Singapore’s Prime Minister For 31 years, Lee Kuan Yew Dies At 91
The founding father and first prime minister of Singapore who transformed Singapore from a small port city into a wealthy global hub, Lee Kuan Yew, died at the age of 91.
He was the city-state’s prime minister for 31 years and was widely respected as the architect of Singapore’s prosperity.
According to BBC NEW, he was criticised for his iron grip on power. Under him freedom of speech was tightly restricted and political opponents were targeted by the courts.
In an emotional televised address, his son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid tribute to him.
“He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans. We won’t see another man like him.”
Mr Lee oversaw Singapore’s independence from Britain and separation from Malaysia. His death was announced early on Monday. He had been in hospital for several weeks with pneumonia and was on life support.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “deeply saddened” by Mr Lee’s death. US President Barack Obama described him as a “giant of history”. The Chinese foreign ministry called him “a uniquely influential statesman in Asia”.
For the funeral details, The Lee family will hold a private wake at the Istana over the next couple of days. Lee’s body will then be carried on a gun carriage to Parliament House, where it will lie in state for the public to pay their respects until Saturday. Lee will be accorded a full state funeral on Sunday.
Singapore’s Parliament will convene for a special sitting on Thursday for MPs to pay tribute to Lee, the clerk of parliament tells AFP in an emailed statement.
A state funeral will be held on 29 March, after a week of mourning.