Seychelles President James Michel expresses sadness at death of Singaporean founding PM Lee
Seychelles President James Michel. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The President of the Seychelles, James Michel has expressed his condolences after the demise of the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away on Monday at the age of 91.
Lee is survived by his son, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who declared seven days of national mourning ahead of the former statesman's cremation scheduled for 29 March.
In a press statement issued on Monday evening, Michel said that Lee “will be remembered as the key figure in transforming Singapore into the global trade and great powerhouse that it is today.”
Lee served as prime minister from 1959, when colonial ruler Britain granted the colony self-rule, until 1990. He led Singapore to complete independence in 1965 after a brief but unsuccessful union with the neighbouring state of Malaysia.
According to AFP, the city-state of Singapore with its population of 5.4 million now has one of the world's highest per capita incomes and its residents enjoy near-universal home ownership, low crime rates and first-class infrastructure.
The news of the former Prime Minister's demise comes around two weeks after Seychelles Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Jean Paul Adam paid an official visit to Singapore to strengthen bilateral and economic relations by signing a Memorandum of Understanding in the areas of trade, financial services and port development.