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New Singapore PM Lee Takes Office - 2004-08-12


The son of Singapore's founding father has been sworn in as the city-state's third prime minister.

52-year-old Lee Hsien Loong took the oath Thursday evening on the front lawn of the presidential palace in a televised ceremony attended by 1,400 invited guests. The U.S. and British-educated Mr. Lee replaces Goh Chok Tong, who stepped down after 14 years in power.

Mr. Lee's father, Lee Kuan Yew, also was sworn in. He and former Prime Minister Goh have prominent positions in the new cabinet. The 81-year-old Lee Kuan Yew also was in Mr. Goh's cabinet.

Singapore, which does not allow citizens to elect the prime minister, has changed its leaders twice since independence in 1965. Mr. Lee urged Singaporeans to feel free to express diverse views, pursue unconventional ideas or just be different.

Information for this story is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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