Singapore Mourns Death Of Founder05:52
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Singaporeans pray in front of an image of late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew alongside messages and flowers left at the Tanjong Pagar community center following Lee's death in Singapore on March 23, 2015. (Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images)MoreCloseclosemore
Singaporeans pray in front of an image of late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew alongside messages and flowers left at the Tanjong Pagar community center following Lee's death in Singapore on March 23, 2015. (Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images)

Singapore's longtime leader, Lee Kuan Yew, is dead.

The country is mourning with raw emotion and a blanket of relentlessly positive coverage on its tightly scripted state television today.

The government announced that Lee, 91, died several hours before dawn at Singapore General Hospital. He was hospitalized in early February with severe pneumonia.

State TV broke away from its regular programming with a rolling hagiographic tribute to Lee's life and achievements.

Effusive tributes flowed in from world leaders, including President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BBC's Jonathan Head joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss Yew's legacy.

Note: This BBC interview can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR app.

Guest

  • Jonathan Head, Southeast Asia correspondent for BBC News. He tweets @pakhead.

This segment aired on March 23, 2015.

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