Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, who led the city-state for more than three decades, has died aged 91. Lee Kuan Yew died in hospital after suffering from severe pneumonia. Lee’s son and current prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, announced the news in the early hours of Monday morning local time
He was admitted to Singapore General Hospital on February 5 and was later put on life support.
A statement from his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said: “Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18 am.
“Arrangements for the public to pay respects and for the funeral proceedings will be announced later.” Lee said that his father would lie in state from 25-28 March at Parliament House so the public could pay their respects, with the state funeral on 29 March.
Mr Lee was credited with guiding Singapore through its split with Malaysia in 1965, as well as building the the city-state into one of the world’s richest nations.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “deeply saddened” by Mr Lee’s death.
In a statement he noted that Singapore will mark its 50th anniversary of independence this year, and “its founding father will be remembered as one of the most inspiring Asian leaders.”
Lee, a Cambridge-educated lawyer, is widely credited with building Singapore into one of the world’s wealthiest nations on a per capita basis with a strong, pervasive role for the state and little patience for dissent.
He co-founded the PAP and led the newly born country when it was separated from Malaysia in 1965.