PM Lee was taken ill while delivering his NDR speech on 21 August. This was due to a temporary drop in blood pressure from prolonged standing, exhaustion and dehydration.
With a rest of slightly over an hour, he was back on stage to conclude his speech. After a late night check up at the SGH, the PMO announced on 22 August that PM Lee would be on medical leave for 1 week.
Under normal circumstances, mere mortals would probably get at most 1 day MC for temporary drop in blood pressure due to prolonged standing, exhaustion and dehydration. As for an NSF, he would probably be labeled chao keng because his temporary drop in BP would be undetectable by the time he saw the MO. So how come PM Lee was given one WEEK medical leave while no doctor would have done likewise for ordinary citizens?
If PM Lee’s condition were serious, he would not have been able to conclude his speech and sent to hospital immediately. So how serious was his condition? Let’s hear it from his cabinet colleagues.
DPM Tharman: Mr Lee has had a grueling schedule recently and was “just feeling faint” after standing for a prolonged period of time. I wouldn’t worry too much. This was a little blip.
Minister Ng Eng Hen: PM had a brief fainting spell. Not serious, similar to what soldiers get from standing on the parade square too long. (Shouldn’t all NSFs be given 7 days medical leave for similar symptoms?)
Of course they are not medical doctors la, one may say. So what let’s see what real doctors at SGH confirmed.
Minister Vivian: Mr Lee’s tests at SGH were all normal.
If it was just a “little blip”, “not serious” and confirmed by tests at SGH that nothing was wrong, why was PM Lee given 1 week medical leave? Aristocratic privilege?
No one is begrudging a well deserved medical leave but PM Lee should have recovered with a full day’s rest. It appears PM Lee has been accorded a privilege at taxpayers’ expense.
Perhaps PM Lee’s job is now tougher than elderly Singaporeans who are cleaners and cardboard collectors, some who are in their 80s.