Singapore moves confidently beyond 50

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Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's influence on Singapore runs deep, but he made sure he prepared the country to move on and not "be stuck in the Lee Kuan Yew mode" of governance, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told the TIME magazine in an interview earlier this month.

When Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away, there was a tremendous outpouring of grief by Singaporeans but confidence in Singapore was not shaken, on the contrary, it was strengthened, said PM.

PM Lee said his father had a great deal of influence on his own thinking on politics, culture, world affairs and life itself. But the late Mr Lee - who stepped down as Prime Minister in 1990 and left the Cabinet in 2011 - was also very good at preparing Singapore to carry on beyond him, giving his successors "room to do things their way and pursue policies as they felt necessary", he said.

"Only very rarely did he assert a strong view and asked us to please rethink something... But otherwise, he allowed evolution to take place so that Singapore would carry on beyond him," he said.

PM Lee noted that as Singapore celebrates its 50th year of independence this year, the country has kept its mission "substantially intact", and "that is quite an achievement", he commented.

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