Singapore says 91-year-old founding father Lee Kuan Yew's condition has worsened

The condition of Singapore's 91-year-old founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, has worsened as he remains at the hospital where he has been treated for nearly six weeks, the government said Tuesday.

Lee has been at Singapore General Hospital since Feb. 5, when he was admitted for severe pneumonia and was later put on life support.

Lee's "condition has worsened due to an infection. He is on antibiotics. The doctors are closely monitoring his condition," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement posted on its website Tuesday.

Singapore's first prime minister, Lee ruled for 31 years until 1990, and has been credited with transforming the city-state from a sleepy tropical port to a wealthy, bustling financial hub with one of the highest average incomes in the world.

Under Lee and his successors, including his son, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore — known for its ban on chewing gum sales and canings for crimes some countries would rule as minor — has strictly controlled public speech and assembly, though it has become socially more liberal and allowed greater artistic freedom in recent years.

Lee commands immense respect among Singaporeans, who this year will celebrate the country's 50th independence anniversary.