President pays tribute to architect of modern Singapore

President pays tribute to architect of modern Singapore
President Tan (in black) and his wife, Mary, at the wake of former prime minister Lee at Sri Temasek, the Prime Minister's official residence. Flanking them are Prime Minister Lee and his wife, Ho Ching.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam conveyed his condolences to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday morning on the death of the latter's father, Lee Kuan Yew.

Dr Tan noted that the former prime minister had dedicated his whole life to Singapore and was the "architect of our modern Republic".

"Few have demonstrated such complete commitment to a cause greater than themselves," the President said in his condolence letter, which was also posted on his Facebook page.

He added: "Many aspects of our lives bear Mr Lee's imprint - be it our HDB (Housing Board) estates, our gardens, or the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces).

Without his remarkable foresight and relentless pursuit of Singapore's development, the Singapore that we know today would not exist. Singapore was his passion and he continued serving Singapore till the last days of his life."

Mr Lee made "lasting contributions towards the building of a meritocratic and multicultural Singapore", he wrote.

As Singapore's first prime minister, Mr Lee put in place measures to ensure that university places, government contracts and appointments to public office would go to the most deserving candidates, based on merit and regardless of race and religion.

"Singaporeans owe an eternal gratitude to Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The greatest tribute that Singaporeans can pay him is to treasure and build upon the legacy that Mr Lee and his team have left us, and make Singapore an even better home for our future generations."

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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