PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong has conveyed his condolences to property tycoon Kwek Leng Joo's wife, Alice Kwek, on the death of her husband.
In his letter to Mrs Kwek, he said: "Leng Joo left us suddenly when he had so much more to give. Singapore has lost a champion of the environment, leader of corporate social responsibility, and a fine photographer with a big heart.
"Ho Ching and I were shocked and deeply saddened to hear of his passing when we were in Turkey."
Mr Lee affirmed the many contributions of Mr Kwek, citing how he put his talent to raise funds for charities and causes as well as directed corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiatives at City Development Ltd (CDL), where he is deputy chairman. Mr Kwek also helped other companies with their CSR, as president of the Singapore Compact for CSR, a national CSR society and focal point for United Nations Global Compact in Singapore.
When Singapore launched its bid to make the Botanic Gardens a Unesco World Heritage Site, Mr Kwek and his CDL team provided valuable support, Mr Lee said.
Mr Kwek had contributed photographs to the Heritage in Green exhibition in 2013, which Singapore used in the dossier submitted to Unesco. After the bid succeeded, Mr Kwek published them in a book titled Embrace.
Mr Lee said: "I am glad that he lived to see the success of the bid. We could not have done it without him."