Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Britain's Queen, PM Cameron send letters of condolence over death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister David Cameron have sent letters of condolence over the death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, according to Singapore's Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA).

In the Queen's message, sent to Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan Keng Yam by British High Commissioner to Singapore Antony Phillipson, the Queen said she and her husband, Prince Phillip, were "saddened" to hear of Mr Lee's death.

"His vision and dedication to the service of his country helped to make Singapore the successful country it is today. As Prime Minister he welcomed us to Singapore on two occasions, and we have fond memories of our visits and meetings with him elsewhere," the message continued.

In his personal letter, Mr Cameron also said he was "saddened" to hear of Mr Lee's death, and noted how Mr Lee turned Singapore into "one of the greatest success stories of the modern world".

He also said the Mr Lee was "respected across the Asia-Pacific region" as his work in Singapore helped "inspire economic reform", helping to write Asia's history as well as Singapore's.

Finally, Mr Cameron said Mr Lee was a "true, if sometimes critical, friend of Britain", and he remembers meeting Mr Lee and benefitting from his wise advice, as did other prime ministers. He noted that former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher had said there was no prime minister that she admired more than Mr Lee.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Alderman Alan Yarrow, The Lord Mayor of the City of London, also paid their respects at the Singapore High Commission in London and signed the condolence book.

Singapore's MFA noted that Mr Hammond's gesture was a special effort that is not the norm for British diplomats.

It also noted that Alderman Alan Yarrow's signing was notable as both Mr Lee and his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong were given the title of Freeman of the City of Singapore.

The Edinburgh University Singapore Society also held a candle light vigil and memorial service for Mr Lee Kuan Yew at Edinburgh's George Square Garden on Wednesday. It was attended by about 50 Singaporean students.