PM Lee Hsien Loong congratulates US President-elect Donald Trump, says Singapore will continue to cultivate strong ties with US

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore will continue to cultivate strong ties with the US after billionaire Donald Trump's victory. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has congratulated US President-elect Donald Trump after the real estate tycoon defeated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in a stunning upset.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Nov 9), Mr Lee said US voters have elected a president who they feel best represents them.

"Singapore fully respects their decision. We will continue to work together with the US to cultivate our strong ties," he wrote.

Admitting that Mr Trump's candidacy for the White House had taken many by surprise, Mr Lee noted that the 70-year-old had "defied expectations".

Mr Lee also described the US elections as contentious and ugly, having exposed a "bitter divide in the American people".

He added: "Many will celebrate this result, while others will understandably be surprised and disappointed.

"But like the Brexit referendum in June, Mr Trump's victory is part of a broader pattern in developed countries - reflecting a deep frustration with the way things are, and a strong wish to reassert a sense of identity, and somehow to change the status quo."

Mr Trump, who has never held public office, swept the US electoral map and defied the status quo by wining in three key swing states: Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.

In his victory speech, he assured other countries that while the US would always put its interests first, he would "deal fairly with everyone".

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