Singapore's Lee fighting nerve disease: daughter
Singapore's founding leader Lee Kuan Yew is fighting a neurological disease that is making it difficult for him to walk steadily, his daughter revealed.
Lee, who turned 88 in September, suffers from sensory peripheral neuropathy, his physician daughter Lee Wei Ling, director of the National Neuroscience Institute of Singapore, wrote in her weekly Sunday Times newspaper column.
"In my father's case, sensory peripheral neuropathy has caused the conduction of sensation from his legs to his spinal cord to be impaired. This makes his walking unsteady, as many Singaporeans have already noticed," she wrote.
The column, which deals with a wide range of issues, is closely followed for glimpses into the private life of Singapore's most influential family.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is the columnist's elder brother.
Lee Kuan Yew retired from the cabinet after general elections in May but continues to travel overseas and remains a member of parliament, a post he has held since 1955. He served as prime minister from 1959 to 1990.
"His day-to-day condition now fluctuates. On some days he is fairly steady and on other days his balance is poor. The problem is limited to the sensory nerves outside his central nervous system," his daughter wrote.
"His brain and muscles are working normally. But being deprived of sensation from his legs means he finds it a challenge to balance. Thus his unsteady walk," she said.
The patriarch, however, is determined to fight the disease and now practises walking on a treadmill at home three times a day without fail.
"I have no doubt my father will fight this disease for as long as he thinks he can contribute to Singapore," his daughter said.
"I think with medication and simple precaution, he can continue to be of service to his country and the world."