The life and legacy of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister and architect of its rapid rise to global trade and financial hub. Paul Chapman reports.
PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 The People's Action Party co-founded by Lee Kuan Yew began its rule of Singapore six years before its independence half a century ago. Lee was the nation's first prime minister. He spearheaded the island's independence from Britain in 1959. Singapore joined the post-colonial Federation of Malaysia, a grouping of former British territories in 1963. When it was expelled two years later after violent ethic clashes Lee was visibly upset. (SOUNDBITE)(English) LEE KUAN YEW SAYING: "You see, the whole of my adult life...I have believed in Malaysia, in merger and the unity of these two characters, you know, it's a people connected by geography, economics and ties of kinship...would you mind if we stop for a while." Lee led Singapore's rapid rise from British tropical outpost to global trade and financial centre. He stepped down in 1990 as the world's longest-serving prime minister. He stayed on in the cabinet until 2011. He was a member of parliament until his death. Under Lee Singapore's economy has flourished. Political opposition and an independent media have not been allowed to thrive, however, drawing criticism for heavy-handed government. Even so, Singapore, marking the 50th anniversary of its birth this year, is hailed as one of Asia's most liveable and corruption-free nations.