President Tony Tan pays respects to late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok

President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary paying their respects to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, on Oct 24, 2016.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary paying their respects to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, on Oct 24, 2016.PHOTO: MCI

BANGKOK - Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam paid his respects to late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Monday (Oct 24) in Bangkok's Grand Palace.

President Tan, who was accompanied by his wife and officials from Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry, laid a wreath by the late monarch's royal urn and signed a condolence book early on Monday afternoon.

His visit comes three days after Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong travelled to Bangkok to do the same.

In a Facebook post published that day, Dr Tan said he was "deeply saddened" by the death of King Bhumibol, who was "well-loved by the Thai people because of his compassion and concern for his people". 

He added that the late king was a close friend of Singapore, and under the king's reign, ties between the two countries were strengthened. 

"King Bhumibol will be dearly missed by all. His legacy will remain an inspiration for generations to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Thai Royal family and the Thai people," said Dr Tan. 

Since Mr Lee's visit, a stream of regional leaders have travelled to the Thai capital to pay their respects. They include Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen, and China's vice-president, Mr Li Yuanchao. Indonesian President Joko Widodo is also expected to follow suit this week.

King Bhumibol died on Oct 13 at the age of 88 in Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital after a long illness. The revered monarch, who reigned for 70 years, is a unifying figure in a country of 68 million now afflicted by a deep political divide.

Former Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda, 96, is now standing in as regent after Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn asked for time to mourn with the people before his ascension to the throne.

In a Facebook post on Oct 15, Dr Tan said King Bhumibol "was an outstanding King who had dedicated his life to the welfare of the Thai people".

"He was steadfast in launching projects which had impactful benefits to all corners of the Kingdom of Thailand," he wrote.

"History will remember King Bhumibol as a great monarch, and a unifying force deeply loved and respected by the Thai people and the rest of the world."