SINGAPORE – Lee Kuan Yew is dead.
The founding prime minister of Singapore died at 3.18 am today at the Singapore General Hospital, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced. He was 91.
The PMO said that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, a son of the late Kuan Yew, was deeply grieved.
It quoted Hsien Loong as saying that the funeral proceedings and arrangements for the public to pay their respects would be announced later.
Kuan Yew was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital on Feb 5 for severe pneumonia.
Born on Sept 16, 1923, in Singapore, Kuan Yew, well known as the founding father of modern Singapore, helmed the government for over three decades, making him one of the longest serving prime ministers in the world.
He led the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), of which he was the co-founder and first secretary-general, through eight electoral victories between 1959 and 1990.
He oversaw the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965.
As a man of great vision and boldness, Kuan Yew successfully transformed Singapore into a world-class city.
He resigned as the prime minister in 1990 and was appointed Senior Minister by the second prime minister, Goh Chok Tong.
In August 2004, Kuan Yew held the advisory post of Minister Mentor in the government led by his son and current prime minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Kuan Yew graduated with First Class Honours in Law from the University of Cambridge in 1949.
With his successive ministerial positions spanning more than 50 years, Kuan Yew was one of the most influential political figures in Asia.
He announced his retirement from the Cabinet post on May 14, 2011, after the 2011 General Election but remained as a member of parliament. – BERNAMA