Mr Tharman urges Singaporeans to carry on Mr Lee Kuan Yew's legacy

Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew turned Singapore from a Third World country into one of the world’s most developed and prosperous states.

SINGAPORE - Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has expressed his condolences on the demise of Mr Lee Kuan Yew on his Facebook page.

Mr Lee passed away at Singapore General Hospital at 3.18am on Monday morning after being hospitalised since Feb 5 for severe pneumonia.

His body is currently resting at the Istana for a private wake.

Mr Tharman remembers Singapore's founding prime minister for helping the nation earn its place in the world.

He said: "Lee Kuan Yew made Singapore to last. He led a team, not a one-man show. He groomed new leaders. He built clean government, and a culture of telling it straight - telling people the problems, and finding a way to fix them."

He urged all Singaporeans to honour Mr Lee's legacy by "[building] on what they inherit, [living] by their ideals, and [striving] to make our society fair, just and great."

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debwong@sph.com.sg