JAKARTA - Former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono paid tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Tuesday, calling him a true friend of Indonesia.
"I am deeply saddened by the news that Mr Lee Kuan Yew has passed away, and I extend my deepest condolences to the Government and to the People of Singapore,'' Dr Yudhoyono said in a message posted on youtube.
"Mr Lee has devoted his whole life to delivering remarkable progress to Singapore and has worked hard to develop close relations with Indonesia.
"I consider Mr Lee Kuan Yew a personal close friend, and I know he is a true friend of Indonesia. I have always benefitted from my conversations with him. He is wise and his knowledge of international affairs was boundless,'' said the former Indonesian leader.
Recalling his meetings with Mr Lee, Dr Yudhoyono said: "In every one of those meetings, he always gave me valuable motivation and advice for the success of Indonesia.
"He certainly earned the reputation of one of Asia's most distinguished and respected statesmen.'
"As one of the founding figures of Asean, Mr Lee Kuan Yew had been a key figure in the remarkable transformation of South-east Asia into the peaceful, dynamic community that it has become today,'' said Dr Yudhoyono.
"He will be sorely missed, not just by Singaporeans but by Indonesians and by Southeast Asians.''
Former Indonesian general Prabowo Subianto also conveyed his condolences to the family of Mr Lee and the people of Singapore.
"On behalf of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and personally, I Prabowo, convey my condolences to the family of the late great Lee Kuan Yew and the people of the Republic of Singapore,'' Prabowo said in a message posted on his Facebook page.
"I have read a lot and learnt much from the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew. As the first Prime Minister and Minister Mentor of Singapore, he managed to build Singapore into a successful country," said Prabowo, a former presidential candidate.
"Singapore's success under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew has become a model for other nations,'' he added.