By Daniel Hunter

The man credited with transforming Singapore from a small port city to a wealthy global state has died at the age of 91.

Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore's Prime Minister for 31 years and oversaw the city-state's independence from Britain and Malaysia.

He had been ill will pneumonia for several weeks during a spell in hospital. His death was announced by his son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday morning. A state funeral will be held on 29 March after a week of mourning.

"He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans. We won't see another man like him," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

US President Barack Obama described him as a "giant of history". And the Chinese foreign ministry said he was "a uniquely influential statesman in Asia".

Despite transforming Singapore's fortunes, Lee Kuan Yew had his critics for his grip on freedom of speech and targeting of political opponents in court.