World leaders have begun paying tributes to Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on the occasion of his passing on Monday (Mar 23).
United States President Barack Obama hailed Mr Lee as a visionary leader who was also a devoted public servant.
Prime Minister David Cameron said Mr Lee's "place in history is assured", while his predecessor Tony Blair said Mr Lee was "the first to understand that modern politics was about effective government not old-fashioned ideology".
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was "saddened" to hear of the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
“He was a highly respected and accomplished leader who transformed Singapore from a developing country into a global leader in finance, shipping, education and technology," he said in a statement.
“His memory will live on in the stability and prosperity of the peaceful and dynamic Southeast Asian nation to which he contributed so much of his life."
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted in Spanish his "regret" on the passing of Mr Lee. "I regret the passing of the ex-Prime Minister of Singapore," he tweeted.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani hailed Mr Lee Kuan Yew as an "inspirational leader" whose wisdom will "remain with us forever".
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid tribute to Mr Lee, whom he described as a "giant in our region".
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also sent his condolences, saying that Mr Lee was a "rare statesman".
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key described Mr Lee as a "formidable leader" who held the respect of Singaporeans and the international community.
French President Francois Hollande said France has lost a friend with the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.