Ex-Singapore president SR Nathan a friend of Malaysia, Khairy says
SINGAPORE, Aug 26 — “S.R. Nathan was a friend of Malaysia,” said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy was one of three ministers who were representing Malaysia at the state funeral for the late former Singapore President S.R. Nathan, here, today.
The two other ministers were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.
“On behalf of the government and people of Malaysia, we conveyed condolences to the people of Singapore and S.R. Nathan’s family on his demise,” he told reporters after the state funeral.
“I believe that the late S.R. Nathan was among the leaders of Singapore who helped a lot to strengthen bilateral relations between Malaysia and Singapore,” he added.
Appointed the island republic’s High Commissioner to Malaysia in 1988, Nathan, 92, passed away at Singapore General Hospital on Monday, three weeks after suffering a stroke.
“S.R. Nathan was born in then Malaya and had many friends in Malaysia.
“I had the opportunity of meeting him a number of times. He was a friend of my late father. At the time, Universiti Malaya was located in Singapore,” Khairy said.
Liow, meanwhile, said: “We lost a great friend and a great diplomat. He had contributed a lot to improved bilateral ties between Singapore and Malaysia.”
After Nathan became President, Liow said, he himself had paid a courtesy call on Nathan, twice.
“We are deeply sad over his demise. We will remember him,” he added.
Liow described Nathan as “a very calm, polite and a very fatherly figure”.
After the two-hour funeral service which started at 3pm, Nathan’s cortege made its final journey to Mandai Crematorium for a private cremation service. — Bernama