SINGAPORE - Well wishes from several global luminaries came in ahead of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's 90th birthday today.
Among them was Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who sent warm congratulations to Mr Lee with her husband, Prince Philip.
She said that Mr Lee's life was "most eventful" and "inextricably interwoven" with Singapore's history and development.
"It is notable that this year also marks the 50th anniversary of Singapore's independence from the United Kingdom and I am delighted that the links between our countries remain so strong," she said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that for over 50 years, Mr Lee has been a "decisive figure helping to shape Singapore's destiny" and leading the country to peace and prosperity.
"It is in no small measure thanks to your prudent policymaking that the regional association ASEAN has become a force for reconciliation and stability in Asia. You can look back on your achievements with pride," she said.
Dr Merkel added that she had fond memories of her meeting with Mr Lee during her 2011 visit to Singapore as well as their "stimulating conversation" then.
Wishing Mr Lee all the best for the future and good health, she also reaffirmed that Singapore would remain a key partner for Germany in Asia.
China's former vice-premier Li Lanqing also sent his congratulations to Mr Lee.
Expressing his most sincere wishes, Mr Li paid tribute to Mr Lee's remarkable contribution to Singapore's independence and prosperity, as well as that towards the friendship and cooperation between China and Singapore.
He also wished Mr Lee good health, longevity and happiness.
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