Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew passes away
Updated: 2015-03-23 04:47
By Zhang Yunbi(chinadaily.com.cn/Agencies)
Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew meets with US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, in this October 29, 2009 file photograph. [Photo/Agencies]
Singapore's 91-year-old founding father and its first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was born on Sept 16, 1923. Lee ruled for 31 years until 1990.
Lee has been credited with transforming the city-state from a sleepy tropical port to a wealthy, bustling financial hub with one of the highest incomes in the world.
His ancestral home is at Dabu county, Meizhou city, Guangdong province. He once attended Raffles Institution. His education was disrupted by World War II, but went on to study in England after the war. He briefly attended the London School of Economics before moving to the University of Cambridge, where he read law at Fitzwilliam College and graduated with a rare Double Starred (double First Class Honors).
A founding member of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), Lee became prime minister in 1959 when Britain was gradually handing over colonial power to the new local administration. Singapore joined Malaysia in a federation in 1963, but the two split two years later.
The PAP has returned to power in every election since 1959 and currently holds 80 of the 87 seats in parliament.
He stepped down as prime minister in 1990 in favor of his deputy Goh Chok Tong. Goh in turn handed the reins to Lee Hsien Loong in 2004.
Even after Lee retired, he continued to work for the government, first as "senior minister," a non-executive advisory post created for him, and from 2004 until 2011 as "minister mentor".
He is still an MP for the port district of Tanjong Pagar but retired from advisory roles in government in 2011.