Acting President Pillay, PM Lee convey condolences over passing of 'warm and engaging' Sultan of Kedah

Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah died in Alor Setar on Monday (Sept 11) at the age of 89. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Acting President J.Y. Pillay and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to the Sultanah of Kedah, Tuanku Sultanah Hajah Haminah Binti Haji Hamidun, to convey their condolences on the passing of her husband, Sultan Abdul Halim, the Sultan of Kedah and the former Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

The Singaporean leaders' letters came as Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan attended the Sultan's funeral in Alor Setar, Kedah, on Tuesday (Sept 12) morning, where he conveyed the condolences of the government and people of Singapore.

In his letter, Mr Pillay wrote, "His Royal Highness led a full life. In an extraordinary reign that lasted almost six decades, His Royal Highness demonstrated tremendous care and love for the people of his beloved Kedah."

He noted that Sultan Abdul Halim made history as the first ruler to have held the post of Yang di-Pertuan Agong twice. "As Agong, he was a benevolent and wise ruler who held the welfare of the people of Malaysia above all else," he wrote, adding that initiatives taken by the Sultan had helped improve the lives of all Malaysians.

Mr Pillay said Singaporeans fondly recall the Sultan's State Visit to Singapore in May 2014, which helped to strengthen bilateral relations between Singapore and Malaysia.

"His Royal Highness' passing is a sad loss and he will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time," he wrote to the Sultanah.

In his letter, Prime Minister Lee said that both he and his wife Ho Ching were deeply saddened by the Sultan's passing. "Please accept our deepest condolences on your loss," he wrote.

Observing that the Sultan was well-loved and respected by the people of Malaysia, Mr Lee said that Sultan Abdul Halim had served the nation with selfless dedication.

"Despite the heavy demands his royal duties placed on him, His Royal Highness conducted himself with humility and was always concerned for the well-being of his people," he wrote.

Mr Lee recalled: "We had the privilege of calling on His Royal Highness when he made his State Visit to Singapore in May 2014. He was warm and engaging, and I enjoyed my conversation with him very much."

"His Royal Highness' passing is a great loss to the people of Malaysia, and he will be dearly missed by everyone," Mr Lee wrote to the Sultanah.

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