Condolences, tributes for Queen Elizabeth II pour in from Asian, Pacific nations

BenarNews staff
Kuala Lumpur, Dhaka, Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok and Washington
Condolences, tributes for Queen Elizabeth II pour in from Asian, Pacific nations An electronic billboard on a building in Manila pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, who died Thursday at age 96, Sept. 9, 2022.
Jojo Riñoza/BenarNews

Leaders of Asian and Pacific nations conveyed their condolences and tributes to Britain’s royal family and its new king on Friday following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned for 70 years.

Britain’s longest-serving monarch died at age 96 on Thursday, months after she celebrated her platinum jubilee on the throne. Elizabeth II was a perennial figure on the post-war international stage, as the globe transitioned away from colonialism and into the Cold War and a multipolar world.

In Malaysia on Friday, the country’s king and queen reminisced about visiting Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in 2019, while Bangladesh began three days of mourning in her memory. Leaders in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand also posted messages of condolence.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered by their Majesties, the government and people of Malaysia for her unwavering commitment to the Commonwealth of which Malaysia is a proud member and her efforts to promote stronger ties between the United Kingdom and Malaysia,” the Malaysian king, Al-Sultan Abdullah, and queen, Tunku Azizah, said in a statement.

Elizabeth, who ascended the throne in 1952, presided over the sunset of the British Empire but remained head of the Commonwealth of mostly former colonies. Her son, King Charles III, succeeds her not only as Britain’s head of state but as head of the Commonwealth which, in Asia, also includes Singapore and Bangladesh.

The grouping of 56 independent nations across the globe includes Australia and New Zealand, where Elizabeth also reigned as head of state.

Bangladesh’s national flag flies at half-staff at the Parliament House in Dhaka in tribute to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Sept. 9, 2022. [Munir Uz Zaman/AFP]

In Dhaka on Friday, Bangladesh’s government announced that during the three-day period of mourning, “the national flag will be kept at half-mast at all government, semi-government, autonomous bodies, non-government offices, educational Institutions and Bangladesh missions abroad.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the Bangladesh people “pray for the eternal peace and salvation of Her Majesty’s departed soul.”

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi signs a condolence book for Queen Elizabeth II at the British Embassy in Jakarta, Sept. 9, 2022. [Retno Marsudi Twitter]

In Manila, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. noted that the British monarch, during her seven decades on the throne, “exemplified to the world a true monarch’s great dignity.”

“We, together with many Filipinos living and working in England, though not subjects of the Queen, have found ourselves having developed a great sense of affection for her as a Queen, as mother, and as a grandmother,” Marcos said in a statement.

In Jakarta, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also joined other world leaders in expressing “deepest sympathies” for the British Royals.

Acting Thai Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan (second from left) looks at a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II while visiting the British Embassy in Bangkok to sign a condolence book, Sept. 9, 2022. [Royal Thai Government handout/AFP]

In Bangkok, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth and the close ties between the two nations.

“We share with the British people and the international community in mourning this great and irreparable loss,” the ministry said in a statement.

In October 1996, Elizabeth II visited the kingdom and met with then-King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) as he marked his 50th anniversary on Thailand’s throne. When he died in October 2016, the Thai king had reigned for 70 years and 126 days. At the time of his death, Bhumibol was the world’s longest serving monarch, but, in the end, Elizabeth overtook him for longevity on the throne. 

As of late Friday (Bangkok time), the Thai royal palace had yet to issue a statement marking Elizabeth’s death.

‘Grief is the price we pay for love’

In Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said parliament would observe one minute of silence at the beginning of Monday’s session for Queen Elizabeth.

“As a mark of respect, state flags at all government buildings will be flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile in Australia, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese praised Queen Elizabeth for her service to the Commonwealth, saying, “Her life of faithful service will be remembered for centuries to come.”

“Australian hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing they will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation whole,” he said in a statement.

“There is comfort to be found in Her Majesty’s own words: ‘Grief is the price we pay for love.’”

In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Cindy Kiro, the country’s governor-general, each issued statements of condolence as well.

“I know I speak for all New Zealanders in conveying our deepest sympathy to members of the royal family, and condolences to King Charles III, on behalf of the government and New Zealanders, at this time of enormous loss,” Ardern said in a statement.


Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II appears on a screen via video link from Windsor Castle during a virtual audience to receive Zakri Jaafar, the Ambassador of Malaysia, at Buckingham Palace, London, Nov. 25, 2021. [Dominic Lipinski/pool/AFP]

Kiro, the governor-general, represents the British monarch and was appointed by the prime minister.

“I have written to the new King on behalf of all New Zealanders, expressing the condolences of the nation,” Kiro said in her statement.

“As Queen of New Zealand for 70 years, Her Majesty was an honored monarch and an enduring presence through times of great change. The Queen will be remembered for her dedication to all her Realms and her commitment to play a unifying role in the Commonwealth,” Kiro said.

“New Zealand shares with the people of Her Majesty’s Realms profound grief at the loss of a cherished monarch and honored leader. Her Majesty The Queen was much loved and respected in New Zealand, and will be long remembered for her lifetime of dedicated service.”

Ahammad Foyez in Dhaka, Wilawan Watcharasakwet in Bangkok and Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah in Kuala Lumpur contributed to this report.


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