Monday, March 23, 2015
@dapmalaysia loses its mentor as Lee Kuan Yew dies at 91
Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister and architect of the tiny city-state's rapid rise from British military outpost to global trade and financial centre, died today, at age 91.
Although Kuan Yew had receded from public and political life over the past few years, he was still seen as an influential figure in the government of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his oldest son.
"The prime minister is deeply grieved to announce the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding prime minister of Singapore," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
Thousands of people had been leaving flowers and cards at the hospital over the past three days, praying for his recovery.
longest-serving prime minister – the acerbic Kuan Yew stayed on in the cabinet until 2011. He was a member of parliament until his death.
As leader, Kuan Yew combined market-friendly policies with strict controls over the press, public protest and his political opponents. He was hailed by some as a visionary, yet criticised by others as authoritarian.
Kuan Yew's death and his son's expected retirement within the next few years will mark the end of an era, but industry leaders say any change of the guard will have little impact on business in the city-state, renowned for its robust institutions.
Thousands are expected to pay their respects at the Istana, or presidential palace, a grand colonial-era building in the bustling downtown shopping district of Orchard Road.
"My tears welled up as I received the sad news," said another former Singapore prime minister, Goh Chok Tong, who succeeded Kuan Yew.
"He was my leader, mentor, inspiration, the man I looked up to most," Goh posted on Facebook.
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