Reactions and calls for PM to rest

PM Lee Hsien Loong being helped off the stage when he was delivering his speech at the National Day Rally 2016 at ITE College Central. He later returned to finish his speech.
PM Lee Hsien Loong being helped off the stage when he was delivering his speech at the National Day Rally 2016 at ITE College Central. He later returned to finish his speech. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

FINANCE MINISTER HENG SWEE KEAT

Like all of you, I have never felt such a surge of joy as when PM came back on stage tonight after he took ill. He looked very well, full of colour and spirit, just like his usual self. I hope his full check-up after the National Day Rally will find that everything is okay, and I hope PM will take some rest. He has been checking up on me in the last few weeks, advising me to take care after my stroke. My sincerest hope is that he will also be kind to himself when it comes to his health.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER THARMAN SHANMUGARATNAM

PM gave everyone a scare this evening and had to take a break... but he eventually came back to a standing ovation, looking good, and ended his speech on an uplifting note on our future as Singaporeans. He's got real mental strength.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TEO CHEE HEAN

  • Timeline of events

  • 8pm: PM Lee begins his English speech.

    9.18pm: He takes ill. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen rushes to his aid, along with Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. Mr Lee is led backstage. He waves to the audience as he leaves.

    9.22pm: The National Day Rally is suspended.

    9.30pm: The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) announces a 30-minute break on Mr Lee's Twitter. On Mr Lee's Facebook, PMO says Mr Lee took ill while speaking. A medical team attending to him has assessed that his condition is not serious.

    9.51pm: DPM Teo announces that Mr Lee will resume his speech. "PM Lee says please enjoy the reception," he adds.

    10.19pm: Guests are asked to take their seats.

    10.22pm: PMO issues another statement saying Mr Lee was unsteady because of "prolonged standing, heat and dehydration". It adds that his heart is fine and he did not have a stroke.

    10:40pm: Mr Lee reappears to a standing ovation.

Let's all wish PM Lee Hsien Loong good health, and to have some well-deserved rest. Am glad he was well and concluded his speech on a high note, with a realistic and well-founded optimism about our future.

ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES MINISTER MASAGOS ZULKIFLI

We saw in shock how PM took ill when he was delivering the National Day Rally... Let's support PM and work together on the important issues for our future.

WORKERS' PARTY MEMBER AND FORMER NON-CONSTITUENCY MP GERALD GIAM

Have been following with deep concern updates on PM Lee's medical condition. My wife, children and I said a prayer together for him minutes after his speech was disrupted.

I am relieved to know from a PMO (Prime Minister's Office) update that his condition is "not serious" and am glad he will be back to continue his speech (although for his sake, I wish he wouldn't).

MS CHEN LAI HAR COMMENTING ON MR LEE'S FACEBOOK PAGE

Your return to wrap up your speech moved us, thank you PM Lee. It's a relief to know you are all right... Please give yourself more rest and listen to your body.

MS ELEANOR OH COMMENTING ON MR LEE'S FACEBOOK PAGE

Thanks PMO team for the steady stream of updates! Hope you guys will get some rest. And to PM Lee, we appreciate your dedication. Please do rest and stay hydrated. Might be a good idea to lay off those heaty durians for now!

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2016, with the headline 'Reactions and calls for PM to rest'. Print Edition | Subscribe