Thursday, 29 December 2016

MP Charles Chong 'courageous' to stand in Punggol East despite liver condition

A Story of Courage
https://www.facebook.com/ngenghen/photos/a.652163061543623.1073741856.650377555055507/1205404002886190/?type=3&theater

I have great respect for Charles Chong & would like to tell you why, even though Charles himself would not have wanted this story told. But it bears telling, not because we are of the same political party, but because in essence the story is about courage and acting on what one believes in, despite uncertainties.

Recently, Charles went through a major operation to receive a new liver. The prospect of a liver transplant would have caused any one of us to at least reduce our activities, review our life’s goals but certainly not take on major challenges. Not for Charles Chong. He had known for some years now that he might need a new liver in the future, based on his doctors’ advice. While he could still be active, he would need close monitoring and reviews.

But when Charles was asked to stand in Punggol East by PM Lee Hsien Loong before the last GE in 2015, Charles’ response was almost instantaneous – Yes, I‘m ready to fight. Charles knew that any candidate there must expect a hectic campaign and a tough fight. The rest they say is history. Charles fought hard and won back the constituency. How he could do this, with the shadow of a liver transplant over him, I cannot pretend to understand fully except that Charles has guts and the courage to act on his convictions.

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Charles Chong Yesterday at 06:04

Dear Facebook friends and residents of Punggol East

I would like to thank everyone who sent their well-wishes and enquired about my condition - my family & I are very touched by the concern and words of encouragement I have received since I had my surgery.

I provided the media with an update on (and some background to) my condition earlier today, and links to some of the media reports can be found at the end of this post.

I am very grateful for the support provided by DPM Teo Chee Hean and other Pasir Ris-Punggol MPs, as well as the Punggol East Grassroots Leaders and PAP Branch Activists who have been taking care of Punggol East residents' needs in my absence. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you again soon!

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MP Charles Chong 'courageous' to stand in Punggol East despite liver condition: Ng Eng Hen
People's Action Party's Charles Chong on Polling Day. (Foto: Sarah Yang)

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Wednesday (Dec 21) lauded Member of Parliament (MP) Charles Chong for "courage to act on his convictions”, despite being diagnosed with a liver condition about 3 years ago.

Dr Ng revealed in a Facebook post that when Mr Chong was asked to stand for the People's Action Party in the opposition-held Punggol East Single Member Constituency in the 2015 General Election, “Charles’ response was almost instantaneous – ‘Yes, I‘m ready to fight’,” he said.

“Charles knew that any candidate there must expect a hectic campaign & a tough fight. The rest they say is history. Charles fought hard and won back the constituency,” he added. “How he could do this, with the shadow of a liver transplant over him, I cannot pretend to understand fully except that Charles has guts and the courage to act on his convictions.”


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Punggol East MP Charles Chong courageous to stand in GE despite liver condition: Ng Eng Hen
A supporter hugs Charles Chong at the assembly centre at Bedok Stadium during the General Election 2015. FOTO: THE NEW PAPER

A day after Punggol East MP and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Charles Chong disclosed that he was recovering from a liver transplant, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen revealed that Mr Chong had stood in the 2015 General Elections despite knowing he could need a new liver.

He also shared that Mr Chong had said he was ready to stand in Aljunied GRC if asked.

Dr Ng lauded the 63-yr-old for his "story of courage" in a Facebook post on Wed (Dec 21), saying he had "great respect" for Mr Chong.

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Punggol East MP Charles Chong in recovery after undergoing liver transplant

People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament Charles Chong, 63, received part of his son’s liver in a transplant earlier this month, he told the media in response to queries on Tue (Dec 20).

On Dec 1, the PAP had announced that Mr Chong, who is the MP for Punggol East, had undergone a planned medical procedure & would be on eight weeks’ medical leave, but provided no further details.

Mr Chong said there was no immediate need for him to have a liver transplant as his liver was still functioning well, about 3 years after he was first diagnosed with a condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis during a routine medical check-up. But his doctors found “a couple of small lesions” on his liver and had advised that he should consider a transplant now while he was still in good health.

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related:
Fielded candidate with known serious medical condition in GE2015
Charles Chong in Punggol East constituency despite serious liver condition
Sickly but Lucky Charlie’s Punggol-East Challenge a Sign of PAP?
Punggol East residents not told about Charles Chong illness
Candidate with known serious medical condition in GE 2015
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