SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday (May 13) that Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is in stable condition, after visiting him at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
After the visit, PM Lee wrote on Facebook: "Visited Heng Swee Keat at the ICU in Tan Tock Seng Hospital this evening. He was sedated. His condition is stable, but he will remain in the ICU for some time. He is in very good hands, like all patients at the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI).
"I also spoke with Swee Keat’s family. It is a tough time for them. They are touched by the sympathy and support from so many Singaporeans, and asked me to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes. We all hope Swee Keat will have a full and smooth recovery."
Mr Heng collapsed from a stroke during a Cabinet meeting on Thursday. The stroke was found to have been caused by an aneurysm, which was successfully closed following neurosurgery.
Shortly after PM Lee's post, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan wrote on Facebook: "Glad that Swee Keat is stable after the successful procedures yesterday. But these are early days, and he will need close monitoring in the ICU for quite some time more.
"His wife and children are holding up well and grateful for your prayers and support."
On Saturday evening, President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary visited Mr Heng in hospital.
He wrote on Facebook, following the visit: "We saw Swee Keat and spoke to his wife and children. We are relieved to know that Swee Keat’s condition is stable, and he is being well cared for by his family members and the medical staff at the Intensive Care Unit.
"We will continue to keep Swee Keat and his family in our thoughts and prayers, and wish Swee Keat a speedy and full recovery."
RELIGIOUS LEADERS GATHER TO PRAY FOR SPEEDY RECOVERY
Religious leaders from all 10 faiths of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) gathered on Friday evening to pray for Mr Heng's speedy and full recovery.
About 40 religious leaders - including those from the Buddhist and Islamic faiths - as well as IRO members attended a gathering, which included a one-minute silent prayer, at the IRO headquarters at Maxwell Road.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is covering Mr Heng's duties as Finance Minister, and Mr Heng's fellow Member of Parliament (MP) for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng.
Said Mr Tharman: "Swee Keat represents the best in all of us, humble, someone who's able to overcome adversity - in his case - early in life. Someone who has the ability to work with everyone, people of different faiths, people of different ethnic groups, people from all walks of life. He represents the best in Singapore, someone we all aspire to be."
Mr Baey said Mr Heng had attended various meetings and community events last weekend.
"We all know that he has heavy responsibilities as a minister. He travels quite a lot and yet he still has time for the constituency. That's where as fellow MPs and residents of Tampines we do see that, and we really appreciate that his heart is in the constituency. So we really hope that he'll recover well and recover fully," said Mr Baey.
Ba'awie Mosque's Imam and head Habib Hassan Al-Attas said Mr Heng left an impression when he was Education Minister.
"When we saw how he felt during the earthquake in Sabah and how he handled the victims of the Sabah earthquake and the families, we felt that he was really really concerned, and he was trying his best to console them and to do whatever he can," he said.