The National Day Rally is usually a sedated boring affair here in Singapore. The Prime Minister (PM) would go up on stage and deliver a long televised speech that most Singaporeans would not remember in a week’s time.
Not so this year!
Yesterday, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong caused a scare when he fainted briefly while delivering the National Day Rally. More than two hours into his speech, the 64-year-old cancer survivor suddenly stopped speaking and had to be helped off the stage. An hour and 20 minutes later, he returned to complete the speech. Aides blamed fatigue and dehydration and many Singaporeans has send in well-wishes to the PM.
Thus far, there’s nothing to indicate this is anything serious and chances are, even if it is, the Singapore government-owned Strait Times probably won’t be telling. After all, how many of us know of Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat’s problems before he collapsed from a stroke during a cabinet meeting in May?
The unfortunate incident yesterday however has shone a spotlight on the succession issue. Is there anyone who can take over from PM Lee? Currently, it’s not a big issue as the PM is still going strong but it’s food for thought.