If there is any one thing we may know for certain about life, it is that death comes to us all eventually. Nothing can stay the Reaper’s scythe forever; not money, not power, not influence, and certainly not libel suits.

News of Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s hospitalisation for severe pneumonia has been making its rounds on Twitter, Facebook and even the international media. Reuters, AFP and almost every other major media outlet have picked up the story, but they don’t know any more than Singaporeans do.

The local mainstream media has continued to keep things hush-hush, content to let the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) act as the gatekeeper of information. It has also quickly rebutted speculations of Mr Lee’s passing, anxious that we should neither rejoice nor mourn prematurely.

Lee Kuan Yew’s medical condition

Around the same time two years back, the then 89-year-old elder statesman was hospitalised following a stroke-like event. He had been suffering from a neurological condition for a few years and was discharged after two days.

This time round, his condition seems much worse. It has been 21 days since he was brought to the Singapore General Hospital. He is being treated for severe pneumonia and is currently on life support in the ICU.

Doctors are understandably tight-lipped and information on the patriarch’s condition is scarce. All we do know is the antibiotics haven’t been working, and a fresh dose had to be administered recently. He was also placed on mechanical ventilation, presumably because he had trouble breathing on his own.

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