Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew in hospital, but recovering

Singapore, Feb 16 (IANS) Singapore's former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was hospitalized on Friday after an irregular heartbeat led to a brief stoppage of blood flow to the brain, the Prime Minister's office said Saturday.

Lee, 89, "has recovered but will remain warded for a few days for the doctors to adjust his medications and for observation," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement, reported Xinhua.

It said Lee was admitted to the Singapore General Hospital after experiencing a suspected "Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) associated with a prolonged episode of atrial fibrillation (i.e. irregular heartbeat)."

TIA is when blood flow to a part of the brain stops for a brief period of time. A person will have stroke-like symptoms which clear in less than 24 hours.

On Friday, Lee had to miss the Chinese New Year dinner in the Tanjong Pagar constituency, from where Lee is a member of parliament. It was the first time he has ever missed the dinner.

Indranee Rajah, a lawmaker from the same group representation constituency, told the 1,200 residents at the dinner that Lee was not feeling well.

"I would like, on his behalf, to extend his apologies for not being here, and thank you for coming in any event ... I'm sure you would all join me in wishing him a speedy recovery in the hope that he feels better soon," she said.

Lee has been active at dialogue sessions and making visits to other countries and regions in recent years despite his age.

His physician daughter Lee Wei Ling, director of the National Neuroscience Institute of Singapore, wrote in 2011 that the founding prime minister of Singapore was fighting sensory peripheral neuropathy, a neurological disease that makes it difficult for him to walk steadily.

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