Dr Yaacob pays tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew and pioneers for supporting Muslims here

SINGAPORE - Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim paid tribute to the late former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on Saturday, for playing a "pivotal role in supporting the Muslim community" in the early years after Singapore's independence.

Speaking at the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis) Workplan Seminar, Dr Yaacob also commemorated the pioneer leaders of the Muslim community who "recognised that preserving peace and harmony was necessary to help safeguard the religious identity of the community".

He said: "They worked tirelessly, hand in hand with the Government to introduce the Administration of Muslim Law Act in 1966 that led to the formation of Muis, Syariah Court and Registry of Muslim Marriages.

"Though these institutions were initially met with scepticism, our community leaders were undeterred and strove to build the community's trust in these institutions."

The three institutions have served the community well over the past five decades, Dr Yaacob added.

Speaking in Malay later, Dr Yaacob said: "Progress in our religious life has brought about a positive impact not only to our community, but also to the overall national society."

He attributed the great strides made by the community in a short time to the joint efforts of community institutions, the pioneer generation leadership's vision, and the support of the community. "Let us continue to maintain the legacy of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and other pioneering leaders in Singapore to create a better Singapore for the future," he said.