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Thousands Pack Singapore Streets to See Lee's Casket

  • VOA News

Thousands of mourners packed streets Wednesday to pay respects to Singapore's late founder, Lee Kuan Yew, whose body was transported on top of a gun carriage from the president's residence to parliament house.

The body, lying in a glass casket, will lie in state for a public viewing until Lee's Sunday funeral, which is expected to be attended by foreign dignitaries from around the world. Singapore has declared a week-long period of national mourning for Lee.

FILE - Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) smiles as he attends the LKY School of Public Policy 7th anniversary dialogue session in Singapore, Sept. 2011.

FILE - Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) smiles as he attends the LKY School of Public Policy 7th anniversary dialogue session in Singapore, Sept. 2011.

The former prime minister, who led the island nation from 1959 to 1990, died Monday at the age of 91.

He became Singapore's first prime minister when it gained full self-governance from Britain's colonial rule. Lee remained the country's driving force long after his retirement three decades later.

He has been praised for laying the foundation for Singapore's massive growth and booming prosperity, but criticized by many who objected to his authoritarian style.

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