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Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀) (born September 16, 1923) was the Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. He was born in Singapore, and received his university education from the University of Cambridge in Britain. He returned to Singapore in 1949 to work as a lawyer.

In 1954, Lee and a group of fellow English-educated, middle-class Chinese formed the People's Action Party (PAP), to agitate for self-government for Singapore and an end to British colonialism . Five years later, in 1959, Lee was elected as the first Prime Minister of Singapore. He was regularly re-elected until 1990, when he stepped down and assumed the post of senior minister in the government cabinet, which he holds to this day.

During the three decades in which Lee was in office, Singapore grew from a Third World country into a financial and economical powerhouse, despite its lack of natural resources and small population. He is widely respected by the people of Singapore, and has often been credited as the architect of its prosperity. At the same time, he has been criticized as an authoritarian, because of various oppressive policies implemented by the government of Singapore under his leadership.

Lee Kuan Yew has written down his memoirs in the book The Singapore Story, which covers his view of Singapore's history until its separation from Malaysia in 1965.

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