Sam Tan makes it to event despite a fall at home

Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan making an announcement on insurance for maids.
Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan making an announcement on insurance for maids. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

When Mr Sam Tan went onstage yesterday to announce that maids would be better compensated in the event of an accident, he did it with a limp.

Just the night before, the Minister of State for Manpower had suffered a slight accident of his own at home.

He missed a step and fell as he rushed to the door, thinking colleagues he had asked to help fix his work computer had arrived.

Mr Tan pulled a muscle in his left thigh, and hurt other parts of his body, including his thumb and back.

He could not move all of Saturday night, and was put in a wheelchair when he went to Singapore General Hospital yesterday morning.

"It was the first time I had to sit in a wheelchair," he told reporters at a May Day celebration for maids.

"I told the doctor I have an important NTUC event in the afternoon, so whether on crutches or in a wheelchair, I have to be there," he added.

Mr Tan, 58, was given some medicine to ease the pain and, within hours, was hobbling through the crowd at the mini-carnival, taking photos with maids.

He added that his injury was a wake-up call: "I must have been taking my health for granted. From now on, I'm going to treasure it even more."

The contributions of workers cannot be taken for granted either, he pointed out, as he expressed his appreciation to around 1,000 domestic helpers at the carnival at Youth Park in Somerset.

Mr Tan noted that, while the doctor advised him to rest, a packed week is on the cards for him.

Parliament sits today and, early tomorrow morning, Mr Tan, who is also Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office and for Foreign Affairs, heads to Alaska for the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. Singapore is an observer on the council.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2017, with the headline 'Sam Tan makes it to event despite a fall at home'. Print Edition | Subscribe