IBTimes UK

Singaporeans are observing the first death anniversary of founding father Lee Kuan Yew on Wednesday.

A ceremonial event took place at the Arts House, the site of Singapore's first Parliament, where past and present parliamentarians gathered to pay tributes to the political patriarch, who died on 23 March last year

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the late leader's son, led the signature event in a long list of functions held across the city state to honor the first prime minister.

"Mr Lee's personal leadership helped set the tone and shows the Parliament that we know today," Grace Fu, minister for culture, community and youth said, according to Channel News Asia.

"As we honour Mr Lee's memory, let us resolve to uphold the integrity and honour of our Parliament. As Mr Lee once said, the importance of this House depends not on its size or grandeur, but on the quality of the men and women who represent the people of Singapore. We will build on this spirit and bring Singapore to greater heights," she added.

Other high-profile events are planned across Singapore to commemorate the legacy of Lee, who was the first prime minster of the city state.

Lee stewarded the tiny city state in its journey to become one of the richest countries on earth over thirty years of his rule.

Political patriarch

Lee's legacy never faded even decades after he relinquished power in the 1990s and the People's Action Party (PAP) he co-founded has never faced serious challenges in power in 50 years.

The political patriarch earned deep adulation among the citizens, but his style of leadership had also raised criticism from various opposition groups.

Lee's political acumen and market friendly approach transformed Singapore into a world class country and a regional business and financial hub but there was criticism over his policy of strict control of the press and public protest.

However, the opposition leaders have refrained from criticism after his death, as the founding father of the nation assumed an iconic status.

His death was deeply mourned by Singaporeans who took to streets in thousands chanting "Lee Kuan Yew" to view the leader for one last time as the carriage with his casket paraded down the central business district of the erstwhile British colonial outpost he transformed into a regional financial capital.