NDR 2016: Heng Swee Keat will resume duties as Finance Minister progressively

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who recently recovered from a stroke, will gradually resume his duties with the help of National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who will serve as second Finance Minister.

“I am very glad that he pulled through, and is steadily recovering his strength. It is a miracle that he is all right,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was speaking at the National Day Rally on Sunday (21 August).

Lee resumed his speech more than an hour after taking ill during the speech at ITE College Central. He was greeted with rousing applause from the audience, and joked that Heng, who collapsed from a stroke during a Cabinet meeting on 12 May, had given his colleagues a “bad scare, worse than what I gave just now”.

Lee also quipped, “The last time I did this was on a parade square in SAFTI, and fainted. I think that’s what happened. I’ve never had so many doctors look at me all at once.”

The Singapore Civil Defence Force team that attended to Heng and was invited to the Rally also checked on Lee’s condition earlier, the prime minister said.

Heng was discharged from Tan Tock Seng Hospital on 25 June. 

The 54-year-old cannot resume his usual community and grassroots for a few more months, added Lee, as doctors have advised him to avoid contact with crowds to minimise the risk of infection.

Nevertheless, Heng will come back to work “progressively”, with a focus on next year’s Budget and the Community on the Future Economy (CFE).

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