Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Philippine President Aquino extends solidarity with Singapore, pays tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has extended the Filipino people's "solidarity with Singapore at this time of mourning", as he honoured Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

"An era has passed, one upon which Singaporeans can look back on with deep pride and a sense of accomplishment," said Mr Aquino.

"Throughout his long life, as prime minister and senior minister, Mr Lee demonstrated an unswerving devotion to his country, turning it into a statement that would be an exemplar of efficient, modern and honest governance," he said.

He added: "The development of Singapore has earned it the respect of nations and peoples, including the tens of thousands of Filipinos who work there and visit the country."

Mr Aquino also extended his personal condolences to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Philippine Vice-President Jejomar Binay said Mr Lee was his “inspiration in rebuilding Makati after the 1986 EDSA Revolution from a bankrupt municipality to the country’s premier city providing unparalleled social services to its constituents”.

“He is a dedicated public servant and a well-respected leader. The success of Singapore is but a testament to his decades of remarkable public service”.

Philippine military consultant and defence analyst Jose Antonio Custodio said: "With Lee Kuan Yew's passing, Filipinos have one less statesman who frankly pointed out what exactly ails the Philippines."

A Philippine Foreign Ministry statement said: "The Philippines joins the Singaporean people in mourning the passing of their first Prime Minister and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Lee was a visionary statesman who built Singapore into an economic powerhouse and modern society that has been a positive force not only in the region but also in the world. His fortitude, political will and wisdom will continue to be an inspiration in the years to come."

In Manila, Singapore Philippine Association head Peter Tay said Mr Lee’s “transformative role and leadership in making Singapore the innovation capital that we all know today is immeasurable”.

“Mr Lee’s presence will be clearly missed,” added Mr Tay.