Doctors rush stage as Singapore prime minister feels faint
SINGAPORE – Singapore’s prime minister had to be attended to by doctors Sunday after he felt faint while delivering a speech to the nation during a National Day rally.
About an hour later, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was helped back onto the stage and resumed his speech, to loud applause from the audience.
Lee, 64, “was feeling unsteady because of prolonged standing, heat and dehydration,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “His heart is fine and he did not have a stroke,” it added.
Lee has spoken each year at the annual National Day rally since taking office in August 2004. The event is seen as an opportunity for leaders to outline plans for the wealthy island nation of 5.5 million.
“Thank you for waiting for me. I gave everybody a scare,” Lee said after returning to the stage, looking relieved. “I never had so many doctors look at me all at once. They think I’m all right, but anyway I’m going to have a full checkup after this.”
Last year, Lee was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery to remove the gland.
The People’s Action Party, which he currently leads, has been in power since 1959. Since the general election last September, Lee has said that he is looking for a successor from elected members of parliament, but has not yet given any names.