Singapore — Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong was admitted to hospital again over the weekend so that doctors could deal with a new issue involving his vocal chords.

Mr Goh, 79, was admitted to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) twice recently and had two operations under general anaesthesia. Both procedures were to resolve a kidney stone issue.

After he was discharged from the hospital last week, he took some time for himself before attending public gatherings. He had a meal with a group of first-term People’s Action Party MPs and attended the Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards at the Istana.

At 2.05 pm on Saturday (Dec 5), Mr Goh said on social media that he was back in hospital over a new medical issue. He assured his followers: “All good so far. It is hard work pushing 80. Walk on the bright side to keep fit.”

Nearly three hours later, Mr Goh said he had undergone an ENT (ear, nose and throat) procedure under general anaesthesia so that doctors could probe an issue with his vocal chords. He added that the procedure was a precautionary one.

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In his latest post, Mr Goh included a photo of a 50-cm long J stent that was removed from his ureter. He said: “This 50 cm long J stent was finally removed from my ureter. Unlike oysters, my kidneys produced calcium oxalate, not pearls. Still, not a joke to be ‘stoned’ 3 times, in two weeks.

“Decided to go under GA to probe an issue with my vocal chords. Killing two birds with one stone, though I shudder at the metaphor. Today’s ENT procedure is a precautionary stepping stone to the bank of good health.”

Mr Goh has always been frank about his health with his social media followers.

Last July, he said that he had undergone an angioplasty after doctors found, during a routine annual check-up, that his arteries were narrowing.

Ahead of the General Election this year, Mr Goh retired from politics and said that he was doing so “with a heavy heart” since he believed he would not have the same energy he had in serving the people when he crossed into his 80s.

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After the July 10 elections, Mr Goh suggested that it was a health scare that triggered his retirement even though he initially told Prime Minister that he would prefer to step down from politics “whilst healthy”. He said that he had a cancer scare sometime last year when his doctor discovered a white spot on his voice box.

By July, the white spot had disappeared and Mr Goh said that, while it is “too late to reverse” his decision to retire, it was “fortunate” that he stepped down. /TISG

Goh Chok Tong suggests health scare triggered his retirement and that its “too late” to reverse his decision