Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan is travelling to Chennai to pay tributes to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa who passed away last night. Balakrishnan will be travelling with his Ministry officials, a government statement said. Jayalalithaa, a popular leader who showered the poor with populist programmes, died last night at a private hospital in Chennai after battling for life for the past 75 days.
The 67-year-old leader had suffered a massive cardiac arrest on Sunday evening. According to official statistics, 74 per cent of Singapore’s population is of Chinese ethnicity, while 13 per cent are of Malay heritage and 9 per cent of Indian, including Tamils. In Singapore, Tamil is an official language along with English, Mandarin and Malay. Foreign Affairs Minister Balakrishnan was also born to a Tamil father.