Foreign leaders including Obama pay tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Tributes are pouring in from foreign leaders for Mr Lee Kuan Yew. 

Mr Lee died peacefully at 3.18am at Singapore General Hospital on March 23.

He was 91.

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak tweeted his condolences:



In a statement sent earlier this morning, US President Barack Obama called Mr Lee Kuan Yew a "visionary" and "one of the great strategists of Asian affairs".

He said Mr Lee Kuan Yew was crucial in helping him formulate polices with regards to the Asia Pacific region.

The full statement is below.

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 H.W. Bush also paid tribute.



Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was one of the first foreign leaders to send his condolences. In a statement, he said: "Our region owes much to Lee Kuan Yew."

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key followed suit, calling Mr Lee a "formidable leader".

"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."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that Mr Lee 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,” the statement said.

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

US Secretary of State has also tweeted:






Indian prime minister Narendra Modi:





Former UK prime minister Tony Blair also expressed his condolences:




Related reports: 

Former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew dies, aged 91

PM Lee declares 7-day period of national mourning, will address the nation at 8am

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