RIP Lee Kuan Yew, The Man Who Fought For A "Malaysian Malaysia"

The former prime minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew has passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on 23 March 2015.

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[PHOTOS] Singapore Cheers For Lee Kuan Yew During Funeral Procession To Parliament House

The body of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away on Monday, was carried on Gun Carriage from Sri Temasek, the official residence of the Singapore Prime Minister, to Parliament House on Wednesday (Mar 25).

Singapore's founding Prime Minister will lie in state at Parliament House for the public to pay their last respects until Saturday.

Thousands of people in Singapore are queuing to pay tribute to late statesman Lee Kuan Yew as he lies in state in parliament. Crowds cheered, clapped and chanted his name as the procession passed by.

Crowds gathered along the road to pay their respects to the late Mr Lee. Some remained silent and shed tears, while others loudly cheered for the former Minister Mentor, chanting his name and clapping in a mark of respect.

The funeral procession of Mr Lee Kuan Yew from Sri Temasek to Parliament House was witnessed by President Tony Tan, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his family, as well as the public who lined the streets to view the procession.

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Mr Lee Kuan Yew's gun carriage procession making its way to Parliament House.

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Ceremonial guards at the Istana getting ready for the funeral procession for Mr Lee Kuan Yew at 9am.

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Many grieved and offered prayers at Mr Lee's Singapore flag-draped coffin in Parliament House.

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanked Singaporeans for their messages of support.

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Thousands have already paid tribute at the Istana.

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A new breed of orchid named after Lee Kuan Yew is displayed by his coffin in Parliament House.

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23 March: Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore has passed away peacefully at 3.18am on Monday morning

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Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister and architect of the tiny Southeast Asian city-state’s rapid rise from British tropical outpost to global trade and financial centre, died early on Monday, aged 91, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18 am,” a statement on the prime minister’s Facebook page said.

The 91-year-old had been suffering from severe pneumonia. He was put on life support after he was admitted to the Singapore General Hospital on 5 February 2015.

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As his condition worsened, thousands of Singaporeans left cards and flowers at the hospital praying for his recovery

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Image via Terence Tan
Image via Terence Tan
Image via Lee Hsien Loong

The revered former prime minister who built the island into one of the world's wealthiest nations passed away just as Singapore marks its 50th year of independence

"As Singapore marks its 50th anniversary of independence this year, its founding father will be remembered as one of the most inspiring Asian leaders," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

This morning, his son and now prime minister Lee Hsien Loong held back tears as he announced the death on national television

His son, the current prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, struggled to hold back tears in a televised address to the nation.

Speaking in Malay, Mandarin and English, the prime minister said Lee built a nation and gave Singaporeans a proud national identity.

"We won't see another man like him. To many Singaporeans, and indeed others too, Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore," he said.

Lee Kuan Yew commanded immense respect and sometimes fear from his people. The nation has declared seven days of national mourning with flags flying at half-mast.

Lee commanded immense respect, and sometimes fear, from Singaporeans, who this year will celebrate the country's 50th anniversary of independence.

State television broke away from regular programming with a hagiographic tribute to Lee's life and achievements. In a live broadcast, one of its reporters called Lee's death the "awful and dreaded" news.

The Singapore government has declared seven days of national mourning and flags will fly at half-staff on state buildings. A national holiday has not been declared and daily life in this pragmatically commercial city of vaulting glass towers and broad immaculate streets continues to bustle.

Singaporeans are deeply saddened by the passing of a hero. To help the people mourn, a tribute website, Facebook page, and condolences board have been set up across the country. has been set up to pay tribute to the man who built Singapore.

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On Remembering Lee Kuan Yew Facebook page, Singaporeans voiced their honour and respect for Lee Kuan Yew.

A total of 18 community sites have been set up across Singapore for members of the public to pay their last respects to Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, the People's Association (PA) announced on Monday (Mar 23).

Malaysians are no stranger to Lee Kuan Yew, the man who fought for Malaya to be a "Malaysian Malaysia". He would not give in to the bumiputera policy.

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Born on Sept 16, 1923 in Singapore, Kuan Yew who was well-known as the founding father of Modern Singapore, helmed the government for over three decades, making him one of the longest serving prime ministers in the world.

He led multiracial Singapore with an iron grip for more than three decades until 1990, and is credited with transforming the resource poor island into a wealthy bustling financial hub with low crime and almost zero corruption.

Kuan Yew co-founded the People's Action Party (PAP), which has ruled Singapore since 1959 and led the newly born country when it was separated from Malaysia in 1965. He advocated free-wheeling market capitalism while keeping tight control over social behaviour, from banning chewing gum to caning those caught painting graffiti on public property.

Kuan Yew was renowned for his wit and firebrand comments. He had few kind words for former Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and he dismissed the "dull life" of New Zealanders.

Those who were alive to witness the separation of Singapore from Malaya will remember the image of Lee Kuan Yew breaking into tears as he called it "a moment of anguish"

Mr Lee oversaw Singapore's independence from Britain and separation from Malaysia. Speaking after the split in 1965, he pledged to build a meritocratic, multi-racial nation. But tiny Singapore - with no natural resources - needed a new economic model.

"We knew that if we were just like our neighbours, we would die," Mr Lee told the New York Times in 2007.

"We had to produce something which is different and better than what they have."
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Prime Minister Najib along with other Malaysian leaders have voiced their condolences for the passing of a tremendous legacy

Parti Keadilan Rakyat President Wan Azizah Ismail also expressed the opposition party's condolences. "Lee Kuan Yew was a nation-builder like the late Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman; both struggled for the independence of Malaya and Singapore from the British. "We must take stock of his efforts in administering Singapore, which focused the welfare of the people regardless of race or religion.

Lee Kuan Yew leaves behind his two sons, daughter, a younger brother and sister, and a booming nation that continues to grow

Besides his son and prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr. Lee is survived by his younger son, Lee Hsien Yang, who is the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore; a daughter, Dr. Lee Wei Ling, who runs the National Neuroscience Institute; a younger brother, Suan Yew; and a younger sister, Monica.

His body will lie in the state parliament for the public to pay respects and will then be given a state funeral on 29 March 2015

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Dozens of world leaders are expected to travel to Singapore for Kuan Yew's funeral. His late wife, Kwa Geok Choo, was the last Singaporean to be given a state funeral. In 2010, her coffin was carried on a ceremonial gun carriage to a suburban crematorium.

The service will be attended by the late Kuan Yew’s family, friends and staff, the President, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Old Guards, senior civil servants, grassroots leaders and Singaporeans from all walks of life.

The state funeral service will be followed by a private cremation at Mandai Crematorium.

His late wife, Kwa Geok Choo was the last person to be given a state funeral in 2010

The late Lee Kuan Yew and Kwa Geok Choo

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Kuan Yew’s body will lie in state at Parliament House from Wednesday until Saturday for the public to pay their respects.

The state funeral will be held at 2pm on March 29 at the University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore. He will be cremated at Mandai Crematorium.

Rest in peace, Mr Lee

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