2:00 am - Thursday November 5, 2015

Former Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew ‘critically ill’ after condition deteriorates

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The condition of former Singaporean premier Lee Kuan Yew has deteriorated further and he is critically ill in intensive care, the government says.

Mr Lee, the country’s first elected prime minister, has been receiving treatment for severe pneumonia at Singapore General Hospital since February 5.

The government said his condition had worsened due to an infection.

“Mr Lee Kuan Yew remains critically ill in the ICU and has deteriorated further,” the office of prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a statement on Wednesday.

An earlier statement said the 91-year-old was on antibiotics and doctors were “closely monitoring his condition”.

The veteran politician served as prime minister from 1959, when Singapore gained self-rule from colonial ruler Britain, until he stepped down in 1990.

Although he has receded from the public and political scene, his health is watched closely as he is still seen as an influential figure for the current government.

News of Mr Lee’s fading health prompted an outpouring of support on social media.

“For all his work and belief for and in us as a nation, we can only pray for his stability of health,” Darius Lim wrote on the prime minister’s Facebook page.

Other social media users said they were “praying” Mr Lee would recover to celebrate Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence in August.

Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong followed in his father’s footsteps in 2004, becoming the city-state’s third prime minister.

He himself was discharged from hospital on February 18 after a successful surgery to treat prostate cancer.

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