for his father, ailing former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
On a large banner saying "Get well soon, Mr Lee Kuan Yew", PM Lee wrote: "Dear Papa, Hope you get better!"
PM Lee's wife, Ms Ho Ching, also added her signature to the message.
More than 500 people on Saturday visited the art gallery at Tanjong Pagar CC, which has been set aside for the public to place their gifts and sign the large get-well banner. Mr Lee is an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC.
Fellow Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah, who is also Senior Minister of State for Law and Education, was among those who signed the banner on Saturday.
She told reporters that Singaporeans are concerned about the health of the country's first Prime Minister as they feel a bond with him "that goes beyond policies".
Older Singaporeans see Mr Lee as a pioneer and comrade-in-arms, while younger ones grew up reading about him in the news every day, she said, adding: "He gave this nation pride."
Well-wishers at Tanjong Pagar CC included Ms Tan Jingyi, 15, who had dropped by the CC for a chess competition and noticed the gallery.
The Secondary 4 student at Yishun Town Secondary School wrote a note for the elder Mr Lee in the gallery but had another message for PM Lee: “Please stay strong. We will support you.”
Clerk Tham Lai Kuan, a grassroots leader in Mr Lee’s ward of Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru, visited the CC to leave her good wishes for Mr Lee, saying he had previously presented her with long-service awards for her grassroots work.
“I just hope he can make it to our Jubilee celebration,” said Ms Tham, 58, referring to the special National Day Parade planned for Singapore’s 50th anniversary in August this year. “It was hard fought.”