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SINGAPORE /CITY/, March 29 /TASS/. Millions of Singaporeans will on Sunday pay their last respects to Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s first prime minister and founder, who died at the age of 91 on March 23. The official part of the funeral will take place at the National University of Singapore cultural center. After that, Lee Kuan’s body will be taken to a local private crematorium.
Russian First Vice-Premier Igor Shuvalov will represent Russia at the funeral ceremony alongside with the presidents of Indonesia, South Korea and Myanmar; Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe as well as the prime ministers of Cambodia and Thailand.
About 415,000 people came to say their good-bye to the late prime minister in the four days while his body lay in state in the parliament’s building (March 25-28). People stood in long queues under the scorching sun and heat for ten hours. Another 850,000 people who could not get into parliament paid their tribute to the late premier at 18 memorable places, which have been specially opened for this purpose.
Lee Kuan Yew became the prime minister of Singapore in 1959. He stepped down in November 1990 in a major transition of power from the older to the younger generation of politicians. But in fact, Lee Kuan Yew continued running the country for the next 20 years, making all vital strategic decisions.
Early in February, Lee Kuan Yew was taken to hospital with acute pneumonia where he died on March 23.