Singapore PM falls ill during National Day speech

SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took ill mid-way during his National Day Rally speech last night, prompting an abrupt suspension of the live-telecast of the annual event.

The Prime Minister’s Office updated at close to 10.25pm, an hour after the rally was suspended, that Lee had been feeling unsteady “because of prolonged standing, heat and dehydration”.

“His heart is fine and he did not have a stroke,” says the PMO.

Audiences at ITE College Central were told to return to their seats by 10.30pm, and Lee would resume his speech.

Earlier, the PMO said the medical team attending to Lee had assessed that his condition “is not serious”.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean told the audience at ITE College Central that Lee was having a rest, and would be back to greet them and continue his speech.

When they spoke, Lee told Teo to tell the rally guests to enjoy the reception and that he would be back.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said Lee was fine. He had been feeling a little faint and was resting, but would like to finish his speech. He said Lee was “perfectly normal, I wouldn’t worry too much. He is strong enough to carry on”.

Lee began speaking at about 6.40pm, delivering a speech in Malay followed by one in Chinese. He began giving his speech in English at about 8pm during which he took ill.

He said he wanted to address the three key questions: how Singapore progressed together, how the country could secure its place in the world, and how to ensure good politics for the Republic. — Today

E-Paper Article View