Opposition parties offer their condolences to PM Lee

Opposition parties offer their condolences to PM Lee
Workers' Party Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang. TODAY file photo
Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s passing marks the end of en era: Low Thia Khiang
Published: 10:04 AM, March 23, 2015
Updated: 4:30 PM, March 24, 2015
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UPDATE (March 24) - Secretary-General of the Singapore People's Party Chiam See Tong has sent his condolences to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In a statement today, he described the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew as "a great statesman, parliamentarian and a master of public policy".

"He was there at the time when Singapore was swarmed with numerous problems, ranging from domestic to international issues. He was there, just as Britain needed Winston Churchill during World War II – always taking a strategic and long term view of Singapore," said Mr Chiam. "No one else has shaped modern Singapore more so than Lee Kuan Yew, since he became Prime Minister in 1959. He was a man of many seasons. He will live on in history, remaining for future generations the symbol of Singapore’s success."

"His absence from our 50th National Day Parade later this year will be particularly poignant to us," said Mr Chiam. "May we send your family and you our very deepest condolences, during this difficult time of grief."

SINGAPORE — Setting aside their political differences, opposition parties today (March 23) offered their condolences to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over the passing of former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

In a condolence letter sent to Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang noted the late Mr Lee’s achievements, leading a group of like-minded individuals through Singapore’s tumultuous early years of nationhood, including a difficult merger with Malaysia and subsequent independence in 1965.

“Mr Lee served in public office for almost his entire adult life. His passing marks an end of an era in Singapore’s history. His contributions to Singapore will be remembered for generations to come,” Mr Low wrote.

Singapore Democratic Party Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan said in statement on the party’s Facebook page: “On behalf of the members of the Singapore Democratic Party, I send you and your loved ones my deepest condolences on the demise of your father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. In this time of personal grief, our thoughts are with you.”

Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Lina Chiam of the Singapore People’s Party wrote on its Facebook page: “I ask God to give the family strength and comfort during this period of uncertainty. May He also give comfort to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.”

The National Solidarity Party said it lamented the passing of Mr Lee, “who had contributed significantly to the growth and development of our country”.

“The party extends its deepest condolences to PM Lee Hsien Loong and his family,” NSP said on its Facebook page.

The Democratic Progressive Party of Singapore issued a statement saying it was deeply saddened by Mr Lee’s demise.

“We are indebted to him as a nation, and owe our present and our future to what he has wrought to make Singapore an independent nation,” the party said. “All great leaders are ultimately human, and much can be said, both good and bad, about the man. But at this time of national mourning, let’s remember and celebrate the good he has done for us as Singaporeans, and give him the credit that is due.”

Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, secretary-general of the Reform Party — founded by his father the late JB Jeyaretnam — said in a Facebook post: “As Singapore’s first post-independence Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew was part of our shared history. With his death, it is natural that Singaporeans will feel that a part of Singapore has died with him. RIP. My thoughts are with his family.”

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