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Singapore PM says given 'all-clear' from prostate cancer

Friday, May 1, 2015 - 20:30
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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday he has been fully cleared of prostate cancer after undergoing surgery in February.

[SINGAPORE] Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday he has been fully cleared of prostate cancer after undergoing surgery in February.

"After the op the doctor told me to wait two months, do a blood test, then we'll know whether you are clear," Mr Lee, 63, said in a May Day speech to workers, union leaders and business owners.

"Two weeks ago, two months were up, I went for the follow-up blood test and the results were good. Doctors gave me an all-clear," said Mr Lee, the eldest son of Singapore's late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

It was Mr Lee's second bout with cancer. He underwent chemotherapy for lymphoma in 1993 and is now in remission. The illnesses are not linked, his office has said.

News of his illness came amid widespread expectations that the next general election will be held before it is due in early 2017, possibly this year.

In the last election in May 2011, Mr Lee's People's Action Party (PAP), which has governed Singapore since 1959, suffered its worst setback after a large district was wrested by the opposition and its share of the popular vote plunged.

After the polls, Mr Lee launched reforms to address voters' gripes over the large influx of foreign workers and immigrants into the compact city-state as well as the rising cost of living.

In his speech on Friday, Mr Lee, who took over as premier in 2004, said "leadership renewal is the most important issue" for the upcoming election.

Mr Lee, a former army brigadier-general, first entered politics in 1984 and held various key government portfolios before taking over from Goh Chok Tong, the successor of Lee Kuan Yew.

"Give me and my team your support so that after the next election, and well before the election after that, a younger team will be ready to lead us forward," he said.

AFP