Asia Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew dies aged 91

Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew dies aged 91

: Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father and first prime minister of Singapore, who died at the age of 91 on March 23 in 2015, is seen during his official visit in Ankara, Turkey on May 15, 1990.
: Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father and first prime minister of Singapore, who died at the age of 91 on March 23 in 2015, is seen during his official visit in Ankara, Turkey on May 15, 1990.

(AA) – Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister who served for three decades, has died at the age of 91.

Regarded as the founding father of modern Singapore, Yew was credited for transforming the city-state from a port city into a global hub.

Yew died peacefully on Sunday after having been in hospital for several weeks with severe pneumonia, Singapore prime minister’s office announced as quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was “deeply saddened” by Lee’s passing, according to the U.N. Spokesperson’s Twitter account.

Respected as the figure behind Singapore’s prosperity, Lee was also criticized for his iron grip on power, and the restrictions put in place on freedoms during his tenure, which ended in 1990 although he continued to work in the government till 2011.

“In the end, my greatest satisfaction in life comes from the fact that I have spent years gathering support, mustering the will to make this place meritocratic, corruption-free and equal for all races — and that it will endure beyond me, as it has,” Lee said in his 2013 book, “One Man’s View of the World,” as carried by the AP news agency.

U.S. President Barack Obama praised Lee as “one of the legendary figures of Asia in the 20th and 21st centuries” and “somebody who helped trigger the Asian economic miracle,” the AP reported.

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