Mr Lee Kuan Yew receives NUS honorary doctor of laws degree

The National University of Singapore (NUS) has conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on Singapore's first Prime Minister.

The award is in recognition of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's achievements as a visionary statesman who transformed education in Singapore and led the nation to first-world status on the global stage.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who is also NUS chancellor, presided over the ceremony at the Istana on Tuesday. An honorary Doctor of Laws degree is the university's highest accolade for outstanding individuals.

This is Mr Lee's 16th honorary degree but his first from a Singapore university. Among the 100 guests in attendance were Mr Lee's family: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, their wives, and Dr Lee Wei Ling.

Speaking at the ceremony, NUS President Tan Chorh Chuan said the award recognises Mr Lee's achievements in leading Singapore from Third World to First. "There can also be no better person who exemplifies the personal attributes that would inspire and energise our students, graduates and broader community in NUS and beyond, as we seek to thrive in a more complex and volatile world," said Prof Tan.

In his citation, Dean of the NUS Faculty of Law Simon Chesterman praised Mr Lee's lifelong emphasis on the rule of law. It guided his first career as a lawyer, when he chose to fight for workers and trade unions. After he entered politics, it underpinned his vision for Singapore and his approach to solving international disputes peacefully, Prof Chesterman said.

In a statement thanking the university, Mr Lee said: "Education has been critical to the growth and success of Singapore. I hope that Singaporeans will continue to seek out an education that nurtures them to think critically and innovatively to meet the diverse and complex challenges ahead."