Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has died

 
Billy Ehrenberg
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Lee Kuan Yew pictured in 2011 (Source: Getty)

Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, has died at 91, according to the city state’s current leader.

A statement issued by Prime minister Lee Lsien Loong read

The prime minister is deeply grieved to announce the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding prime minister of Singapore.

Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore general hospital today at 3.18 am. He was 91.

Lee had been in hospital since 5 February, suffering from acute pneumonia.

Arrangements for the funeral, and for the public to pay their respects, will be announced later. The People’s Action Party, which he co-founded, has run Singapore since 1965 when it separated from Malaysia. Lee left power in 1990.

Lee is viewed as being the man to put Singapore on the map, with trademark policies including bans on chewing gum and pornography. More importantly, he is also credited with making Singapore one of the richest countries on earth, measured by GDP per capita ($55,000).

His desire to build a business friendly city, coupled with his authoritarian views, created a capitalist haven with little toleration of dissent.

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