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Obama tribute to 'true giant of history' Lee Kuan Yew

Then Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew at the Elysee Palace in Paris on September 27, 1978US President Barack Obama hailed Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday as a visionary and “true giant of history” after Singapore’s first prime minister died aged 91. Lee, who dominated Singapore politics for more than half a century, was an authoritarian leader who transformed the city-state from a sleepy British imperial outpost into a global trading and financial center. “A visionary who led his country from Singapore’s independence in 1965 to build one of the most prosperous countries in the world today, he was a devoted public servant and a remarkable leader,” Obama said in a glowing tribute. He added in a statement: “I personally appreciated his wisdom, including our discussions during my trip to Singapore in 2009, which were hugely important in helping me formulate our policy of rebalancing to the Asia Pacific.

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