Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew Has Died Drawing Respect From Region’s Leaders

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Evening Report –

Singapore's founding leader, Lee Kuan Yew.
Singapore’s founding leader, Lee Kuan Yew.

SINGAPORE’S FOUNDING LEADER and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has passed away at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18am Monday, Singapore time. He was 91 years-of-age.

Singapore’s Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong issued a brief statement announcing the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and the Government has declared a period of National Mourning from 23 March (Monday) to 29 March (Sunday).

The statement read:

As a mark of respect to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the State flags on all Government buildings will be flown at half-mast from today to Sunday.

A private family wake will be held from 23 March (Monday) to 24 March (Tuesday) at Sri Temasek. Mr Lee’s body will lie in state at Parliament House from 25 March (Wednesday) to 28 March (Saturday), for the public to pay their respects. Those who wish to pay their last respects at Parliament House can do so from 10 am to 8 pm daily from Wednesday to Saturday.

A State Funeral Service will be held at 2 pm on 29 March (Sunday) at the University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore.

The State Funeral Service will be attended by the late Mr Lee’s family, friends and staff, the President, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Old Guards, senior civil servants, grassroots leaders and Singaporeans from all walks of life. The State Funeral Service will be followed by a private cremation at Mandai Crematorium.

Condolence books and cards will be available in front of Istana by the Main Gate from Monday to Sunday, for those who wish to pen their tributes to the late Mr Lee. Condolence books will also be opened at all Overseas Missions for overseas Singaporeans and friends.

The public can express their condolences and share their memories of the late Mr Lee at the official website, http://www.rememberingleekuanyew.sg.

The public can call the 24-hour hotline at 6336 1166 with queries, or visit Rememberingleekuanyew.sg and Facebook.com/rememberingleekuanyew for more details.

US President Barack Obama.
US President Barack Obama.
United States President Barack Obama said via a statement Lee Kuan Yew was

“… 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,” President Obama said.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino IIIPhilippines President Benigno Aquino III stated:

“Throughout his long life, as prime minister and senior minister, Lee demonstrated an unswerving devotion to his country, turning it into a state that would be an exemplar of efficient, modern, and honest governance. The development of Singapore has earned it the respect of nations and peoples, including the tens of thousands of Filipinos who work there and visit the country.”

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today:

“Today, we mourn the passing of a giant of 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 owes much to Lee Kuan Yew.”

Abbott added that as Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew enjoyed “close relationships with successive Australian Prime Ministers 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.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said:

Prime Minister John Key.
Prime Minister John Key.

“A man of rare qualities, Mr Lee’s courage, determination, commitment, character and ability made him a formidable leader who held the respect of Singaporeans and the international community alike.”

Known as one of Singapore’s founding fathers, Mr Lee guided the development of a country which has become a world leader. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN, which has offered cohesion and stability in a diverse region. 

“Mr Lee provided a unifying presence in his country since its creation as a state in 1965.  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.” 

“A powerful advocate for the region and supportive of New Zealand’s role in South East Asia and the wider world, Mr Lee was a close and long-time friend of New Zealand,” said Mr Key.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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