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World leaders pay tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

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Draped in the national flag, Lee’s coffin was taken on a solemn procession through the sodden streets of the tropical city, where crowds of mourners defied the downpour to pay their last respects.

Draped in the national flag, Lee’s coffin was taken on a solemn procession through the sodden streets of the tropical city, where crowds of mourners defied the downpour to pay their last respects.

Thousands of Singaporeans gathered in pouring rain yesterday to bid farewell to Lee Kuan Yew, the Southeast Asian city-state’s founding prime minister who charted its spectacular economic rise.

Draped in the national flag, Lee’s coffin was taken on a solemn procession through the sodden streets of the tropical city, where crowds of mourners defied the downpour to pay their last respects.

The funeral service was attended by dozens of foreign dignitaries, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Other international figures attending the funeral included Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Leader of the U.K. House of Commons William Hague and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Here are tributes from world leaders as compiled by
AKINLOLU OLUWAMUYIWA

President Barack Obama
“Minister Mentor Lee’s views and insights on Asian dynamics and economic management were respected by many around the world, and no small number of this and past generations of world leaders have sought his advice on governance and development.”

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron
“Lee Kuan Yew personally shaped Singapore in a way that few people have any nation. He made his country into one of the great success stories of our modern world. His place in history is assured, as a leader and as one of the modern world’s foremost statesmen.”

Former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair
“Lee Kuan Yew was one of the most extraordinary leaders of modern times. He was a genuine political giant. He was the first to understand that modern politics was about effective Government not old-fashioned ideology. Whether in the economy, social cohesion or law and order, he applied methods of rigorous analysis and detailed implementation. He built Singapore into the success story it is today by intelligence, wisdom and determination in equal measure. ‘’

Former President George H.W. Bush
“I will always be proud that Lee Kuan Yew was my friend. I respected his effective leadership of his wonderful, resilient and innovative country in ways that lifted living standards without indulging a culture of corruption. I was also proud of the progress Singapore and the United States achieved together as partners. Because of the example set by Lee Kuan Yew’s singular leadership, let me add I am confident that the future will be bright for Singapore.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping
‘’Mr Lee an “old friend” of China. He was widely respected by the international community as a strategist and a statesman.”

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi
‘’Lee was both a “far-sighted statesman” and “a lion among leaders.”

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia
“A close friend of Indonesia and renowned as the founding father of modern Singapore. As a great leader and a statesman who truly loved his people, he was also known as an influential political figure in Asia.”

President Tony Tan of Singapore
“The greatest tribute that Singaporeans can pay him is to treasure and build upon the legacy that Mr Lee and his team have left us, and make Singapore an even better home for our future generations.”

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
“The passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew is a great loss not only to Singapore but to the ASEAN community as a whole. His thinking, and his contribution to Singapore’s development will always be a source of encouragement for future generations.Vietnamese people will remember the love and valuable support of Mr Lee Kuan Yew to Vietnam. May the government and people of Singapore soon overcome this difficult time.”

Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia
“Mr Lee Kuan Yew has been the father of modern Singapore since 1965. Under his guidance, Singapore has prospered and is famous throughout the world.”

Taiwan President Ma Ying Jeou and Premier Mao Chih Kuo
‘’Mr Lee had been a close friend to Taiwan and had long supported the peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait. From the time when Mr Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister, he had visited Taiwan more than 25 times and maintained a friendly relationship with the island. Mr Lee had been a key contributor to the close friendship between both countries.”

South Korean President Park Geun-hye
‘’He was a “friend of South Koreans”, as he offered wisdom on “the development of relations between South Korea and Singapore. Mr Lee’s achievements in transforming Singapore into a “first-rate country have been revered by countries all around the world including Korea.”

North Korea Premier Pak Pong Ju
‘’Mr Lee is a “close friend of the Korean people”.

The Prime Minister of Laos, Thongsing
‘’ Mr Lee Kuan Yew as “an outstanding leader” who contributed to “the development of friendly ties and cooperation” between Singapore and Laos and among ASEAN countries.’’

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi



1 Comment
  • Bello Barriga

    Minister Lee Kuan Yew, my kind of a man, a patriot, and above all a transformational LEADER. A Leader with good vision for his people and his country. A selfless leader. I pray for the repose of his gentle soul. May his righteous spirit continue to guide the Singerporeans. Adieu my good mentor.