News of Lee Kuan Yew’s critical condition send media flocking for information

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Over the past few hours, many of our Facebook timelines, Twitter feeds, conversations and thoughts have been occupied by news surrounding Mr Lee Kuan Yew. It was revealed by the PMO earlier today that his condition had deteriorated and that he was critically ill.

Since then, we have deployed a staff to the ground to bring us the news as it breaks straight from SGH.

In this article, we round up all the happenings which had occurred in the first day since the news broke.

Critically Ill

10481442_877050662357641_8205446991177577649_nA statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) at 1.36pm yesterday sent shockwaves across the nation.

This announcement was preceded by a statement from the PMO on Tuesday which stated that Mr Lee’s “condition had worsened due to an infection”. Mr Lee has been in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the SGH since he was first admitted on 5 February for severe pneumonia.

Scenes at SGH

Soon after, many members of the public and the press flocked to SGH. Terry Xu from TOC was also deployed to the scene. The press and the public tried to get their hands on any information or at the very least, a glimpse of close friends and relatives visiting Mr Lee.

As there was no official press room and multiple entrances to the ICU, the press were scattered around Blocks 4 to 6 of SGH.

At about 5pm, Mr Lee’s eldest grandson was seen entering SGH via Block 6.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew's eldest grandson enters SGH
Picture Source: Gordon Tay

This prompted members of the press to situate themselves at Block 6.

The Press

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Members of the press gather at Block 6 to await further information

Terry, who sent us this image of the press situated at Block 6, estimated there were close to 30 members of the press from both local and international news outlets.

The presence of the press was soon followed by the general public as a crowd begun gathering at the Lobby of Block 6.

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Picture Source: Yahoo Singapore

At 8.30pm, security began asking the members of the press to disperse and leave SGH as visiting hours were over. However, when many members of the press refused to leave, the security cordoned off an area intended for the press to situate themselves so as to not obstruct any flow of people in the lobby.

Members of the Press are situated within the area cordoned off for them
Members of the Press are situated within the area cordoned off for them

Since the original statement from the PMO, there have been no further information from the PMO and any staff at SGH. Nevertheless, as of 1.30am, the reporters are still present and are awaiting any further information that may come their way.

Hoax on Mr Lee’s demise

Fueled by the vacuum of information, it was rumors galore in social media. At about 8pm, this “screenshot” began making its rounds.

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A keen eye would have spotted the time stamp at the bottom left corner, among other errors. which would have obliterated the authenticity of this screenshot. Unfortunately, many believed it to be true and it drew a large audience.

These 3 mistakes gave away the authenticity of the site. Unfortunately, many took it at face value.
These 3 mistakes gave away the authenticity of the site. Unfortunately, many took it at face value.

CNN and CCTV (A news outlet based in China) also believed the message to be true and began broadcasting news of Mr Lee’s death.

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CNN tweets false information on Mr Lee’s demise based on the doctored message.
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CCTV news from China also began broadcasting news of Mr Lee’s death.

Not too long after, CNN and CCTV retracted their statements and apologized for the misinformation.

The PMO also confirmed that the statement was doctored. It also announced that it would be lodging a police report about a fake website bearing the PMO logo which announced the death of Mr Lee.

As of 2.15am, these are all the significant developments that have occurred since the PMO statement. For further information, do follow our Facebook page as we will break you the news as it breaks straight from SGH itself.