SINGAPORE, Singapore - The health condition of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew "has worsened", the government said Saturday, as the critically ill founding leader of the city-state entered his seventh week in hospital.
The 91-year-old Lee has been in the Singapore General Hospital since February 5 suffering severe pneumonia and is being helped to breathe using mechanical ventilation, a form of life support.
The government said this week that his condition had deteriorated and that he was critically ill.
In its latest statement on Saturday, the office of his son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: "Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s condition has worsened."
The patriarch has been credited with transforming the tiny island-state from an economic backwater into one of the world's richest societies in just over three decades.
Prime Minister Lee posted the latest bulletin on his Facebook page and was immediately flooded with well wishes and messages of support.
"Holding hands, we pray for you," reader Mervin Yama wrote.
"Pray that he is not in pain," wrote another reader Rachel Leong.
"Tell him on behalf of all of us, we love him and are grateful to him," said Jane Tan.
Lee was prime minister from 1959, when colonial ruler Britain granted Singapore self-rule, to 1990. He led Singapore to independence in 1965 after a brief and stormy union with Malaysia.
Lee is credited with modernizing Singapore into a vibrant financial hub despite its lack of natural resources and Western leaders often sought his views on China and other regional developments.
Rights groups, however, have criticized his iron-fisted rule, which has seen political opponents jailed or driven to bankruptcy through costly libel suits.
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