Singapore founding father Lee’s condition improves slightly

SINGAPORE (AP) — The condition of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s 91-year-old founding father, has improved slightly as he remains on life support in intensive care, where he is being treated for severe pneumonia, the government said Saturday.

Lee remains sedated and on mechanical ventilation in the ICU at Singapore General Hospital, and is continuing with his antibiotics, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. It said his “condition has improved slightly.”

Lee was admitted to Singapore General on Feb. 5.

Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee ruled for 31 years until 1990, and has been credited with transforming the city-state from a sleepy tropical port to a wealthy, bustling financial hub with one of the highest average incomes in the world.

Under Lee and his successors, including his son, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore — known for its ban on chewing gum sales and canings for crimes some countries would rule as minor — has strictly controlled public speech and assembly, though it has become socially more liberal and allowed greater artistic freedom in recent years.

Lee commands immense respect among Singaporeans, who this year will celebrate the 50th independence anniversary.

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