While Bukit Batok SMC Member of Parliament (MP) Murali Pillai was enjoying his breakfast with his PAP comrades on Sunday (28 March), he was informed that an elderly man has lost consciousness at the same coffee shop and immediately came forward to help the man.
Mr Murali, who penned this incident in a Facebook post, said that the incident happened at a coffeeshop located at Block 155 Bukit Batok Street 11, and that he was there for breakfast during his Sunday morning walkabout with his team.
In the post, the MP explained that a coffeeshop attendant (addressed as Mdm Tan) rushed to him to inform that a senior citizen fainted and fell on the ground, shattering the glass that he was holding.
Upon hearing this, Mr Murali, along with his branch teammate, Jason, rushed to help the elderly man, who eventually regained his consciousness.
“Comrade Jason and I rushed to the old man. He was unconscious. We tried to wake him and thankfully he came to himself,” he said.
The MP then proceeded to call 995 for help and was instructed by the Singapore Civil Defence Forcer (SCDF) personnel to turn the senior man to one side to prevent choking and check for the rise and fall of his tummy.
He was also asked to continuously talk to the old man in order to ensure he remains conscious.
Around 10 minutes later, SCDF officers arrived at the scene. A general practitioner also came to rescue the elderly man with a defibrillator.
“Also arriving was Dr Ho, our GP, with a defibrillator. I felt so touched that, on hearing an elderly person fainted, Dr Ho rushed out of his clinic with his nurse to help,” Mr Murali noted.
The elderly man was then brought to the hospital by the SCDF officers for proper medical care.
Urges public to take up CPR skills
In the post, Mr Murali also said that his cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills have not been validated, and reminded residents the importance of learning this life-saving skills.
He added that he was “lucky that the old man became conscious on his own” as Mr Murali was not prepared to perform CPR on the senior.
“I did an after action review myself. My CPR skills have not been validated for a while now. We were lucky that the old man quickly became conscious and was breathing. If not, CPR may have to be applied. This is where I would not have been as prepared for an emergency,” he said.
As such, he pointed out that the Bukit Batok Community Emergency and Engagement (C2E) Committees run first aid and CPR courses for Bukit Batok residents, urging the residents to sign up for them so they will be more prepared to face similar situations.
He also noted that he plans to sign up personally to revalidate his CPR skills at the earliest opportunity.
This is not the first time such an event has occurred. In 2015, then-candidate for People’s Action Party (PAP), Koh Poh Koon, performed CPR on a man in his 70s after the latter collapsed at Ang Mo Kio Central Market & Food Centre.
Dr Koh, who is a colorectal surgeon, performed CPR on the man before the arrival of the ambulance. Unfortunately, the elderly man passed away while receiving treatment at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
Dr Koh is currently the country’s Senior Minister of State for Health and MP for Tampines GRC.
Netizens do not believe that the incident was pure coincidence
Upon hearing Mr Murali’s account, netizens were quick to point out that they felt the whole incident was too convenient to be a coincidence.
Penning their thoughts in the Facebook page of Mothership, they said it is rather strange that Mr Murali was at the coffeeshop at the perfect time, and that the coffeeshop attendant went up to him to inform about the elderly man who fainted, rather than to call the ambulance.
Calling it a “wayang”, online users said that the whole incident was a “good staged show”, with some wondering if this is a cover up to shift the focus on other allegations set against the MP which has so far failed to respond to.
In fact, a number of online users alleged that the senior citizen was an actor who just pretended to faint so that Mr Murali could come to his rescue and be deemed a hero.
Some expressed that it’s not normal for a photographer to be at the scene to snap an image of the MP helping the senior, emphasising that this is definitely an “act for publicity”.