Lee Kuan Yew passes away: All you need to know about 'Founding Father of Singapore'
Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding father and first Prime Minister, died on Monday at the age of 91 of severe pneumonia. Lee had been hospitalised at the Singapore General Hospital for severe pneumonia since February 5.
Here is all you should know about Singapore's first Prime Minister who is 'architect' of modern Singapore.
Early political career
- He was the co-founder and first Secretary-General of the People's Action Party (PAP) on Nov 12, 1954, Lee, together with a group of fellow English-educated middle-class men, in the basement of his house.
- In 1955 Lee won election and he became the leader of opposition against David Saul Marshall's Labour Front-led coalition government.
- Lee led his party PAP to 8 wins from 1959 to 1990 and remained Singapore's PM for 31 years.
First Prime Minister of Singapore
- Lee became the first Prime Minister of Singapore on 3 June 1959 after taking over from Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock.
- He remained Singapore's PM after the country state attained self-government and autonomy from British Rule in 1965.
- He also oversaw merger and subsequent separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965.
- He is responsible for making Singapore a world economy thanks to his visionary ideas and leadership prowess.
Singapore joined UN and founded ASEAN
- On September 21, 1965, Singapore joined the United Nations.
- On 8 Aug 1967, Lee founded the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with four other South-East Asian countries.
History's longest serving ministers
- He quit as Prime Minister in 1990 after remaining 31 years in office.
- Though he held successive ministerial portfolios for over 50 years, and also became one of history's longest-serving ministers.
- From 1990 to 2004 Lee remained senior minister and between 2004-2011 remained 'mentor minister'.
- On 14 May 2011, Lee and Goh Chok Tong, Singapore's second PM, announced their retirement from the cabinet after that year's general election. But Lee remained a Member of Parliament.
- Lee Kuan Yew is credited with transforming the city-state into an economic powerhouse within just three decades.
- Post-independence of Singapore, Lee helped in transformation of Singapore from a relatively underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into a "First World" Asian Tiger.
Most influential political figures in Asia
- In 2009, US President Barack Obama introduced Lee as "one of the legendary figures of Asia in the 20th and 21st centuries.
- For his exemplary services to Singapore he was awarded with a number of state decorations.
Awards and global recognition
He was bestowed with Order of the Companions of Honour (1970), Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (1972), the Freedom of the City of London (1982), the Seri Paduka Mahkota Johor (1984), the Order of Great Leader (1988) and the Order of the Rising Sun (1967).
Lee is survived by his two sons, current Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 63, and Lee Hsien Yang, 57, daughter Lee Wei Ling, 60, seven grandchildren and two siblings.