World Leaders Pay Tribute To Lee Kuan Yew

WTFSG_Lee-Kuan Yew_wife-Kwa-Geok-Choo

Singapore mourns the passing of their founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, 李光耀. Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today, Monday, 23 March 2015, at 3.18am. He was 91.

We have put together a compilation of world leaders paying tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew, along with a compilation of tweets after the jump. The list below will be constantly updated – Stay tune for more updates.

Mr Lee, who founded modern Singapore and was both feared for his authoritarian tactics and admired for turning the city-state into one of the world’s richest nations. He was revered as the nation’s father and well-respected among political leaders around the world.

(Photo above: Mr Lee Kuan Yew and wife, Mrs Kwa Geok Choo)

United States

United States President Barack Obama and former President George W Bush, as well as Secretary of State John Kerry, have sent their condolences to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his family and Singapore on the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Monday (Mar 23).


US President Barack Obama (R) during his first term in office, former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew on October 29, 2009 at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC.

President Barack Obama

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Singapore’s Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew. On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our deepest condolences to the Lee family and join the people of Singapore in mourning the loss of this remarkable man.

“A visionary who led his country from Singapore’s independence in 1965 to build one of the most prosperous countries in the world today, he was a devoted public servant and a remarkable leader.

“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. I personally appreciated his wisdom, including our discussions during my trip to Singapore in 2009, which were hugely important in helping me formulate our policy of rebalancing to the Asia Pacific.

“He was a true giant of history who will be remembered for generations to come as the father of modern Singapore and as one the great strategists of Asian affairs.

Former US President George W Bush

“Laura and I are saddened by the death of Lee Kuan Yew. The father of today’s Singapore transformed his country and helped usher the ASEAN region into the modern era. The Singapore he leaves behind is an influential force for stability and prosperity and a friend to the United States.

“Laura and I join those in Singapore and around the world who are mourning his loss, and we send our heartfelt condolences to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and family.”

Secretary of State John Kerry

“When Lee Kuan Yew became its first Prime Minister in 1959, Singapore was a newly independent nation with an uncertain future.  By the time he left office 31 years later, the small island had been transformed into one of the most prosperous and dynamic countries in the world.

“Lee Kuan Yew exuded wisdom.  The counsel I was fortunate to glean from conversations with him–about life and politics and global affairs–is among the most valuable and insightful I have received. He was, of course, a uniquely astute analyst and observer of Asia, and it is largely through his life’s work that Singapore became one of the United States’ strongest strategic partners in the region.

“Teresa and I join so many around the world in offering our deepest condolences to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who has so ably carried on his father’s legacy, to the entire Lee family, and to the people of Singapore, who Lee Kuan Yew always knew were his nation’s greatest resource. May he rest in peace.”

(Source: CNA)

United Kingdom

United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair have paid tribute to Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron

“I am sad to hear of the death of Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.

“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. That Singapore is today a prosperous, secure and successful country is a monument to his decades of remarkable public service. He was always a friend to Britain, if sometimes a critical one, and many British Prime Ministers benefited from his wise advice, including me.

“Lady Thatcher once said that there was no Prime Minister she admired more than Mr Lee for ‘the strength of his convictions, the clarity of his views, the directness of his speech and his vision of the way ahead’. 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. As a result Singapore has a respect and admiration far above its size.

“I knew him well. When I became leader of the Labour Party I travelled to Singapore to seek his advice, which he gave with typical acumen and frankness. Over the years we then worked together in many ways. He will be profoundly missed and greatly mourned not only by the people of Singapore but by his many friends the world over.

(Source: CNA)

United Nations

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent his condolences to the family of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away aged 91 on Monday morning (Mar 23).

“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the death of H.E. Mr Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore. He offers his condolences to the family of the former Prime Minister, the Government and the people of Singapore,” read a statement posted on the UN website.

“Lee Kuan Yew was a legendary figure in Asia, widely respected for his strong leadership and statesmanship. During his three decades in office, he helped Singapore to transition from a developing country to one of the most developed in the world, transforming it into a thriving international business hub.

“As Singapore marks its 50th anniversary of independence this year, its founding father will be remembered as one of the most inspiring Asian leaders.

“The Secretary-General is grateful for the strong cooperation between the Government of Singapore and the United Nations, and looks forward to deepening this partnership.”

(Source: CNA)


Australia PM Tony Abbott

“Today we mourn the passing of a giant in our region.

“Fifty years ago, Lee Kuan Yew led a vulnerable fledgling nation to independence.

“Today, thanks to his vision and determination, Singapore is one of the world’s most successful countries.

“In Lee Kuan Yew’s own words, Singapore’s remarkable journey has been from ‘third world to first’.

“Thanks to his leadership, Singapore is now one of the world’s most prosperous nations, a financial powerhouse, and one of the world’s easiest places to do business.

“Our region owns much to Lee Kuan Yew.

“Here in Australia and beyond, leaders sought and learned from his wise counsel.

“As Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew enjoyed close relationships with successive Australian Prime Minister and worked with them to establish the strong partnership that Singapore and Australia have today.

“At every stage, Australia and Singapore have stood shoulder to shoulder. We continue to do so today, as we salute one of the significant leaders of our time.

“On behalf of the Australian government and people, I extend my condolences to Mr Lee’s family and to the people of Singapore.”

New Zealand


New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (left) with Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (centre). (Photo: Mr John Key’s Facebook)

New Zealand PM John Key

“Lee Kuan Yew’s courage, determination, commitment, character and ability made him a formidable leader who held the respect of Singaporeans and the international community alike. His loss will be deeply felt by his family and the people of Singapore.

“I had the honour of meeting Mr Lee in 2007 during his last official visit to New Zealand. He was well known for his insights and foresight but what struck me most was his unwavering determination to see Singapore succeed.”

(Source: CNA)


India PM Narendra Modi

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died early Monday morning, was a lion among leaders.

In his condolence to Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his family, Mr Modi wrote: “A far-sighted statesman and a lion among leaders, Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s life teaches valuable lessons to everyone. News of his demise is saddening.”

Mr Modi added that his prayers are with the family and the people of Singapore: “May his soul rest in peace.”

(Source: The Business Time, Singapore)


Sultan of Brunei

“In his message to His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore, His Majesty extended his deepest condolences to His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam and to the Government and people of the Republic of Singapore on the passing away of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. His Majesty stated that the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was a charismatic and exemplary leader who made great strides for the people of Singapore and would be best remembered as the modern architect behind Singapore’s remarkable transformation into a world-class city. His Majesty also appreciated Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s vast contributions towards maintaining regional peace and stability. His Majesty and His Majesty’s family would dearly miss Mr Lee Kuan Yew as a personal and close family friend.

“In ending the message to His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, His Majesty stated that His Majesty’s family, the Government and people of Brunei Darussalam joined His Majesty in sending their deepest condolences to his Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam and the people of the Republic of Singapore in this time of great sadness.

“In the message to His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, His Majesty stated he was deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of His Excellency’s beloved father Mr Lee Kuan yew. His Majesty went on to state that as the founding father of modern Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew had built and developed Singapore into a prosperous nation in South-East Asia and His Majesty also admired Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s tenacity in continuing to impart his wisdom and guidance for the benefit of all Singaporeans.

(Source: CNA)


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