Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid tribute to one of Singapore's first generation of leaders, Mohamed Ariff Suradi, who died on Tuesday at the age of 84.
PM Lee wrote on Facebook on Wednesday: "Was sorry to learn of the passing of Haji Mohamed Ariff Suradi.
"He belonged to our pioneer generation of leaders, who set Singapore on the path of growth and success."
Mr Ariff was a legislative assemblyman while Singapore was part of Malaysia, and then an MP after independence, serving in Ulu Pandan and Kampong Kembangan.
"Those were tumultuous times, with racial riots, and strong ethnic tensions," Mr Lee wrote.
"Because (he) and the other PAP Malay leaders of his generation stood firm, and supported the PAP's vision of a multi-racial Singapore, we were able to build the harmonious society that we have today."
Mr Lee had asked if he could attend the Feb 9 Pioneer Generation Tribute event at the Istana, but was told that he was unwell and could not make it.
Mr Lee added: "His passing marks another step in the passage of generations.
"Our condolences to Hj Mohamed Ariff's family. May he rest in peace."