SINGAPORE - Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong has written a letter of condolence to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the passing of his father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
In his letter, the former Prime Minister said that he and his wife are 'deeply distressed' by the late Mr Lee's death. He added that it had pained him to see Mr Lee in hospital "sedated and unaware of his surroundings".
"Your family has lost its patriarch, and Singapore its key founding father. We share your grief, and can only offer you and your family our profound condolences," ESM Goh said.
ESM Goh also said that Mr Lee Kuan Yew "gave us a country we can be proud of, a home to bring up our family and a better life we can aspire to".
As a father, Singapore's founding Prime Minister was caring and brave, ESM Goh said in his letter. "I caught a glimpse of Mr Lee as a father when he was on an official visit to South Africa in 1992," ESM Goh tells PM Lee in the letter.
"He was devastated upon learning that you had been diagnosed with lymphoma."
Nevertheless, Mr Lee Kuan Yew braved on and showed little of his emotions to his hosts in South Africa. "His stoicism and message were clear - we must not be deterred, however daunting life's interventions," ESM Goh said.
ESM Goh offered his deepest sympathy to PM Lee on the passing of his father, and said he hoped Singaporeans' deep respect for the late Mr Lee would give the Prime Minister strength to continue with his father's lifelong service to the nation.
He also posted old photos of Mr Lee Kuan Yew on his Facebook page this morning, adding that tears welled up when he received the news of Mr Lee's passing.
"He was my leader, mentor, inspiration, the man I looked up to most. He made me a proud Singaporean. Now he is gone. I mourn but he lives on in my heart," ESM Goh said.