Singapore: Singapore`s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew entered his seventh week in hospital Friday, where he remains "critically ill", according to the latest government statement.
It said supporters of the 91-year-old, who is credited with transforming Singapore from an economic backwater into one of the world`s richest societies, had been wishing the patriarch well.
"Thank you all for your good wishes and prayers for my father. I am deeply touched by them," the senior Lee`s son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said in a Facebook post.
"Have been looking at some old photos from our family collection. So many happy memories over a lifetime," he said in the post, which was accompanied by a black and white family photo with his father carrying him in his arms as a toddler.
The elder Lee has been in the Singapore General Hospital since February 5 suffering severe pneumonia and is being helped to breathe using mechanical ventilation, a form of life support.
The government said this week that his condition had taken a turn for the worse.
Lee was prime minister from 1959, when colonial ruler Britain granted Singapore self-rule, to 1990. He led Singapore to independence in 1965 after a brief and stormy union with Malaysia.
Rights groups, however, have criticised his iron-fisted rule, which has seen political opponents jailed or driven to bankruptcy through costly libel suits.
Supporters posted expressions of hope and gratitude on Twitter under the hashtag #ThankYouLKY, using the Asian elder statesman`s initials.
"Pls wake up and tell all Singaporeans that U are fine!," one supporter, Oliver Sim, wrote on Prime Minister Lee`s Facebook page.
Computer engineer Sean Wu, who was visiting a relative at Singapore General Hospital, said Lee "put Singapore on the map, making us feel proud to be Singaporeans".
"His absence will be sorely felt," he added.
Not all messages were of support, however.
"Please spare a thought too for those lives that he destroyed," one reader wrote on The Real Singapore, a website where writers usually do not give their real names.
"Was he a leader whom people followed willingly or just a very domineering person intent on bending others to his will?" another reader commented on the website.