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Lee Kuan Yew Quits Ruling Party’s Top-Decision Making Body

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Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who co-founded the ruling People’s Action Party 57 years ago, resigned from its top decision-making body.

The PAP’s central executive committee accepted the resignation of Lee and five other members, including former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, during a meeting yesterday, the party said on its Website.

Lee, 88, has been retreating from Singapore’s political scene after the party won the May general election with the smallest margin of popular vote since independence. The PAP returned to power with 81 parliamentary seats out of 87, while losing 39.9 percent of the popular vote.

“Leadership renewal in the party goes hand-in-hand with self-renewal among MPs and ministers,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the party’s secretary-general and Lee Kuan Yew’s son, said in the statement. “The party has much work ahead of it to strengthen its roots, extend its outreach, and convince a new generation of voters to support its ideals, vision and programs.”

Lee, who led the island from U.K. rule and was premier until 1990, resigned from the cabinet May 14, saying it was time for a younger generation to “carry Singapore forward in a more difficult and complex situation.” The move ended his five-decade presence in government leadership, when he crafted a legacy of encouraging foreign investment, averting corruption and emphasizing discipline, efficiency and interracial harmony.

The committee will appoint new members to fill the positions, the party said. Other members who resigned from the committee were Lim Boon Heng, Wong Kan Seng, George Yeo and Lim Hwee Hua, according to the statement. Those who stepped down were office-holders before the May 7 general election.

To contact the reporter on this story: Netty Ismail in Singapore nismail3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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