SINGAPORE - Lee Kuan Yew will be remembered as one of the great men who helped make the world a better place, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the founding father of the city-state had transformed the island republic into what it is today and contributed to the peace and prosperity of the region.
"His vision, fortitude and perseverance shaped Singapore. The people of Singapore owe him for its advanced economy (and for) finding its place in the world," he told reporters at the Parliament House in Old Parliament Road here yesterday.
Najib expressed his heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Malaysian Government and the people to Kuan Yew's family.
He also acknowledged Kuan Yew's efforts in strengthening bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore.
He was paying his final respects to the former Singapore premier, who died at the Singapore General Hospital on March 23.
Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrived at the Parliament House at about noon.
They were received by Kuan Yew's son, Singapore Premier Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching.
Also present were Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong.
They all stood with their heads bowed at the casket, which was draped with the Singapore flag and on a dais, for about 20 minutes.
Kuan Yew's body will lie in state until Saturday.
The state funeral will be held on Sunday afternoon at the National University of Singapore.