World Bank Group Statement on the Passing of Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew

March 23, 2015

Singapore, March 23, 2015 –World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim issued the following statement today:

"On behalf of the staff of the World Bank Group, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the people of Singapore on the passing of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, on the passing of his father.

We will be forever grateful to the former Prime Minister for his role as a pioneer of development and the architect of modern Singapore. We were privileged to have had a close working relationship with him over several decades.

The late Prime Minister is recognized around the world for transforming Singapore in a short time from an undeveloped nation to one of the most successful high-income countries in the world. He showed that a city-state with few natural resources could rapidly evolve into a global trading hub and financial powerhouse through education, integrated planning, and a highly trained civil service. He tackled corruption relentlessly and held public servants to the highest standards. Most importantly, he showed that economic development could provide opportunities and improve the lives of a country’s citizens. 

At this time of grief, the World Bank Group offers its deepest sympathies to the family of the late Prime Minister and to all people in Singapore."

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