Indonesian dignitaries pay respects

Two former presidents of Indonesia were among several Indonesian dignitaries who paid their last respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew yesterday.

They were Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of the country's first president Sukarno, and Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was succeeded by current President Joko Widodo.

Ms Megawati told reporters that Mr Lee was her mentor.

"Personally, I have a good relationship with him, and also his family," she said in Bahasa Indonesia.

She added that she was in Singapore as head of her party, the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P), as well as the Sukarno family.

Ms Megawati was received by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching.

Dr Yudhoyono arrived with his wife. A former general, he saluted Mr Lee before bowing.

Earlier this week, he said in a condolence message that Mr Lee was a close personal friend as well as "a true friend of Indonesia".

"I have always benefited from my conversations with him," he added. "In every one of those meetings, he always gave me valuable motivation and advice for the success of Indonesia."

He also said Mr Lee would be "sorely missed, not just by Singaporeans, but by Indonesians and South-east Asians".

The daughters of Indonesia's second president, the late Suharto, also came to pay their respects. They were Ms Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana "Tutut" Suharto, Ms Siti Hediati Hariyadi "Titiek" Suharto, and Ms Siti Hutami Endang "Mamiek" Suharto.

Mr Lee and Mr Suharto had worked closely while in power, setting the stage for a relationship that helped stabilise the region.

President Joko will attend Mr Lee's funeral tomorrow.


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