SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the UK's vote on Friday (June 24) to leave the European Union is "a turning point" which "reflects the anxiety of the British population over immigration, their resentment at having to negotiate with and accommodate European partners, and their desire to assert British identity and sovereignty".
In a Facebook post on Friday afternoon, Mr Lee said other developed countries also face similar challenges as Britain.
"We all live in a globalised, interdependent world. The desire to disengage, to be less constrained by one's partners, to be free to do things entirely as one chooses, is entirely understandable. And yet in reality for many countries disengaging and turning inwards will likely lead to less security, less prosperity, and a dimmer future."
He added that the next few years will be uncertain for Britain and Europe: "Leaving the EU is as complicated as joining it. What new arrangements will be made? Will this hurt investor confidence more broadly, and the global economy? How will Britain's leaving affect the rest of the EU? How will this affect us, living in Asia but part of the same globalised world?
"It is too early to tell, but we need to watch developments carefully. Nobody can foresee all the consequences of the Brexit."
Noting the British voters' decision, he wished Britain and its Prime Minister David Cameron well. Mr Cameron, who campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU, has just resigned.
Mr Lee said that Singapore will continue to cultivate its ties with Britain, which he described as a "longstanding friend and partner".
"We hope in time the uncertainty will diminish, and we will make the best of the new reality."