Lee Kuan Yew celebrates 90th birthday, world leaders send well wishes

Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew celebrates his 90th birthday on Monday. (AFP file photo)

Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew celebrates another milestone in his life on Monday as he turns 90.

In an interview with The Straits Times, he said he was “lucky” to reach 90.

He also revealed that his greatest satisfaction when he looked back on his life is seeing Singapore’s progress.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also told The Straits Times that his father’s greatest achievement is building a nation “nobody believed possible”.

The former minister mentor will be celebrating his birthday with his family at a private dinner.

Birthday wishes from around the world

Birthday greetings for Singapore's founding prime minister are also streaming in from across the globe.

UK’s Queen Elizabeth II congratulated Lee on his 90th birthday and noted how his life has been “inextricably interwoven with the history and development” of Singapore.

The queen also mentioned that she’s delighted that the links between both countries remain strong, 50 years after Singapore’s independence from the UK.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel also honoured Lee, noting how he has been a decisive figure helping to shape Singapore's destiny and leading the country to peace and prosperity.

She added that Lee's prudent policymaking has also helped ASEAN become a force for reconciliation and stability in Asia.

Merkel also said Singapore will remain a key partner for Germany in Asia.

China's former vice premier, Li Lanqing, also paid tribute to Lee and recognised his efforts in forging the friendship between China and Singapore.

Li also wished the former minister mentor good health, longevity and happiness.

Back home, several MP and dignitaries also sent their well wishes to Lee via social media.

On his Facebook page, President Tony Tan paid tribute to the elder statesman.

"Generations of Singaporeans have benefitted from Mr Lee Kuan Yew’slifelong contributions towards creating the peaceful and prosperous Singaporethat we know today. Mr Lee reminds us that Singapore is a constant work inprogress as he continues to work tirelessly to secure our future even aftermore than five decades of public service".

On his Facebook page, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean thanked Lee for his contributions to the city-state and wished him “good health and happiness always”.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan noted on his Facebook page that Singapore has been “blessed by the life and achievements of Mr Lee Kuan Yew”.

Lee became Singapore’s first prime minister in 1959, taking Singapore through the merger and separation with Malaysia, independence and its journey from a Third World to a First World country.

He stepped down as prime minister in 1990 and took on roles of senior minister and minister mentor to the nation.

Lee eventually stepped down from the cabinet after the 2011 general elections.

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