SINGAPORE - Singapore leaders have written to former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to offer their condolences on the passing of his wife, Mrs Ani Yudhoyono.
Mrs Yudhoyono, 66, who had been treated for leukaemia at the National University Hospital (NUH) since February this year, died on Saturday (June 1).
In her letter to Dr Yudhoyono, President Halimah Yacob said Mrs Yudhoyono was well-loved by everyone for her compassion.
"During your Presidency, many remembered her for the grace and strength in supporting your term of office," said Madam Halimah.
"Her dignity and resilience in a very trying situation was also clear to all when we met in March 2019. Her passing is a loss to her loved ones and the people of Indonesia."
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Mrs Yudhoyono's passing is a great loss to Indonesia.
In describing Mrs Yudhoyono as a "dear friend", Mr Lee said he remembered the various interactions he had with the couple over the years.
"She was a pillar of strength and support to you and your family. Her deep commitment to service and to helping her fellow citizens touched Indonesians of all backgrounds and made a significant difference to their lives," he said.
"I know that no words can lighten your grief and sorrow at this time of loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May you find the strength and the faith to endure, and in time to accept, this grievous loss."
In a Facebook posting on Saturday evening, PM Lee wrote: "Ho Ching and I were dear friends with Ibu Ani. Her commitment to service and to helping fellow Indonesians were an inspiration to many.
"She touched the lives of many. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bapak Yudhoyono and his family. We hope that they will find the faith and strength to endure and accept this grievous loss.”
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean also paid tribute to Mrs Yudhoyono, describing her as the embodiment of strength and courage.
He said she touched the lives of all Indonesians through her steadfast dedication to serving her country.
"We will always cherish the memories of time spent with Ibu Ani, such as during your State Visit to Singapore in 2005, and when Poh Yim accompanied Ibu Ani for the naming of the orchid Dendrobium Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono 'Ani' at the National Orchid Garden," wrote Mr Teo, referring to his wife, Madam Chew Poh Yim.
Mr Teo will visit Jakarta on Sunday (June 2) to represent Singapore at the funeral of Mrs Yudhoyono. He will be accompanied by officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to an MFA press statement.