Condolences all the way from Jamaica

This article is more than 12 months old

The two countries may be 18,000km apart, but Jamaica's politicians have joined in the worldwide expression of condolence over Mr Lee Kuan Yew's passing.

In the Jamaica Labour Party's release on Mr Lee's death, Mr Andrew Holness, the leader of the opposition, said both countries started out at around the same time, gaining independence from the British in the 1960s.

Mr Lee visited Jamaica to look at some of the things the country was doing to grow after independence and, according to the Jamaica Gleaner, "successfully transferred some of these ideas to his homeland".

Mr Holness said: "Jamaicans have great respect for the great developer, who was able to move his people from the depths of poverty to prosperity in less than a generation."

Just last week, Mr Holness, who was prime minister for a brief period from October 2011 to January 2012, spoke extensively about Mr Lee's work during his recent presentation on the country's budget and contrasted the fortunes of the two nations.

“While Singapore is far ahead of us in terms of development, there are some important lessons to learn from Lee Kuan Yew’s teachings. As a people, we need to look at the best examples of development and the creation of prosperity.

"We wish the entire family of Singapore strength in their time of grief and we want to let them know that Jamaica is grieving as well because the tremendous respect we have for Mr Lee Kuan Yew."

Jamaica's current prime minister, Mr Edward Seaga, also noted how his country has "fallen short" when compared with Singapore.

Mr Seaga said: "They stuck with one ideology, one strategy, and there was no shifting away from those. They never had any internal quarrels. (Lee) set a development course and maintained them on that course.

"Their belief structure that they stood by and followed throughout, they were the forerunners in all of this. When they were developing, the other countries weren't doing well."

Source: Jamaica Observer, Jamaica Gleaner

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Lee Kuan YewjamaicaAndrew HolnessEdward Seaga