Foreign leaders, diplomats send condolences on passing of former president S R Nathan

Former president S R Nathan at the Istana on Mar 10, 2011. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Foreign leaders and diplomats sent their condolences to late President S R Nathan's family and to Singapore on Tuesday (Aug 23) morning.

The former President of Singapore died late on Monday night at the age of 92.

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak sent his condolences at 7.35am on Tuesday.

"My deepest condolences to the family of former Singapore President S R Nathan and the people of Singapore," he tweeted.

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit expressed their "sincere sympathy and condolences for the loss of such a statesman" to the bereaved family of former president S R Nathan and the people of Singapore, in a letter addressed to President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was "saddened at the demise" of Mr Nathan, and its high commission posted a condolence message on its Facebook page.

The Philippine Embassy in Singapore said on its Facebook page that Mr Nathan was a great friend of the Philippines.

The US State department posted a video on Twitter at about 2.20am of a spokesman, Mark Toner, extending the country's condolences to Singapore.

"President Nathan was a life-long civil servant whose career spanned all five decades of the US-Singapore relationship, including six years as Singapore's ambassador to the United States and 12 as its President," said Mr Toner.

"We extend our deepest condolences to President Nathan's family and the people of Singapore."

The US Embassy in Singapore will fly its flag at half-mast until Friday (Aug 26).

The British High Commission also lowered the Union Jack to half-mast as a sign of respect to Mr Nathan.

Said British High Commissioner to Singapore Scott Wightman: "Former President S R Nathan served Singapore and its people selflessly. I offer my deepest sympathy to his family and to the country."

His predecessor Antony Phillipson also sent his condolences.

As did the French Embassy in Singapore.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore Jonathan Austin said on Twitter: "My deepest sympathies to the family of former President Nathan. He was a true patriot who served Singapore with distinction."

Dr Austin also tweeted a photo of him greeting Mr Nathan in the Maori tradition - by rubbing their noses.

The Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Mexico embassies also sent their condolences.

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