A prolonged pause, a collective gasp and an uncomfortable silence in the auditorium – this was the moment that left those watching the National Day Rally on Sunday night (Aug 21) in shock.
For the first time, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 64, stumbled during a live broadcast of his rally speech and had to be supported by several ministers. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, who were seated in the first row, rushed to Mr Lee's aid on stage.
During the suspension of his speech, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) confirmed at 10.28pm on Sunday that Mr Lee did not have a stroke and that he was just dehydrated from standing too long.
On social media, a flurry of well-wishes for Mr Lee began to pour in after many quickly expressed their concern on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook user Raymond Lim said: "To rest is to prepare for a longer journey ahead. Hope our medical team can fix the blip."
On Twitter, user mezza001 posted a video with a message to Mr Lee to "get well and healthy". Malaysia's Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, additionally presented a tweet on Mr Lee after the occurrence. He said: "Heard that you're not feeling great. I trust you're good. Get well soon."
Mr Lee in this way answered to his tweet on Monday morning (Aug 22) saying: "A debt of gratitude is in order for your great wishes. My specialists let me know I ought to be OK. – LHL"
Singapore's clergymen additionally composed their well-wishes to Mr Lee.
Appointee Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on his Facebook page: "PM gave everybody an alarm tonight and needed to take a break… in any case, he in the end cameback to an overwhelming applause, looking great, and finished his discourse on an elevating note on our future as Singaporeans. He has genuine mental quality." Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, whose pastoral obligations will continue as reported the previous evening, likewise said on Facebook: "I trust PM will take some rest. He has been investigating me in the most recent couple of weeks, encouraging me to take care after my stroke. My sincerest trust is that he
will likewise be caring to himself with regards to his health."Workers' Party part and previous non-voting demographic Member of Parliament Gerald Giam told The Straits Times: "My significant other, youngsters and I said a supplication together for him minutes after his discourse was disturbed. I am alleviated to know from a PMO upgrade that his condition is "not genuine"."
At the point when the rally continued at 10.40pm, the gathering of people at the ITE College Central hall and those watching at home could at last hurl a moan of alleviation after Mr Lee returned grinning one hour after the alarm.