Singapore's leaders express condolences on passing of Nelson Mandela

Singapore's leaders express condolences on passing of Nelson Mandela

SINGAPORE - Singapore's leaders have sent their condolences to South African President Jacob Zuma on the passing of Nelson Mandela.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it is "saddened by news of the passing of Mr Nelson Mandela, the first elected President of the Republic of South Africa, on December 5, 2013."

"The Ministry would like to extend its deepest condolences to the bereaved family, the Government and people of South Africa during this period of national grief."

President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have sent condolence messages to South African President Jacob Zuma. 

President Tan described how Mr Mandela's "unconditional sacrifices for his beloved country were second to none."

"Your country has lost a true freedom-fighter whose moral strength, loyalty and dedication transformed his beloved country into a harmonious and multi-racial nation that is today an example to nations around the world."

PM Lee wrote: "His humanity, courage, and lifelong fight for freedom and equality inspired millions around the world. His demise is a great loss to South Africa and mankind."

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam also sent a message to his counterpart Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

"His courage, determination and dedication are a legacy that will continue to inspire those of the present generation, and many more to come," wrote Mr Shanmugam.

He added: "We shall not forget that the excellent bilateral relations that our two countries enjoy today was in no small measure due to Mr Mandela's sincere friendship towards Singapore."

Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew paid tribute to Nelson Mandela in a condolence letter to his widow on Friday, The Straits Times reported, calling Mr Mandela "an inspiration to an entire generation".

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivan Balakrishnan also posted tributes on their Facebook pages.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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