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Singapore leaders send condolences after death of Queen Elizabeth II

Singapore leaders send condolences after death of Queen Elizabeth II

File photo of Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo: AFP/Daniel Leal)

SINGAPORE: President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Sep 9) sent letters of condolences to British leaders after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Madam Halimah wrote to King Charles III, while Mr Lee also wrote to the king and UK Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Former president Tony Tan also paid tribute to the queen in a statement.

Mdm Halimah’s and Mr Lee’s letters, and Dr Tan's statement, are reproduced in full below:

Letter from President Halimah Yacob to King Charles III

9 September 2022

His Majesty King Charles III

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Your Majesty,  

My husband and I were profoundly saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Her Majesty was greatly loved by all. She was, and will forever continue to be, a wellspring of strength and inspiration not just for the British people but also for the people in the Commonwealth and beyond. She will be fondly remembered for dedicating her life to service during her long reign, overseeing a period of remarkable evolution in British society and the United Kingdom’s role in the world. Her passing is an enormous loss to us all.

Her Majesty made three visits to Singapore following our independence – in 1972, 1989, and 2006 – where her warmth and kindness won the hearts of Singaporeans from all walks of life. Her Majesty’s grace and generosity were also keenly felt during the State Visit by former President Dr Tony Tan to London in 2014, where Her Majesty and Prince Philip hosted Dr Tan and Mrs Mary Tan at Buckingham Palace. Being the first-ever State Visit to the United Kingdom by a Singapore President, Her Majesty presided over a momentous occasion in our bilateral relations, and her State Banquet speech paid an inspiring tribute to the two centuries of shared history between Singapore and the United Kingdom, as well as Singapore’s achievements on the eve of our 50th year of independence. All those who have met Her Majesty recall her grace, hospitality and good humour.

Her Majesty will be greatly missed and her passing will be deeply felt by all in the Commonwealth, including Singapore. On behalf of the people of Singapore, my husband and I extend our most heartfelt condolences during this time of grief.

Yours sincerely,

Halimah Yacob

Queen Elizabeth II speaks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a courtesy call at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore on Mar 17, 2006. (File photo: AFP/Chew Seng Kim, Pool)

Letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to King Charles III

9 September 2022

Your Majesty, 

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of your mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Her Majesty The Queen was the very heart and soul of the United Kingdom. Her reign saw one of the longest periods of peace and prosperity in the United Kingdom. Throughout her life, she steadfastly served the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth with devotion, grace, and humility. Her Majesty was also a noted patron of numerous charities and an ardent supporter of the arts. She helped to raise billions in donations for the world’s major causes, including cancer research, humanitarian aid, sports, the environment, education and training. Her Majesty’s contributions to the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and indeed to world affairs will be recorded in history, and she will always be remembered fondly as a great world leader. 

Her Majesty left a significant mark on Singapore’s history and our longstanding relations with the United Kingdom. During her reign, our two countries celebrated many significant milestones. These included Singapore’s hosting of the inaugural Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 1971, the 150th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore in 1969, as well as the State Visit by President Tony Tan to the United Kingdom in 2014. 

I am honoured to have met Her Majesty several times, most recently in London during the 2018 CHOGM. I warmly recall her State Visits to Singapore – in 1972, 1989 and 2006, especially the lunch I hosted for her at the Fullerton Hotel in 2006. Her Majesty always showed warmth and friendship through her natural affection and spontaneous good humour. Her visits never failed to draw huge crowds; Singaporeans welcomed The Queen enthusiastically when she toured our housing estates, schools and institutions, and other places of interest. Her passing is deeply mourned by all of us in Singapore.  

To Her Majesty, service to the nation and the Commonwealth was an overriding priority in life. As we commemorate her reign, I have no doubt the world will long continue to draw inspiration and strength from Her Majesty’s life story and contributions.   

On behalf of the Government of Singapore, I extend my sincerest condolences to you and all members of the Royal Family. The Queen will be remembered and missed dearly.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Hsien Loong

His Majesty King Charles III
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Prime Minister Elizabeth Truss

9 September 2022

Dear Prime Minister Truss,

On behalf of the Government of Singapore, I extend to you, and the Government and people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, my deepest condolences on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

During her reign, the longest ever in British history, Her Majesty was deeply revered. She stood as a symbol of hope, stability, and continuity, not only for the British people, but all the peoples of the Commonwealth. Her Majesty’s deep sense of duty, unwavering devotion and countless contributions over a lifetime have left an indelible mark on our collective history and inspired millions around the world, including Singaporeans. Being Head of the Commonwealth, her passing is a tremendous loss to the Commonwealth family.  

Singapore’s own history is interwoven with the reign of Her Majesty. At 25, when Her Majesty ascended the throne as The Queen, Singapore was still a British Crown Colony. The new district of Queenstown was so named upon her coronation. Since our independence, we have been honoured to host Her Majesty’s periodic visits to Singapore. During her State Visit in 1972, she witnessed our early nation-building efforts at the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute and visited Toa Payoh, a new Housing Development Board estate. Over the years, Her Majesty maintained her fondness for and friendship with Singaporeans. On her third State Visit in 2006, she visited the same family she had met in Toa Payoh more than three decades earlier. Despite the many dramatic developments that Singapore had undergone since independence, the bonds of affection between our countries and peoples have endured with the constancy of Her Majesty’s rule of the United Kingdom. 

Our bilateral ties also expanded and deepened significantly during Her Majesty’s reign. The United Kingdom has remained a valued defence partner under the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and last year we were glad to welcome the HMS Queen Elizabeth II to our shores on its historic tour of the region. Our economic relations have prospered with the Bilateral Investment Treaty signed in 1975, and more recently, the landmark UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the Digital Economy Agreement. Today, more than 5,500 UK companies are based in Singapore. Our people-to-people links remain excellent, with the UK hosting the biggest Singaporean community in Europe, and British citizens among the top European visitors to Singapore, reflecting our strong shared cultural heritage. 

As we commemorate Her Majesty’s legacy, we also remember her indispensable role in steering the United Kingdom and the modern world through seven decades of peace and prosperity, her selfless commitment to the betterment of the Commonwealth and its peoples, and her pursuit of amity and cooperation among all nations of the world.   

Yours sincerely,

Lee Hsien Loong

The Rt Honourable Elizabeth Truss MP
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Statement from Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, Former president of Singapore

Queen Elizabeth II dedicated her life to service.  My wife and I had the honour to welcome her to Singapore in 1989 and to represent Singapore on our Republic’s first State visit to the UK in 2014. Queen Elizabeth II was a most gracious host and we hold her in great respect. She was a source of continuity in a changing and sometimes volatile world. Her life serves as an example of putting country above self.

Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh greet former Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam at a ceremonial welcome for the Singaporean president's state visit at Horse Guards Parade in London on Oct 21, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Pool/Toby Melville)
Source: CNA/lk(mi)

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