A DAY after news broke that former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was in intensive care at the Singapore General Hospital with severe pneumonia, residents and netizens continued to offer wishes for his quick recovery.
Mr Lee’s condition was a talking point for many, in particular residents of his Tanjong Pagar GRC and neighbouring Radin Mas constituency.
Radin Mas MP Sam Tan – who is Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth – told The Straits Times that many residents he met over the weekend asked him to convey their wishes to Mr Lee that he “gets well soon”.
Radin Mas often holds events like Chinese New Year dinners jointly with Tanjong Pagar, and the ward has a large number of elderly residents who remember Mr Lee well.
“They are all concerned for Mr Lee’s condition and hope that he recovers early,” Mr Tan said.
“Many whom I met yesterday and today had been praying that he recovers well and they would like to see him again at community events. From the spontaneous responses I get from people, I couldn’t help but get the sense that Mr Lee is truly regarded as an elder statesman and a legend to many Singaporeans.”
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement on Saturday that Mr Lee, 91, was admitted to hospital on Feb 5. It added that his condition has stabilised, he is conscious and on a mechanical ventilator to help him breathe.
The PMO did not give an update on Mr Lee’s health yesterday, and MPs and grassroots leaders said they had not heard any updates.
Jurong GRC MP David Ong said he hoped the former prime minister would be given the time and space to recover, and that his constituents are also hoping for his quick recovery.
Added Mr Ong, who was previously chairman of the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng citizens’ consultative committee and worked closely with Mr Lee in Tanjong Pagar: “We should give him as much rest as we can, he needs to recover. All of us are rooting for him to get better, we wish him all the best and hope he recovers quickly.”
Netizens have also been using the #getwellsoonLKY hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to convey their get-well wishes to Mr Lee.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s two Facebook posts on his father’s condition also drew some 65,000 “likes” and around 6,000 comments from Singaporeans and other well-wishers from Brunei to Germany.
Some also hoped Mr Lee Kuan Yew would recover in time to have a family meal on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year, which falls next week.
“Really hope that our founding father will be able to celebrate SG50 with us,” tweeted Lok Xin Ping.
Meanwhile, Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng People’s Action Party branch secretary Philemon Loh said activists and residents in the ward will be signing a “get well soon” card for Mr Lee at the ward’s weekly meet-the-people session in Sago Lane tonight.