Singapore’s founding PM Lee Kuan Yew dies at 91

World Today

File picture of Lee Kuan Yew (CFP)

Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father and first prime minister of Singapore, died on Monday morning. He was 91.

Mr. Lee “passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3:18 a.m.,” according to a statement on the website of the office of the prime minister.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Office has declared a period of National Mourning from March 23 to March 29.

Lee’s body will lie in state at Parliament House from Wednesday to Saturday for the public to pay their respects. Those who wish to pay their last respects at Parliament House can do so from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from Wednesday to Saturday, the PMO said.

A State Funeral Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the University Cultural Center, National University of Singapore, it added.

WATCH MORE:
Profile of Lee Kuan Yew

Profile of Lee Kuan Yew

Profile of Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew has died, the prime minister's office says. He was in hospital since Feb. 5th for severe pneumonia infection.

Other world leaders also offered their condolences.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he is “deeply saddened by the death of H.E. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore. He offers his condolences to the family of the former Prime Minister, the Government and the people of Singapore.”

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Singapore’s Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement. “He was a true giant of history who will be remembered for generations to come as the father of modern Singapore and as one the great strategists of Asian affairs.”

Lee had been in hospital for severe pneumonia since Feb. 5. PMO said his condition was “slightly improved” on Feb. 28, but worsened due to an infection on March 17. His condition had hence remained “critically ill” until PMO issued a statement at noon on Saturday, saying that his condition had again “worsened”.

His ill health had prevented him from attending public and constituency events in recent months. His latest appearances were at the People’s Action Party’s 60th anniversary celebrations in November last year and his constituency’s Tree Planting Day earlier the same month.

As a MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC (Group Representation Constituency), he also attended Tanjong Pagar GRC’s National Day dinner in August 2014.

Mr Lee, who was born in 1923, formed the People’s Action Party in 1954. He became prime minister in 1959. He led the nation through a merger with the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, and to independence in 1965. He served as the prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990, and later served as a senior minister and minister mentor after stepping down from the first chair.

According to Singapore media, the public can express their condolences and share their memories of the late Mr Lee at the official website, http://www.rememberingleekuanyew.sg, and http://www.facebook.com/rememberingleekuanyew.

Photo gallery: Lee Kuan Yew

Photo gallery: Lee Kuan Yew

Photo gallery: Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew has died, the prime minister's office says. He was in hospital since Feb. 5th for severe pneumonia infection.

Timeline of Lee Kuan Yew’s life

Timeline of Lee Kuan Yew's life

Timeline of Lee Kuan Yew's life

Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew has died, the prime minister's office says. He was in hospital since Feb. 5th for severe pneumonia infection.


Lee Kuan Yew and the U.S.

Throughout Lee Kuan Yew’s long political career, he had close ties with many U.S. presidents.
CCTV’s Nathan King examines the sometimes fraught relationship.

Lee Kuan Yew and the US

Lee Kuan Yew and the US

Throughout Lee Kuan Yew's long political career, he had close ties with many U.S. presidents. CCTV's Nathan King examines the sometimes fraught relationship.


Lee Kuan Yew and China-Singapore relations

Lee Kuan Yew’s time in office also contributed to China-Singapore relations, and his legacy continued to wield influence over the city state even after stepping down from office. CCTV’s Tang Bo filed this report.

Lee Kuan Yew and China-Singapore relations

Lee Kuan Yew and China-Singapore relations

Lee Kuan Yew's time in office also contributed to China-Singapore relations, and his legacy continued to wield influence over the city state even after stepping down from office. CCTV's Tang Bo filed this report.


Calestous Juma on Lee Kuan Yew

Calestous Juma has studied Lee Kuan Yew’s economic models. He is a professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and the Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Calestous Juma on Lee Kuan Yew

Calestous Juma on Lee Kuan Yew

Calestous Juma has studied Lee Kuan Yew's economic models. He is a professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. . He's also the Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.


CCTV’s Audrey Siek weighs in

CCTV America has a large international staff. Associate Producer Audrey Siek was born and raised in Singapore. She weighs in.

CCTV\'s Audrey Seik weighs in

CCTV\'s Audrey Seik weighs in

CCTV America has a large international staff. CCTV's Audrey Seik was born and raised in Singa[ore. She weighs in.


Lee Kuan Yew interview
CCTV’s Yang Rui interviewed Lee Kuan Yew in 2011. Their conversation was wide-ranging covering everything from Lee’s legacy in Singapore, relations with China, the West, even investment in Africa.
Here’s an encore presentation of that interview.

Lee Kuan Yew interview

Lee Kuan Yew interview

CCTV's Yang Rui interviewed Lee Kuan Yew in 2011. Their conversation was wide-ranging covering everything from Lee's legacy in Singapore, relations with China, the West, even investment in Africa. Here's an encore presentation of that interview.

Key dates in the life of Lee Kuan Yew:

— Sept. 16, 1923: Lee is born in Singapore, then a British colony.

— 1942-45: Education at Raffles College is interrupted by Japanese occupation of Singapore during World War II.

— 1946: Goes to England and studies law at Cambridge University, where he was known as Harry, a name his grandfather called him.

— 1947: Secretly marries Kwa Geok Choo, fellow student at Cambridge.

— 1950: Returns to Singapore.

— 1954: Helps form People’s Action Party, becomes party’s secretary-general.

— 1955: Wins seat in legislative assembly, starts law firm Lee & Lee with his wife.

— 1959: Lee becomes Singapore’s first prime minister after People’s Action Party wins decisively in general election. Britain grants Singapore self-governance in all matters except defense and foreign affairs.

— 1963: Lee declares Singapore’s full independence from Britain, joins with Malaya to form Federation of Malaysia.

— 1965: Singapore splits from Malaysia to become independent.

— 1968, 1976, 1980: Under Lee, ruling party wins all seats in parliamentary elections.

— 1990: After Singapore enjoys more than two decades of spectacular economic growth, Lee resigns as prime minister. He is appointed senior minister and continues to wield influence.

— 2004: Son Lee Hsein Loong becomes Singapore’s third prime minister.

— 2011: Gives up Cabinet minister post and resigns from executive committee of the People’s Action Party after it fared relatively poorly in parliamentary elections.

— Feb. 5, 2015: Hospitalized with severe pneumonia.

— March 23, 2015 – Lee dies at Singapore General Hospital.

Story compiled with the information from AP.

  • Sarfaraz Abbasi

    The great man he was

  • Peter Yip Lam

    a great man has fallen. saddened!

  • Peter Yip Lam

    truly a giant has fallen. saddened !