Singapore Founding Prime Minister Dead

Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore, died early Monday morning, according to a statement released by the office of Singapore’s current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.


He was 91. Lee passed away peacefully at Singapore General Hospital at 3:18 a.m., the statement said. He had been in the hospital with pneumonia since February 5.

Born in 1923, Lee co-founded the city state in 1965 when it declared its independence from Malaysia and was its prime minister for more than three decades.

“The first of our founding fathers is no more,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is Lee’s son, told the nation in a televised speech Monday.

“He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none and made us proud to be Singaporeans,” Lee said.

Lee’s body will lie in state at Parliament House from Wednesday through Saturday. A state funeral will be held Sunday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a condolence statement and said Lee “helped Singapore to transition from a developing country to one of the most developed in the world, transforming it into a thriving international business hub.”