Singapore’s prime minister’s office reiterated Thursday that the country’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew remained critically ill in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Singapore General Hospital. The latest announcement comes as police officials investigate the death hoax about the former prime minister.
"Mr Lee Kuan Yew remains critically ill in the ICU," according to the latest statement from the government.
Late Wednesday, a statement on a website resembling that of the country's prime minister's office, said that Lee Kuan Yew had died, according to the Wall Street Journal. Following the statement, some international news organizations, including CNN, carried the news. Earlier this week, Singapore’s government had said that the former premier’s health had been affected due to an infection. It released a statement on Wednesday that his condition had deteriorated, and denied reports of his death.
"There is an image of a doctored statement supposedly from the prime minister’s office. It is fake," a government spokesperson said Wednesday, according to Agence France-Presse, adding: "The prime minister’s office is lodging a police report over the fake statement about Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s passing."
Lee Kuan Yew was admitted in hospital on Feb. 5 for severe pneumonia and is now “critically ill” in the ICU.
After Singapore’s independence from Malaysia was announced in 1965, Lee Kuan Yew had helped transform the country into a financial hub from a tropical port. Singapore will complete 50 years of independence this year. The 91-year-old’s son Lee Hsien Loong came to power in 2004 and is the current prime minister of the country.
Several users on social media wished for Lee Kuan Yew's early recovery.
"I wished I could transfer my lifespan to you for longer living as you deserves better than anyone of us! You must stay with us to celebrate this yr NDP together," Daniel Won, a user wrote on Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook post about his father’s condition.
Jennifer Ee, another user, wrote: "My sincere hope that he can make it to see Singapore celebrate SG50, his effort and suffering make him our FATHER OF SINGAPORE, Feel So Proud to be Singaporean."
Social media users also lashed out at those spreading rumors about the former leader's health.
— sg-cafe (@media_sgcafe) March 18, 2015
LKY being sick isn't a joke. He was the iconic face of Singapore. His death alone can lead to economic issues here. Don't forget that.
— Nathiya Faith (@NathiyaFaith) March 18, 2015
Please do not tweet anything out if you cannot confirm or credit it to a source on record. Stay responsible and keep to the facts. #LKY
— Shah / Kyle Malinda (@firdianshah1) March 18, 2015
I hope Mr Lky gets better soon. The man who made Singapore should be here for sg50.
— nan✨ (@deepikasbae) March 18, 2015