Singapore Mourns Founding Father

Singapore Mourns Founding Father

Lee Kuan Yew, founding father of Singapore and its former prime minister, has died after a bout with pneumonia that began this past February 2015. His death was announced by the local government, which reported that Yew, 91-years old, had died at the Singapore General Hospital after several weeks of treatment.

Yew led the country of Singapore for over 30 years and his reign ended in 1990. Today’s prime minister of the country is Lee Hsien Loong, who is Yew’s son. At the announcement of his father’s death, Loong gave remarks in Malay, Mandarin and English that spoke highly of his father’s time as prime minister and how he helped to bring the country to where it is today, making it a nation to be proud of.

Among other accomplishments, Yew is given credit for helping to change his island country from being a poor and low resource place to becoming a rich, busy place that is now a financial hub that is a place with little crime and little corruption. He is in fact the only world leader who is credited with bringing a country from a third world status to a first world status in just one generation.

During his 30 years in the government, Yew praised his countrymen by saying that Singapore’s natural resource was its people, and their strong work ethics. Many Singaporeans had great respect for the former prime minister, especially some of the older generation, because they remembered how his leadership got the country through the time when it was separating and gaining its independence from Malaysia.

Other world leaders also gave their respect to Yew, including US President Barack Obama, who said that the man was a visionary and that he was very sad to hear about Yew’s death. Obama had met Yew in 2009 when he visited Singapore. He also credited Yew with helping to reformulate the US policy to help bring balance to the Asia Pacific area.

Malaysian officials also spoke highly of Yew, saying that his accomplishments had been great and that his legacy would live on forever. Malaysia also stressed that their country would stay committed to their future Singapore relationship.

The foreign minister of Beijing, spokesman Hong Lei, also made a statement after hearing of Yew’s death. He said that Yew was an Asian politician whose influence was unique and that he was a true strategist instilled with all of the Eastern values, who also had a worldwide perspective on life.

Due to the death of their former prime minister and founding father, the Singapore government has announced that there will be a full week of mourning in the nation, complete with flags flying at half-staff at all state buildings. However, the country didn’t declare a full national holiday, meaning that regular activities in the country such as financial dealings will continue to function during the week of mourning in Singapore.