Singapore’s government said Wednesday that the health condition of Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s founding father, has deteriorated further. Lee was the country's first prime minister and had ruled for 31 years, during which he transformed Singapore into a wealthy financial hub from a tropical port.
"Mr Lee Kuan Yew remains critically ill in the ICU and has deteriorated further," the statement, posted on the Facebook page of his son Lee Hsien Loong, read, without giving further details. An earlier statement on Tuesday had said that his condition worsened because of an infection and he was being treated through antibiotics.
The 91-year-old was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 5 for severe pneumonia and was put on life support later, according to the Associated Press. On Feb. 21, the government had said that Lee Kuan Yew was stable but was breathing through "mechanical ventilation," according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP). Officials had also reportedly quashed rumors that Lee Kuan Yew had died.
Over 1,200 people wrote messages on Wednesday's Facebook statement, wishing Lee Kuan Yew early recovery. “Get well soon Mr. Lee , All Singaporean want to see you in SG50” Roger See, a Facebook user, wrote.
Another user, Serene Koh-Chew, wrote: “I feel so painful to read this heart breaking news! God, I pray and ask that you watch over our Hero, SG papa LKY! Amen!”
Lee Hsien Loong, who is the country’s current prime minister, said in a March 13 post: "My family and I are deeply touched," AFP reported Tuesday. "We've arranged the cards in his office, to welcome him back when he's better."
Singapore was co-founded by Lee Kuan Yew in 1965 after it declared its independence from Malaysia, according to CNN. His son, Lee Hsien Loong, came to power in 2004.
Earlier in 2011, Lee Kuan Yew's daughter Lee Wei Ling, had reportedly revealed in a newspaper column that her father had a neurological disease, which was making it difficult for him to walk.