Mr Lee had asked if he could attend the Feb 9 Pioneer Generation Tribute event at the Istana, but was told that he was unwell and could not make it.
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Here is PM Lee's Facebook posting:
Was sorry to learn of the passing of Haji Mohamed Ariff Suradi. He belonged to our Pioneer Generation of leaders, who set Singapore on the path of growth and success.
Hj Mohamed Ariff was a Legislative Assemblyman while we were in Malaysia, and then a Member of Parliament after we became independent. He served in Ulu Pandan and later Kampong Kembangan. Those were tumultuous times, with racial riots, and strong ethnic tensions. Because Hj Mohamed Ariff and the other PAP Malay leaders of his generation stood firm, and supported the PAP's vision of a multi-racial Singapore, we were able to build the harmonious society that we have today.
When we held the Pioneer Generation Tribute event at the Istana a few weeks ago, I had asked if Hj Mohamed Ariff could come, but was told that he was unwell and could not make it. His passing marks another step in the passage of generations.
Our condolences to Hj Mohamed Ariff's family. May he rest in peace. - LHL