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Foreign leaders, diplomats, local organisations pay tribute to the late SR Nathan

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While people streamed in to the Istana on Tuesday morning to pay their respects and to pen their tributes to the late SR Nathan, condolences also poured in from foreign leaders, diplomats and local organisations.

WHILE people streamed in to the Istana on Tuesday morning to pay their respects and to pen their tributes to the late SR Nathan, condolences also poured in from foreign leaders, diplomats and local organisations.

Mr Nathan, Singapore's former and longest-serving president, was admitted to Singapore General Hospital after suffering a stroke on July 31 and died on Monday night.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday expressed his condolences to Mr Nathan's family on Twitter, while a US State Department spokesman expressed condolences to Mr Nathan's family and to the people of Singapore in a video on Twitter.

Spokesman Mark Toner said: "President Nathan was a life-long civil servant whose career spanned all five decades of the US-Singapore relationship, including six years as Singapore's ambassador to the United States and 12 as its President."

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British High Commissioner to Singapore Scott Wightman said Mr Nathan served Singapore and its people "selflessly" and offered his "deepest sympathy to his family and to the country" in a Twitter post.

Others who expressed their condolences were the French Embassy here and New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore Jonathan Austin.

Back home, the business community also mourned the loss of an active business champion.

The Singapore Business Federation said in a tribute on Monday night: "He was an inspiring mentor who never failed to share his analytical assessment with our business delegations on the different prospects, opportunities and obstacles in the countries visited. Where possible, Mr Nathan also spared no efforts in tackling the issues faced by businesses by helping to remove the barriers to entry in the respective countries."

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social and Family Development also highlighted Mr Nathan's significant contributions to the Republic, particularly in the areas of special needs, education and improving the lives of the disadvantaged.

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