Updated: 12/11/2013 01:21

Nelson Mandela "a great friend of Singapore": K Shanmugam

Nelson Mandela "a great friend of Singapore": K Shanmugam

Foreign Affairs and Law Minister, K Shanmugam describes the former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela as a "great friend of Singapore". 

He was honoring the memory of Mr Mandela by signing a condolence book at the South Africa High Commission in Singapore. 

Mr Shanmugam says he's never had the privilege of meeting Mr Mandela, but has heard good words on him from Singapore's founding Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. 

"President Mandela made a successful visit to Singapore many years ago, long before I was in full time politics. I once asked then Senior Minister Lee, what he thought of Mr Mandela, he said he's very steady, very bright, very clear of what he wanted, but also, without a trace on him of bitterness, he's a great reconciler." 

Mr Shanmugan says Mr Mandela taught people the principles of living with dignity, in a fair and civilised way. 

He adds that Mr Mandela embodied the spirit of reconciliation not usually seen in many countries where the yoke of oppression was overthrown.

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