Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Timeline: Mr Lee Kuan Yew dies on Monday at age 91

SINGAPORE - Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew died at the Singapore General Hospital on Monday at the age of 91.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has declared a seven-day period of national mourning.

Many Singaporeans were still asleep as the news broke in the early hours of the morning. Here is a timeline of the events as they unfolded:

4.04am: The first statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) announces the passing of Mr Lee.

"The Prime Minister is deeply grieved to announce the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore. Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18 am. He was 91," it says.

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5:09am: President Tony Tan conveys his condolences in a letter that is also posted on Facebook.

Listing many of his achievements, Dr Tan says: "Singapore was his passion and he continued serving Singapore till the last days of his life."

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6.22am: The Singapore Cabinet sends its condolences to PM Lee and his family. Of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, they say: "We will always remember his sound guidance, his constant questioning, and his fatherly care for Singapore and for all of us."

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6.31am: The Prime Minister declares a period of national mourning for seven days - from Monday (March 23) to Sunday (March 29). The PMO says that flags on government buildings will be flown at half-mast for the duration.

The state funeral service will be held at 2pm on Sunday at the University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore.

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6:35am: People's Action Party (PAP) chairman Khaw Boon Wan, in a statement issued on behalf of the party's Central Executive Committee, says: "Founding Secretary General Comrade Lee Kuan Yew has devoted his whole life to Singapore. Millions of Singaporeans have improved their lives because of his dedication and sacrifice."

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7am: Condolences and tributes from citizens stream in as the news spread. 

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7.14am: PM Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching arrive at the Istana ahead of a live broadcast. 

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8am: In a touching address, PM Lee pays tribute to Mr Lee in Malay, Chinese and English.

"To many Singaporeans, and indeed others too, Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore," he says.

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9am: The Singapore stock market opens largely unchanged at the news of Mr Lee's death.

The Straits Times Index edges up 1.21 points to 3,413.65 points after the opening bell but moves a marginal 0.11 points down to 3,412.33 after a few minutes.

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9.05am: The Workers' Party (WP) sends its condolences to PM Lee.

"On behalf of the Workers' Party, I wish to convey my deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of your father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew," says Mr Low Thia Khiang, the party's secretary-general.

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9.08am: The PMO says that condolence boards will be available in front of the Istana main gate from Monday to Sunday. Similar condolence boards will be set up in front of Parliament House. People who wish to leave flowers for Mr Lee can also do so at these two areas.

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10am: Tributes pour in from world leaders past and present for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, hailing him as a visionary and legendary leader respected all over the world.

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10am: Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong says he is "deepyly distressed" at the demise of his mentor, Mr Lee in a condolence letter to PM Lee.

"As Prime Minister, you lead a nation in mourning the demise of its greatest son, even as you grieve the passing of your father. Condolences cannot erase the pain of your bereavement," the letter said.

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12.55pm: A crowd was at the main entrance of the Istana when the hearse carying Mr Lee's body arrived. 

When the hearse pulled in to the Istana, the crowd broke into spontaneous applause and some shouted "Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew".

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1.04pm: Parliament announced a special sitting at 4pm on Thursday to pay tribute to Mr Lee.

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3pm: The People's Association said that six community sites will be up by 10am on Tuesday for the public to pay their respects to Mr Lee. Another 12 will be ready by Wednesday morning. Details of more community sites will be coming in over the day.

There will be live telecasts of the state funeral on Sunday at the sites.

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