“When Lee Kuan Yew became its first Prime Minister in 1959, Singapore was a newly independent nation with an uncertain future,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said recently in a statement on the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of the Republic of Singapore. “By the time he left office 31 years later, the small island had been transformed into one of the most prosperous and dynamic countries in the world.”
Secretary Kerry regarded Lee Kuan Yew as “a uniquely astute analyst and observer of Asia,” and he credited Lee Kuan Yew for enabling Singapore to become “one of the United States' strongest strategic partners” in the Asia-Pacific region.
U.S. President Barack Obama said recently in a statement that he was “deeply saddened to learn of the death of Singapore’s Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew.”
“On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our deepest condolences to the Lee family and join the people of Singapore in mourning the loss of this remarkable man,” he said.
President Obama called Lee Kuan Yew “a visionary who led his country from Singapore’s independence in 1965 to build one of the most prosperous countries in the world today.”
“Minister Mentor Lee’s views and insights on Asian dynamics and economic management were respected by many around the world, and no small number of this and past generations of world leaders have sought his advice on governance and development,” he said. “I personally appreciated his wisdom, including our discussions during my trip to Singapore in 2009, which were hugely important in helping me formulate our policy of rebalancing to the Asia Pacific.”
Focusing on Asia is one of President Obama’s signature strategies.
“[Lee Kuan Yew] was a true giant of history,” said President Obama. “[He] will be remembered for generations to come as the father of modern Singapore and as one the great strategists of Asian affairs.”