|Follow us on:|
Modi is in Singapore for the state funeral of Lee.
“I am visiting Singapore at a sad moment. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was among the tallest leaders of our times. Singapore’s transformation in one generation is a tribute to his leadership,” Modi told reporters in Singapore on Sunday.
“He was a global thinker who saw things ahead of others. He believed in India’s potential more than many of us did,” Modi added. Singapore is one of the top sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India.
Modi is among the many world leaders who were in Singapore for the state funeral, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott Indonesian President Joko Widodo, former US President Bill Clinton and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990. He led the nation when the country gained independence in 1965. Under his premiership, Singapore developed from a third world country into a global financial centre ranking among the world’s top three in terms of living standards.
Although most world leaders have praised the economic transformation of Singapore under Lee, critics and human rights groups have condemned his iron-fisted rule of his country which saw his political opponents exiled, political dissent crushed and media freedom stifled.
Lee Kuan Yew’s death is “a loss to the international community”, said Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday.
“Mr Lee Kuan Yew is an old friend of the Chinese people, and founder and mover of Sino-Singapore relationship,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a statement posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website on Monday.