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President pays tribute to Lee Kuan Yew, recalls friendship with Taiwan

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President pays tribute to Lee Kuan Yew, recalls friendship with Taiwan

Taipei, March 23 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday paid tribute to Lee Kuan Yew, who died earlier in the day at the age of 91, saying the founding father of Singapore was a "distinguished leader who will be remembered by people around the world." On his Facebook page, Ma posted a picture of himself and Lee, which was taken during Lee's last visit to Taiwan in 2011 in his capacity as minister mentor. Lee was a leader with great vision and integrity who built Singapore into "a first-rate nation," Ma said in the post. He also described Lee as a resolute and hard-working politician who loved his people. Ma said that he had firsthand knowledge of Lee's strong friendship with the late ROC President Chiang Kai-shek. It was "the most solid foundation of the friendship between our two countries," Ma said. Ma was Chiang's secretary in the early 1980s and drafted letters to Lee, who was then prime minister of Singapore, for the president. Ma said he was instructed at the time to write the letters "with affection." Ma subsequently met with Lee in Singapore on several occasions in his own capacities as minister of justice, mayor of Taipei and chairman of the Kuomintang party. Lee visited Taiwan no fewer than 25 times, mostly during Chiang's presidency from 1978 until his death in January 1988. (By Claudia Liu and Jay Chen)


Updated : 2021-04-13 02:36 GMT+08:00