Ong Ye Kung jokes he will still say yes to Jumbo treat despite being told to cut down on seafood


In a rare light-hearted moment, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung joked that he will still say yes to a Jumbo Seafood treat despite being told to cut down on seafood due to high cholesterol.

He was speaking at the Ministry of Health Committee of Supply debate on Mar 9 where he also announced the launch of Healther SG, an initiative which will involve General Practitioners being utilised to prevent severe illnesses and promote healthier living. It will be further debated in the House with a White Paper later this year.

He then used his own experience to highlight the importance of preventive healthcare. Minister Ong revealed that after a check up at the behest of his doctor friend, he had “quite high cholesterol” and the check up also found a very small calcium deposit in one of his heart arteries.

“So at his [doctor friend] advice, I started taking some medication, adjusted my diet. Essentially nothing very austere. I have to cut down chilli crabs, prawns, and sotong. Not a huge sacrifice as Mr Pritam Singh is acknowledging,” he said.

“Anyone wants to treat me to Jumbo Seafood I will say yes,” he quickly added.

He explained that he can still eat them once a month, just not every other day. “So eat in moderation, but certainly not deprivation,” he added.

He said that his readings are fine now and credited early intervention for his improved health.

“More importantly, because of early intervention, I probably averted major heart bypass surgery when I become old. Or worse, a heart attack may kill me, distress my family and loved ones.”

He continued: “We usually associate better healthcare with fascinating medical technology or heroics in the operating theatre like when we watch Grey’s Anatomy. Those are important, but good health is more likely to come from an accumulation of the humdrum and the mundane because as the saying goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure.'”

Cover photo credit: MCI YouTube and Jumbo Seafood Facebook page.