Thursday, 22 June 2017

The famiLEE feud: Govt 'Poking Nose' into Oxley's fate

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38 Oxley Road dispute: Govt of the day has to be responsible for decision on house, says DPM Teo
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Wednesday (Jun 21) defended his decision to set up a ministerial committee to look into the options for Mr Lee Kuan Yew's family home on 38 Oxley Road, saying that the Government of the day "has to be responsible for making a decision on the property"

Mr Teo, who chairs the committee, was responding to a commentary by The Straits Times' editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang, who questioned the need for Cabinet ministers to get involved in the dispute among Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong & his siblings over their late father's will.

PM Lee had expressed "grave concern" over how the will was prepared, in particular, the removal and subsequent re-insertion of a clause stating his late father's wish that the Oxley Road house be demolished after his death.

The ministerial committee to consider the future of the house includes Cabinet members who are responsible for heritage, land issues & urban planning: Minister for Culture, Community & Youth Grace Fu, Minister for Law K Shanmugam, and Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong.

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The Straits Times 4 hrs

Under the law, it is the Government of the day that has to make a decision on the fate of Lee Kuan Yew's house in Oxley Road, said DPM Teo Chee Hean.

"Cabinet cannot outsource decision-making," he added.

He was responding to a commentary by ST editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang.

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Govt 'has to decide Oxley's fate'

Under the law, it is the Government of the day that has to make a decision on the fate of the late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's house in Oxley Road, DPM Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.

That is why it is "incumbent on the Cabinet to consider & decide on the issues, & I have decided to set up a committee to assist Cabinet to do so". "Cabinet cannot outsource decision-making," he added.

Mr Teo also said "setting up a ministerial committee to study - issues is part of normal Cabinet working processes." His latest remarks on the committee he heads were made in response to a commentary by editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang in The Straits Times yesterday.

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Govt of the day has to be responsible for decision on house, says DPM Teo
Mr Teo, who chairs the committee, was responding to a commentary by The Straits Times' editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang, who questioned the need for Cabinet ministers to get involved in the dispute among Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings over their late father's will

In his commentary, Mr Han wrote that, in retrospect, Cabinet ministers "should have stayed clear of the dispute over the will".

Instead, the committee "now finds itself embroiled in an unwieldy dispute over Mr Lee's actions & wishes", Mr Han wrote, noting that "with fresh revelations & allegations every passing day, Cabinet ministers find themselves more & more deeply involved in the saga". Mr Han suggested reconsidering the necessity of the committee & its remit, saying that the Lee siblings should make another attempt to resolve their disagreements privately.

He also suggested that the Founders' Memorial Committee, which had already been formed to look into how best to commemorate Singapore's pioneer leaders, should decide on the fate of the house. "Why leave out the most important decision from this group of distinguished Singaporeans who were selected to look into the building of an appropriate memorial?" he said.

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Three key issues in the Lee v Lee saga

The Family feud among the Lees is extremely damaging to Singapore

Everyone can see this even if they do not understand all the complew details that have emerged from the sorry saga. PM Lee Hsien Loong recognise this only too well and has apologised to the nation for the grief it caused. The many issues that have been raised can be confusing from the different versions of the will to which lawyer was involved in which deed.

But here's the thing - you do not need to understand every single part of the unfolding drama to know what really matters & is important to S'pore. In fact, you should not let the toing & froing over the details prevent you from getting to the issues of public concern.

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DPM Teo Chee Hean responds to ST editor-at-large about 38 Oxley Road
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has issued a response to The Straits Times editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang

This was after Han wrote an opinion piece in ST on June 21, outlining what he felt were the three key issues surrounding the ongoing Lee family tussle over 38 Oxley Road.

In his piece, Han questioned the rationale of a Ministerial Committee to deal with the 38 Oxley Road house, as well as the somewhat adversarial and legalistic approach of requiring statutory declarations to be made on the part of Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling about the circumstance surrounding Lee Kuan Yew’s writing of his will.

Han also wrote that it is not too late to reverse the decision for a Ministerial Committee to prevent ministers on the committee from being further dragged into the tussle.

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This is DPM Teo’s response in full, published in the Prime Minister’s Office website on the same day as Han’s commentary

Mr Han Fook Kwang in his article “Three key issues in the Lee vs Lee saga” asks about the need to set up a Ministerial Committee. Setting up a Ministerial Committee to study or work on issues is part of normal Cabinet working processes. Even boards of companies set up committees to look into specific issues. He also asked why the issue of what to do with 38 Oxley Road cannot simply be left in the hands of the Founders’ Memorial Committee. Ultimately, it is the Government of the day which has to be responsible for making a decision on the property as this is where the powers reside under the law, specifically the Preservation of Monuments Act and the Planning Act in this case. Mr Han himself acknowledges this. It is therefore incumbent on Cabinet to consider and decide on the issues, and I have decided to set up a committee to assist Cabinet to do so. Cabinet cannot outsource decision-making. But this does not preclude public consultations or the involvement of some memorial committee at an appropriate time. Indeed members of the public have already written in offering suggestions.

Prime Minister Lee has recused himself from government decisions on the property. No decision is required now as Dr Lee Wei Ling continues to live in the house.

Whoever makes a recommendation, the public or some memorial committee, and when Cabinet eventually makes a decision, founding Prime Minister Mr Lee’s thinking is an important factor which we would all want to take into account. The committee invited views from the siblings to understand Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s thinking on this matter. It is only proper that the committee seek their views. Indeed, the Committee had to, since the siblings themselves told us they had different views, and challenged each other’s interpretations of Mr Lee’s wishes. All views were given voluntarily, including those in the form of statutory declarations. Where there were different views, clarifications were sought including the offer for them to be made as statutory declarations. As I have said, the interest of the Committee in Mr Lee’s will is confined to helping us understand his thinking on the matter. This process was conducted through correspondence, and out of the public eye until it was brought out onto a public platform. We should be clear that the difference of views did not arise because there was a Ministerial committee. We still hope that differences of views on private matters can be resolved within the family. But ultimately, the Cabinet of the day and its ministers cannot avoid taking responsibility for making the required decisions on matters where the public interest is involved, and due process is required. Mr Lee Kuan Yew himself understood this and would have expected the government to do so.

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DPM Teo says he set up ministerial committee on 38 Oxley, Hsien Yang labels it 'fundamentally flawed'

Responding to criticisms by Mr Lee Hsien Yang & Dr Lee Wei Ling, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Sat (Jun 17) said there is nothing secretive about the ministerial committee set up to look into the options for 38 Oxley Road.

Providing details on the committee in a media statement, Mr Teo also gave a glimpse of the various options being studied for the property, & reiterated that the Government has the responsibility to "consider the public interest aspects of any property with heritage & historical significance".

The committee was set up by Mr Teo and includes Cabinet members "responsible for heritage, land issues and urban planning" - Culture, Community & Youth Minister Grace Fu, Law Minister K Shanmugam and National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

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DPM Teo: 'There is nothing 'secret' about this committee'

Acting Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Saturday (Jun 18) refuted allegations that a ministerial committee considering options for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s house at 38, Oxley Road was “secret”.

In a statement, Mr Teo said:"There is nothing “secret” about this committee." He added that he set up the commitee, which is “like numerous other committees that Cabinet may set up from time to time to consider specific issues”.

Mr Teo noted that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had recused himself from all government decisions to be taken on 38, Oxley Road after the late Mr Lee died at the age of 91 on Mar 23, 2015. “I chair Cabinet should any deliberations take place on this property,” he said.

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Oxley Road dispute: Cabinet cannot avoid responsibility on matters of public interest, says DPM Teo

Responding to questions on the need for a Ministerial Committee to consider options for 38 Oxley Road, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Wednesday (June 21) the Cabinet cannot avoid responsibility on matters of public interest, and due process is needed. He added that setting up such a committee is “part of normal Cabinet working processes”, noting that even company boards form committees to examine issues.

Weighing in on the dispute between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings for a second time, Mr Teo also noted that the differences of views over the Lee family’s home did not arise because of the ministerial committee, which he chairs.

“We still hope that differences of views on private matters can be resolved within the family,” Mr Teo said in a statement. “But ultimately, the Cabinet of the day and its ministers cannot avoid taking responsibility for making the required decisions on matters where the public interest is involved, and due process is required. Mr Lee Kuan Yew himself understood this and would have expected the Government to do so,” he added.

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Lee Hsien Yang: No, DPM Teo did not share the options being explored on the house with us
The Lee family’s public feud over the fate of the house on 38 Oxley Road continues

In Hsien Yang’s latest salvo on Tuesday afternoon, he directly contradicted a point made by DPM Teo Chee Hean, who made a statement on Saturday about the Ministerial Committee convened to look into issues regarding 38 Oxley Road.

In particular, it was this point DPM Teo made in his statement:

“The Committee has tasked the relevant agencies to study a range of options for the property. I have shared some of these options with the siblings. For instance, they know that I would personally not support the options at either end of the range: at one end, preserving the House as it is for visitors to enter and see would be totally against the wishes of Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew; and at the other, demolishing the house and putting the property on the market for new private residences. The Committee has also been studying various intermediate options such as demolishing the House but keeping the basement dining room where many important historical meetings took place, with an appropriate heritage centre attached. These studies are ongoing.”

related: LHY reveals 2011 email from LKY saying PM Lee planned to declare house as “heritage site”

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DPM Teo responds to ST’s article, said ministers cannot avoid taking responsibility for making the required decisions on public interest

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has issued a statement in response to an opinion piece by Han Fook Kwang, editor-at-large for Straits Times.

Straits Times earlier published Mr Han's opinion piece, "Three key issues in the Lee vs Lee saga" on Wednesday. The piece asks three pertinent questions in regards to the on-going Lee family saga that have intrigued both local and international community:
  • How involved ministers should be on the issue of the 38 Oxley Road dispute and suggested that the ministers should have stayed clear of the dispute over the will.
  • Do Singaporeans want to know and to participate in the discussion of the saga, given the accusations field by Prime Minister's siblings of him abusing public powers to achieve his personal agenda.
  • How people would want to move forward, beyond the record and achievements of their past leaders.
In his response, DPM Teo addressed to the question of the minister's involvement by saying that the issue of what to do with 38 Oxley Road cannot simply be left in the hands of the Founders’ Memorial Committee and the Cabinet of the day and its ministers cannot avoid taking responsibility for making the required decisions on matters where the public interest is involved.

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38 Oxley Road: DPM Teo, what is your private interest?
Public interest? I did a thought experiment

We saw countless people showed up to say their last good byes to LKY slightly more than two years ago. Imagine with me as you exit parliament house a survey is conducted asking you if you would support tearing down his bungalow 38 Oxley Road because that was what he had repeatedly said publicly he and his wife wanted. Could you say No to him? After all that he had given to us, is a simple request like this too costly for us?

Now imagine many years later when all these are now recorded as history. What would our descendants think of this generation who took the decision to preserve the house? It was a callous generation who could not even grant such a simple request and the value system that went with it as symbolized by his living and leading. That is why I am doing my bit to fight for the last wish of LKY to be honored. It would also be educating future generations right.

I am convinced the public interest is to give LKY what he wanted. Now I must ask the PAP government what is your private interest? I can't imagine any praiseworthy reason they could offer.

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Tharman Shanmugaratnam 22 June at 02:35

Have confidence, folks. I have to say there is no mystery as to why a Ministerial committee was set up to look into the options for 38 Oxley Road. DPM Teo, who chairs Cabinet on matters to do with the house, has explained straightforwardly why he set it up.

We in fact do this often - setting up special committees comprising a group of Ministers. We started the practice many years ago, and it has evolved. It’s how we ensure that important issues are given in-depth attention, and the options are weighed up by the Ministers closer to the issue, before Cabinet makes its decisions and takes collective responsibility. And it’s how we ensure that we are not a Government that operates in silos, that the national interest prevails even when there are valid sectoral or private interests, and that the long view prevails over the short view wherever possible.

That’s a challenge in governance that will never disappear, and is a challenge everywhere in the world. We have never got it perfect in Singapore, and let’s be frank, we’ve had our share of policies that have turned out quite wrong at different points in our history.

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Oh no, Tharman has waded into the Lee family feud

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the man who many Singaporeans regard as Prime Minister material, has waded into the Lee family feud. This was after Tharman put up a Facebook post on June 22, asking Singaporeans to “Have confidence, folks”.

In his post, Tharman sought to assure Singaporeans that Ministerial Committees are as common as air and the public would not know about all of them in their entirety. The crux of his message, though, is that Singapore favours long-term planning, and this set-up involving Ministerial Committees with various ministers putting heads together to sort things out is the legacy the late Lee Kuan Yew left behind.

However, from the public’s perspective, it just looks like the entire Cabinet with the kitchen sink will be thrown into this issue soon, as more ministers look set to come out to have a say in this protracted battle.

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DPM Tharman chips in about the Lee family feud; calls for Singaporeans to have confidence in government
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In disconcerting, dramatic times such as these, what we need is the soothing voice of reason by our Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam — the man reluctant to be Prime Minister, despite being the perfect man for it.

Though we initially believed him to be above it all and refrain from diving into the muck that is the current Lee family saga, the man chipped in anyway. Specifically to assure the public that there isn’t any shady business involved with the so-called ‘secretive’ Ministerial Committee.

His remarks arrived in support of fellow deputy prime minister Teo Chee Hean, who issued a statement that there’s nothing secret about said committee, which was formed to deliberate on the fate of 38 Oxley Road. It was issued in response to allegations made by the prime minister’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang, who accused PM Lee of setting up a “secret committee” to challenge a clause in his late father’s will that ensured the demolition of the Oxley Road house.

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'No mystery' as to why ministerial committee was set up over 38 Oxley Road issue: Tharman

Ministerial committees are a means of ensuring that important issues are given “in-depth attention”, and is a practice that started many years ago, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Thursday (22 June).

“I have to say there is no mystery as to why a ministerial committee was set up to look into the options for 38 Oxley Road. DPM Teo, who chairs Cabinet on matters to do with the house, has explained straightforwardly why he set it up.”

In a Facebook post, Tharman noted that there are ministerial committees on a whole range of issues, some of which may sit for years, and that he chairs several of them. “They help us think through difficult choices in Government before they come to Cabinet, and to canvas views outside when appropriate,” he said.

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K Shanmugam Sc 17 hrs

Cabinet Committee, Mr Lee Hsien Yang has questioned my being in the Committee chaired by DPM Teo. There are dozens of Cabinet Committees set up on a variety of matters. Some are permanent, some are temporary. Their composition is not public and they report to the Cabinet.

I am well aware of the rules of conflict, having been in practice for over 22 years. The suggestion that I am in conflict is ridiculous. If Mr Lee Hsien Yang seriously believes that I was in conflict, he can get a lawyer to write to me and I will respond. I was already a Cabinet Minister when I spoke with some members of the Lee family -- at their behest -- and gave them my views. They were not my clients. Nothing that I said then precludes me from serving in this Committee.

I am sure most Singaporeans are sick and tired about these endless allegations, which are quite baseless. The government has serious business to attend to relating to the welfare of Singaporeans.

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Singaporeans 'sick and tired of endless' Oxley Road allegations: Shanmugam

Saying that Singaporeans are "sick and tired" about the incessant baseless allegations that have been throw up amid the Lee family dispute, Law Minister K Shanmugam on Sat (Jun 17) pointed out that the Government has serious business to take care of regarding citizens' welfare.

He also hit back at Mr Lee Hsien Yang for questioning his inclusion in the ministerial committee tasked to look at the options for 38 Oxley Road. Mr Shanmugam said he was "well aware" of the rules of conflict of interest, having been a practising lawyer for 22 years. "The suggestion that I am in conflict is ridiculous. If Mr Lee Hsien Yang seriously believes that I was in conflict, he can get a lawyer to write to me and I will respond," Mr Shanmugam said on Facebook.

He pointed out that he was "already a Cabinet Minister" when he spoke with some members of the Lee family, at their behest, & gave them his views. "They were not my clients. Nothing that I said then precludes me from serving in this Committee," he said.

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K Shanmugam challenges Lee Hsien Yang to send him a lawyer’s letter for his response
“I am sure most Singaporeans are sick and tired about these endless allegations, which are quite baseless,”

K Shanmugam, Minister for Law and Minister for Home Affairs has hit back at Lee Hsien Yang over insinuations that his position in the Ministerial Committee is a “conflict of interest having advised Lee Kuan Yew and us on options to help achieve Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes, and the drafting of the demolition wish”.

Shanmugam, in a Facebook post published yesterday (Jun 17), slammed the suggestion, saying it was “ridiculous”. He added, “if Mr Lee Hsien Yang seriously believes that I was in conflict, he can get a lawyer to write to me and I will respond.”

“I am sure most Singaporeans are sick and tired about these endless allegations, which are quite baseless,” “The government has serious business to attend to relating to the welfare of Singaporeans.”

related: ‘Secret’ Ministerial Committee is ‘fundamentally flawed’: Lee Hsien Yang

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38 Oxley Road committee: Suggestion of conflict of interest 'ridiculous', Shanmugam says

Law Minister K Shanmugam on Sat (Jun 17) hit back the suggestion that his inclusion in the ministerial committee on 38 Oxley Road represented a conflict of interest, saying it was "ridiculous".

He was responding to a Facebook post by Mr Lee Hsien Yang, which said that the composition of the committee was "fundamentally flawed".

"Mr Lee Hsien Yang has questioned my being in the Committee chaired by DPM Teo," Mr Shanmugam wrote.

related:
DPM TCH revealed that the committee members included Cabinet ministers
Mr Lee Hsien Yang: Composition of the committee was "fundamentally flawed"
Mr LHY, took issue with Mr Shanmugam's inclusion on the committee

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Minister K Shanmugan challenges Lee Hsien Yang to have a lawyer to write to him for his response

In yet another episode in the ongoing Lee family saga, Minister of Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam has just issued a rebuttal on his Facebook page to Mr Lee Hsien Yang's earlier post, noting that there is a clear conflict of interest by the Minister to be involved in the committee formed to deliberate on the government's decision in regards to the property at 38 Oxley Road, where Mr Lee Hsien Yang's late father,  Lee Kuan Yew once lived.

Mr Lee had highlighted that he and his sister were not given the list of the committee when they had asked for it, and were only informed through Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean's statement issued on Saturday late afternoon.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang had written in his post that he and his sister had expressed specific concerns on the possible membership of Mr K Shanmugam and his conflict of interest having advised Lee Kuan Yew and the two on options to help achieve Lee Kuan Yew's wishes, and the drafting of the demolition wish.

related:
LHY: Information that DPM Teo released what the 2 siblings have been asking for
DPM TCH: Nothing “secret” about the committee formed for 38 Oxley Road
LHY: “We have no confidence in Lee Hsien Loong or his secret committee”
PM Lee’s siblings raise concerns regarding present administration of S'pore

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ESM Goh calls on Singaporeans to urge Lee family to settle Oxley home spat behind closed doors

Singaporeans can urge the Lee family to settle their dispute over 38 Oxley Road "amicably in private or through closed-door arbitration", Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said on Saturday (Jun 17) as he pointed out that this is "not the family legacy" which their father, founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, would have wanted to leave behind.

Mr Goh weighed in on the saga for the second time in as many days - and the third government leader to do so on Saturday. "It is not worth tearing up family bonds built over a lifetime over these differences, however serious they are," he wrote on Facebook.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Law Minister K Shanmugam had given their take on the matter, with Mr Teo issuing a media statement to provide details of the ministerial committee tasked to look at the future status of the Lee family home, including its composition, the considerations behind its setting up and the options on the table.

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Oxley Road dispute 'not the family legacy' Lee Kuan Yew would have wanted: ESM Goh

The dispute involving Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings over their father Lee Kuan Yew's Oxley Road home is not the family legacy that the founding Prime Minister would have wanted to leave behind, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said on Saturday (Jun 17).

ESM Goh added that he supports the "careful way" in which Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and the Government is handling the issue as public interests are involved.

He made the comments in a Facebook post in response to DPM Teo's statement that explained the setting up of a ministerial committee to study the options for the Oxley Road house.

related: DPM Teo's statement that explained setting up of a ministerial committee

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Singapore will not be dragged down by Lee family's 'petty disputes', says Goh Chok Tong

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on Friday (June 16) weighed in on the Lee family spat over 38 Oxley Road, by urging Singaporeans to "not be dragged down by a family's petty disputes".

Writing on Facebook, Mr Goh noted that Singapore has "prevailed through crises and adversity". "We are a hardy people, built our family and nation from humble beginnings," he wrote.

Mr Goh succeeded founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1990 and handed over the baton to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2004. He added: "What is happening in public between Lee Kuan Yew's children is not us and should not be allowed to define who we are. We are bigger than our troubles, stronger than our differences. Whatever damage Singapore may suffer, willfully inflicted or otherwise, I know Singaporeans will not lay meek… We will always look forward, to fight real battles and create a better future for ourselves and our children."

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EX-PM GOH CHOK TONG WEIGHTS IN: S'PORE WILL NOT BE DRAGGED OWN BY PETTY LEE FAMILY DISPUTE

Singapore has prevailed through crises and adversity. We are a hardy people, built our family and nation from humble beginnings. What is happening in public between Lee Kuan Yew’s children is not us and should not be allowed to define who we are.

We are bigger than our troubles, stronger than our differences. Whatever damage Singapore may suffer, willfully inflicted or otherwise, I know Singaporeans will not lay meek. We will not be dragged down by a family’s petty disputes. We will always look forward, to fight real battles and create a better future for ourselves and our children.

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MParader Yesterday at 15:11


Singapore has prevailed through crises and adversity. We are a hardy people, built our family and nation from humble beginnings. What is happening in public between Lee Kuan Yew’s children is not us and should not be allowed to define who we are. We are bigger than our troubles, stronger than our differences. Whatever damage Singapore may suffer, willfully inflicted or otherwise, I know Singaporeans will not lay meek. We will not be dragged down by a family’s petty disputes. We will always look forward, to fight real battles and create a better future for ourselves and our children.

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MParader Yesterday at 08:11

James Tan With all due respect Mr Goh, I think you missed a point here. This is originally a family dispute, which should have been taken to court to resolve. However, according to the siblings' allegations, PM choose to use the government resources to set up a committee to bull doze the way through.

This allegation, together with other such as abuse of power etc, are serious allegations as it questions the Pm's integrity and his conduct . So this is no longer a petty dispute. As a senior statesman, I think it is important for you to take up the responsibility to initiate an investigation into these allegations, as our country reputation and world standing are now at stake. So if these allegations are false, it can help Pm to clear his name.

PAP ministers and leaders has to stand up and do what is right for the stake of the country. They should speak out and not just close one eye and treat this as a petty family dispute.

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MParader Yesterday at 08:11


Martyn See "We have an understanding that if a minister is defamed and he does not sue, he must leave cabinet."
- Goh Chok Tong, Asiaweek, Dec 3, 1999

http://edition.cnn.com/.../interview/goh.chok.tong/goh3.html
ASIANOW - Asiaweek | Interview: Finally, Being His Own Man | Page 3 | 11/25/99
Goh Chok Tong on Singapore, Asia -- and himself.

EDITION.CNN.COM

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MParader Yesterday at 15:11

Harry Yohannan These are very serious allegations made by siblings who are no ordinary man-in-the-street. The siblings are highly educated, held top positions in both private and public sectors, and have even consulted lawyers before putting out these very, very serious allegations. How can you dismiss such serious allegations as just a petty family dispute ? These serious allegations need to have proper investigations done by the authorities and/or a BOI convened. So, is the government going to conduct an investigation, owing to the very, very serious nature of the allegations by the siblings?

These are your own words reported in Asiaweek in 1999, right ? "But if they've defamed us, we have to sue them -- because if we don't, our own integrity will be suspect. We have an understanding that if a minister is defamed and he does not sue, he must leave cabinet.”. So, is this report true ? Are these your own words ? It would be good to get some verification from you on this, because it was so long ago.

Here are links to the Asiaweek report:
http://www.singapore-window.org/sw99/91203aw.htm
http://edition.cnn.com/.../interview/goh.chok.tong/goh3.html

Since the allegations are far worse than simple defamation, there should more reasons for lawsuits to be filed against the siblings, right ? Else, as what you have mentioned and insisted, the Minister has to leave the Cabinet ??
Singapore:Goh Chok Tong: Finally, being his own man.
Singapore, Justice, Human Rights, Politics, Social issues
SINGAPORE-WINDOW.ORG

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The Independent Singapore Page Liked · 6 hrs near Singapore

"We have an understanding that if a minister is defamed and he does not sue, he must leave cabinet."

- Goh Chok Tong, Asiaweek, Dec 3, 1999

http://edition.cnn.com/ASIANOW/asiaweek/interview/goh.chok.tong/goh3.html

"What is happening in public between Lee Kuan Yew's children is not us and should not be allowed to define who we are. We will not be dragged down by a family's petty disputes."

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1672448012797858&id=182873625088645

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Zul Al Yusouf · Co-founder at Soleil Pâtissiére


If all the allegations are wrong, please sue them in court. Bringing the case, as the PM has mentioned as private affair, to parliament is wrong. Bringing in the other ministers to allow them making remarks is another wrong thing to do. They should be remain neutral as this is none of their concerns, it's between the siblings. I say enough of this drama. Just settle it in court. There are better things to worry such as minimum wages, our cpf, our HDB homes where we are co-tenant but we pay property tax while we are not owners, etc. The country has other issues than this house.

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PAP sues opponents 'until your pants drop': Low Thia Khiang

The People’s Action Party may be seen as exercising double standards if Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong does not sue his siblings over their allegations of abuse of power, said Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang.

“By using family, does this not also show that blood is thicker than water? Own siblings cannot sue… but political opponents and critics, sue until your pants drop,” said the Aljunied GRC Member of Parliament on Tuesday (4 July).

“I wonder whether the PM is not worrying that the PAP as a ruling party will be seen as (practising) double standards,” he added.

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To Sue or Not to Sue: Defamation & Double Standards in Singapore’s Family Feud



Singapore has a reputation as a rules-based society, where no one can be above the law. It’s a mantra that has been repeated time and time again, a crucial part of the country’s reputation as a place where everything is above board and done right.

These days, this image is getting a little harder to maintain, particularly with the recent Lee family feud. Over the past two weeks Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s younger siblings, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang, have doggedly posted accusations against their big brother on their Facebook pages. They’ve alleged abuses of power, nepotism and favoritism – all claims that Singaporeans would usually hesitate to utter, lest they find themselves on the receiving end of crippling defamation suits. That, after all, is the usual reaction of politicians like Lee Hsien Loong. Lee himself acknowledged this in Parliament on Monday, when he said in his ministerial statement.

One can sympathise with the unpleasantness of having to resort to legal action with one’s own relatives, but the hypocrisy of Lee’s statement was simply too blatant to escape attention. It was best put by Low Thia Khiang, leader of the opposition, in Parliament the next day. The situation was then exacerbated by the response of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who dismissed Low’s speech as “political sophistry," then said, “And as for Tang Liang Hong, he’s not my brother.”

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Lawrence Wong 23 June at 02:14 

I plan to speak on this in Parliament on 3 July, and clear the air on the matter, as I was then the Minister in charge of MCCY. But as there are several misperceptions circulating around, I thought it would be better to put out some facts earlier.

The deed of gift relates to items from the estate of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, for use in a major public exhibition by the NHB concerning Singapore’s founding leaders, including our founding Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Such a major public exhibition on our founding leaders is a matter for deliberation by the Government.

It would therefore be normal and in order, that the Prime Minister be kept informed about the contents and presentation of the exhibition. The Prime Minister was given the deed in his official capacity.

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PM Lee was given Deed of Gift in his official capacity: Lawrence Wong

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was given the Deed of Gift for Lee Kuan Yew's belongings in his official capacity, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong in a Facebook post on Frid (Jun 23).

The Deed of Gift concerns items from the estate of the late founding prime minister, which were loaned to the National Heritage Board (NHB) for a memorial exhibition.

The document was signed in Jun 2015 by Mr Lee Hsien Yang & Dr Lee Wei Ling - as executors and trustees of the late Mr Lee's estate - forming an agreement to donate some furniture and personal items belonging to their father from his 38 Oxley Road home to the NHB.

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MND Minister Lawrence Wong: PM Lee given the deed of gift in his official capacity

Minister of National Development, Lawrence Wong posted a Facebook post on Friday late afternoon to state that it was normal, and in order, for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to be given the deed in his official capacity.

Just this week, Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY)  posted a letter from PM Lee’s lawyer showing that Mr Lucien Wong, who is PM Lee’s personal lawyer and the current Attorney General, had informed him that his client, PM Lee had received a copy of the Deed of Gift which was earlier denied by him and his sister, LWL on 12 June 2015. According to LHY, it was a matter of just a few hours before Mr Wong, PM’s personal lawyer wrote to inform them, “Our client has since received a copy of the Deed of Gift dated 8 June 2015 from NHB.”

LHY questioned in his post, “Did LHL acquire the Deed of Gift in his public capacity, or his private capacity? If in his public capacity, to use this in his personal legal disputes is a clear abuse of authority. If in his private capacity, how can other private citizens go about acquiring confidential deeds of gift from the NHB?”

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PM Lee Hsien Loong obtained deed of gift for Oxley House items in official capacity: Lawrence Wong

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong obtained a deed of gift relating to items from his late father’s estate, which were to be used in a public exhibition by the National Heritage Board, in his official capacity as PM, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Friday (23 June).

“Such a major public exhibition on our founding leaders is a matter for deliberation by the Government. It would therefore be normal and in order, that the Prime Minister be kept informed about the contents and presentation of the exhibition,” said Wong in a Facebook post.

He added that if PM Lee had asked for the information in his private capacity, “he would have been entitled to know about the exhibition and the items from the estate, given his position as the eldest son of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and beneficiary of the estate.”

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Lawrence Wong’s Facebook post tries to dispel controversy about PM Lee’s Deed of Gift

National development minister Lawrence Wong has come out with a Facebook statement in a bid to clarify the circumstances surrounding the Deed of Gift issued by the late Lee Kuan Yew’s estate to the National Heritage board.

The controversy surrounding this issue is that PM Lee had managed to obtain a copy of the Deed not from his siblings, but from the National Heritage Board, wearing his Prime Minister hat.

The crux of this issue, according to Wong in his post, is that PM Lee is wearing two hats — both equally important and justifiable as his right to information.

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Indranee Rajah 23 June at 02:00

4 Things You Should Know about the Oxley Dispute

As Singaporeans we are all saddened by the Oxley dispute. I am particularly saddened because I looked after MM’s constituency in his final years and got to see at close quarters what a great man he was. I know how much this would have grieved MM and Mrs Lee.
People have expressed confusion about the things which have been said. Many are trying to make sense of it all.

The key to understanding this matter is first to get a handle on the issues and some important facts. Here are 4 things you should know about the Oxley dispute.
  • What does the 7th Will actually say?
  • Why does the government need to be involved in what happens to 38 Oxley Road?
  • What is PM's involvement in government deliberations on 38 Oxley Road?
  • Can we demolish the House now?

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Indranee Rajah Yesterday at 07:06

4 Further Things You Should Know About the Oxley Dispute

As I explained yesterday, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew did not simply insist his house be demolished once he was gone. First, he said his daughter Dr Lee Wei Ling should be allowed to live in the house for as long as she wished. This means that the question of demolition may not arise for many more years. Second, the late Mr Lee provided for the possibility of the government deciding to preserve the house, in which case he asked that the house not be opened to others except his descendants.

Today, I would like to look at the last Will - or the "7th Will". How did it come to be? Why is this in contention and what are the issues?
  • How many Wills did Mr Lee make and what's the difference between them?
  • What concerns have been raised about the 7th Will?
  • Why is this relevant from a government perspective?
  • Which Lawyer drafted the 7th Will?

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Identify lawyer who drafted Mr Lee's final will: Indranee

Senior Minister of State for Law & Finance Indranee Rajah yesterday called on Mr Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to identify the lawyer who drafted the final will of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

She said his June 17 Facebook post had indicated that he knew who had prepared the will, when he twice mentioned "we" in reference to his dealings over the will.

Ms Indranee asked in a lengthy Facebook post if the "we" referred to Mr Lee Hsien Yang's wife, lawyer Lee Suet Fern.

related: Indranee asks LHY who drafted the late Lee Kuan Yew's final will

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'An insult' to LKY to suggest he did not understand last will, Hsien Yang says to Indranee

It is "an insult to a great man" to suggest that the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew did not understand or know what was in his last will, his younger son Mr Lee Hsien Yang has said in response to fresh questions about the document at the heart of a public dispute over the house on 38 Oxley Road.

On Saturday (Jun 24) night, Senior Minister of State (Finance & Law) Indranee Rajah reiterated a poser first raised by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: The identity of the lawyer who prepared Mr Lee Kuan Yew's Last Will, & the questions that would arise if it was Mrs Lee Suet Fern, given that the final will increased the share of the estate for her husband Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

Writing on Facebook, Ms Indranee questioned who Mr Lee Hsien Yang was referring to when he previously mentioned "we took what we understood to be the final version of the 2011 will, without realising that a gift over clause had been in the executed version of the 2011 will". A gift over clause in a will provides for the gift of property to a second recipient if a certain event occurs.

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An 'insult' to suggest Lee Kuan Yew did not understand his own will: Hsien Yang

It is “an insult to a great man” to suggest that the late Lee Kuan Yew did not understand his own will, said Lee Hsien Yang.

In his latest Facebook post on Saturday (24 June), the brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the PM “is now getting his ministers to repeat his insinuations that Lee Kuan Yew did not understand his own will”. It was an apparent reference to Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah’s Facebook post on the same day.

Hsien Yang, who is currently chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, said, “They argue that Lee Kuan Yew, a Cambridge-educated lawyer and sitting MP, signed his own will without knowing what was in it. They claim that he initialed beneath the demolition clause, without understanding what it meant in plain English.”

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Lee Hsien Yang: Don’t insult my father by saying he didn’t know what went into his last will

Senior Minister of State Indranee Rajah, who is a Tanjong Pagar GRC MP, the late Lee Kuan Yew’s former running mate and senior counsel, has up the ante.

In a Facebook post on Saturday night, June 24, she asked some serious questions pertaining to who was the lawyer who prepared Lee Kuan Yew’s last will, highlighting the very real issue of a conflict of interests that could point to the heart of the Lee family feud.

In a rehash of a previously mentioned talking point, Indranee wrote that this was so as the only two lawyers that have been narrowed down who could have drafted the Last Will are:
  • Kwa Kim Li, who is the cousin of Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling
  • Lee Suet Fern, who is the wife of Lee Hsien Yang

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Four questions for Indranee Rajah on the ‘Oxley Dispute’

One of the points she raised was the manner in which the 7th Will was drafted. Indranee said “The concerns raised about the 7th Will can be found in the summary of Lee Hsien Loong’s Statutory Declarations. Essentially, they relate to whether the reinsertion of the Demolition Clause was brought to Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s attention and whether he was given sufficient time to review the Will.” Our questions for Indranee:
  • Well, probate was granted on the will. Essentially, probate refers to a legal process where a will is “proved” in a court and accepted as a valid public document that it is the true last testament of the deceased. PM Lee had the chance and right to contest the will but he did not. Surely the will could not have been that dodgy if PM Lee passed on the opportunity to question the will in court?
  • In any case, the validity of the will should be debated in court, not dissected publicly by an office holder on Facebook. If you are so sure about it, take it to court, lah. Look at the past record; if they knew that they had a sure-win case, they would have happily sued already.
  • I am also curious why Indranee only questioned the validity of the 7th Will. After all, she says “The Demolition Clause was in the 1st – 4th Wills. It was removed in the 5th and 6th Will.” So the radical switch happened from the 4th to 5th Will. Why was the Demolition Clause removed then? It also does not square with what Lee Kuan Yew has always maintained – he wants 38 Oxley Road to be demolished after his death. So perhaps the absence of the Demolition Cause in the 4th and 5th Wills deserves as much attention as its insertion into the 7th Will?
  • Indranee also implies that Lim Suet Fern could have been the lawyer that drafted the 7th Will. She said, “If the lawyer referred to… is Mrs Lee Suet Fern, then certain questions will arise. Under our law, the lawyer drafting a will is required to be independent. If the lawyer has an interest in the will, the lawyer must make sure the person making the will gets independent advice.” She added that, “As Mrs Lee Suet Fern is his wife, if she prepared the 7th Will then the question which will arise is what independent advice MM received?”
Now that is a very serious allegation to imply. I hope Indranee has some evidence to back this up. No one embroiled in this dispute has so far confirmed who was the lawyer that drafted the 7th Will. What we know for certain is that it was not Kwa Kim Li, managing partner of the Lee & Lee law firm.

This sounds like professional misconduct at the very least. If no independent advice was given to Lee Kuan Yew, and Lee Suet Fern drafted the 7th Will, this would have been a clear conflict of interest as Lee Suet Fern would have been a beneficiary of the 7th Will as she is married to Lee Hsien Yang.

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Minister Desmond Lee: Lee Kuan Yew’s will need government’s permission first

Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee told state media Straits Times today (June 26) that any legal-binding will can easily be override by the “rule of law”:

“The rule of law is something we cherish because we are fortunate to have it. It is about private rights versus the interest of the public. This process is how more than 7,100 buildings are conserved.” Minister Desmond Lee also said that any demolishment work will first need the government’s permission and that the government reserve the right to disallow the demolishment. Citing a factory as example, Minister Desmond Lee said:

“Even though the factory sat on private land, the Government took a stand as it has to represent Singaporeans’ heritage concerns. If the company that owns the building says something like they want to knock it down and do something else there, then there is a process. This process involves the URA’s Conservation Advisory Panel and the National Heritage Board’s Preservation of Sites and Monuments division.”

related: 'Rule of law' followed on heritage decisions: Desmond Lee

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Allegations from my siblings 'mostly inaccurate': PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (Jun 27) said the allegations that his siblings continue to make about him are "mostly inaccurate".

In response to media queries on the Facebook posts from his brother & sister, PM Lee said: "My siblings continue to make allegations about what I supposedly did or did not do. They are mostly inaccurate. As I earlier said, I will be making a statement in Parliament on Jul 3, 2017. I will at that time deal with the allegations that need to be addressed."

PM Lee & his siblings, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling, have been locked in a public spat over their late father Lee Kuan Yew's home at 38 Oxley Road.

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PSD polling public service officers on 38 Oxley Road dispute

The Public Service Division (PSD) on Tuesday (Jun 27) confirmed that it is polling public officers on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's dispute with his siblings over the late Lee Kuan Yew's house at 38 Oxley Road, saying that the allegations went "beyond private matters".

The PSD, which is part of the Prime Minister's Office, said it was doing so to "understand their sentiments".

"On the issue of PM Lee Hsien Loong’s dispute with his siblings, the allegations made go beyond private matters & extend to the conduct & integrity of the Government & our public institutions," the PSD said in a response to Channel NewsAsia.

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WILL PSD POLL FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS ON 38 OXLEY ROAD DISPUTE BE MADE PUBLIC?

I refer to the article “PSD polling public officers on Oxley Road spat as allegations involve integrity of public sector” (Straits Times, Jun 28).

It states that “The Public Service Division (PSD) is polling public officers about the ongoing spat between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings, as the accusations involve the integrity of the public sector. The PSD said in a statement on Tuesday (June 28) that “the allegations made go beyond private matters and extend to the conduct and integrity of the Government and our public institutions”.

Since we are talking about “the conduct and integrity of the Government and our public institutions” – can the PSD address the following questions:-
  • Who made the decision to conduct the poll?
  • Is the Prime Minister and the head of the civil service aware that the poll is being conducted?
  • What is the PSD’s understanding of “conflict of interest” since the PSD is in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)?
  • Will the results of the poll be made public?
  • To whom will the results of the poll be reported to?

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The flawed agenda of the Oxley House Ministerial Committee

I am troubled by the terms of reference for the Oxley House Ministerial Committee.  It looks to me that this Committee may be serving a personal vendetta instead of the public interest. Let me explain - According to a Statement by Cabinet Secretary Mr Tan Kee Yong issued on 14 June 2017, this Committee was set up “to consider the options for 38 Oxley Road (the “House”), and the implications of those options. These included looking into various aspects, including the historical and heritage significance of the House, as well as to consider Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s thinking and wishes in relation to the House.”

According to DPM Teo Chee Hean in his statement release on 17 June 2017, the Government has the responsibility to consider the public interest aspects of any property with heritage and historical significance, and that this applies to the House. - I have no problem with that statement.

But DPM Teo Chee Hean then went on to say: "The Committee has thus been looking at the options available for 38 Oxley Road while paying particular attention to respecting Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes for his house."

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LHL obtained deed of gift for Oxley house items in his capacity as PM: LHY

Lee Hsien Yang has reiterated his assertion that his brother Lee Hsien Loong obtained a document relating to their family home in Oxley Road, in his official capacity as Prime Minister.

On Thursday (22 June), Hsien Yang said in a Facebook post, “3 days ago, we asked: Did LHL acquire the Deed of Gift in his public capacity, or in his private capacity? We already knew the answer.”

He added that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had written to him on 25 June 2015 explaining that PM Lee had received the deed of gift in his role as the Prime Minister.

related:
LHL told Lee Kuan Yew he wanted Oxley house to be heritage site: LHY
WP to ask about abuse of power allegations arising from Lee family feud
PM Lee apologises for family feud affecting Sporeans’ confidence in Govt
Lee Wei Ling raps Shanmugam for view on conflict of interest
House of Lee feud takes on national significance

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Dynastic demolition in Singapore?
Protesters burn pictures of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his son and current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong outside the Singapore Consulate in Hong Kong, China, 5 July 2015 (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu).

An extraordinary dispute within Singapore’s ruling family broke into the open on 14 June. Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang — the two younger children of the late Lee Kuan Yew — posted a message on Facebook accusing their elder brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, of subverting their father’s last will and testament by avoiding the demolition of the family home.

More seriously for the public interest, they accused Lee Hsien Loong of abusing his position to achieve this end and of trying to engineer a dynastic succession whereby his son Li Hongyi would enter politics as a third generation of Lees. They are particularly concerned that Hsien Loong’s nominee as Attorney-General, Lucien Wong, procured documents to which he had access only in his public role as Attorney-General.

As a result of this episode, the Lee siblings have discovered to their horror that there are no checks and balances on the power of the prime minister and that the Singaporean press is meek and timid. They seem to think that they are the first to have noticed this. So fearful are the Lee siblings of their elder brother that Lee Hsien Yang has announced his intention to flee the country.

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The Lee family does not get to decide if LKY’s home can be demolished
LKY’S WILL VS SINGAPORE’S PRESERVATION LAWS

The family home on 38 Oxley Road is subjected to the Planning Act and the Preservation of Monuments Act, with the latter due to the fact that the building undeniably holds significant historical importance. The decision-making agencies are ultimately the National Heritage Board (NHB) and the Urban Redevelopment Board (URA).

In this regard, even if LHL had wanted for the building to be demolished as he has asserted previously, the final decision lies in NHB and the URA. Under the Planning Act, building owners are required to seek the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) approval prior to carrying out works to demolish, redevelop or undertake additions and alterations to their properties.

Under the Preservation of Monuments Act, the National Heritage Board (NHB), under the purveyance of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), can make a preservation order to place any monument under the protection of the Board.

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The ultimate test for Singapore and all Singaporeans

Govt organs and civil servants too would be watched on what they do or say. Making a wrong move, choosing the wrong side, could be deadly, a misstep can be very costly, pun intended.

And the people, the supporters of the PAP/govt, the grateful hoi polloi of LKY, and those that are in the opposing camp would be watching closely on the happenings and would be making their own judgement, not just on legal issues but moral issues and the issues of filial piety, issues on honouring their idol and fulfilling his last wish. Would they grant their hero his last wish or would they refuse him his last wish now that he is dead and gone? Worst, when the lion king is dead, would they devour his young lions?

This is an occasion when the whole country is under watch, put to a test. Singapore is a nation under a microscope. What is Singapore all about, what kind of govt and leaders are ruling this island are now being questioned. Is Singapore the honourable, rule by law, morally upright priesthood nation, or it has all been a myth, a bad dream, and the truth is ugly and embarrassing to talk about?

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Singapore’s Establishment Tries to Wrest Back Control of Lee Family Feud

In his statement, Lee Hsien Loong referred to the making of a Ministerial Statement. The relevant section of the Standing Orders of Singapore’s Parliament states that “[a] statement may be made by a Minister in Parliament on a matter of public importance. Members may seek clarification on the statement but no debate shall be allowed thereon.”

Questions have been sent to both the Prime Minister’s Office and the People’s Action Party to find out if the prime minister will be making such a Ministerial Statement, after which no debate will be allowed, or if motions will be filed to allow for a discussion that goes beyond seeking clarification. The News Lens has not yet received a response.

It’s a stretch to imagine that PAP MPs will hold their own leaders’ feet over the fire when the allegations are so damaging, not just to Lee Hsien Loong personally, but to the government and the party as a whole. If no debate is allowed on July 3, the parliamentary session will run the risk of being interpreted as little more than political theatre, and yet another move by the establishment to yank this whole episode on to their own playing field.

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The Parliamentary Sitting On 3rd July Won’t Solve The Lee Family Dispute
All eyes will be on Parliament this coming Monday (July 3) What About LHY And LWL?

But wait, doesn’t something just feel off about the Parliamentary Sitting? It’s common knowledge that the family dispute largely revolves around the 3 Lee siblings — so shouldn’t LHY and Dr LWL be in the thick of things when discussions are under way?

One may argue that this is a Parliamentary Meeting and as such only the government officials have the right to partake in the assembly. But just think about it for a moment — PM Lee wants to refute allegations of his abuse of power, yet the two people whom have accused him of it will not be present. Wouldn’t that make for a very one-sided and potentially biased discussion? How will the sibling duo defend themselves when allegations are made against them, or clarify things in the event that inaccurate information is presented.

Furthermore, LHY and Dr LWL are aware of all the nitty-gritty aspects of the case that we outsiders are not aware of. They are the ones whose questions need to be answered and they know exactly what to ask. Without the presence of LHY and Dr LWL in Parliament, it’s difficult to envision how the siblings can thrash things out once and for all.

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Will a parliamentary hearing make Singapore PM's problems go away?
Singapore has been stunned by a public dispute between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings.

The parliamentary meeting on July 3 will be an opportunity for Lee to clear his name, but in doing so he will have no choice to throw light on a number of issues that have unsettled many Singaporeans, including:
  • Was there a conspiracy to get Lee Kuan Yew to reinstate the clause to demolish the house?
  • Why was a ministerial committee appointed to look into options for the property with Lee's siblings and the public being kept out of the loop?
  • Was there any conflict of interest in the appointing of Lee's lawyer in the property, 63-year-old Lucien Wong, to replace 60-year-old V K Rajah as attorney general?
The edifice Lee Kuan Yew built and nurtured is crumbling. It is the responsibility of the prime minister to make sure it remains intact. It remains to be seen whether MPs will ask the tough questions necessary to elicit hard truths from the prime minister, and what his siblings' next moves will be.

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The Lees of Singapore

It is no secret that a dynasty has emerged as the ruling force in Singapore. The Lee family (of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong) is referred to as ‘the first family’ as a matter of routine in private conversation, though not usually in public. Power has already passed from father to son and now there is a generation of high-flying grandsons in the wings.

This article traces the establishment and consolidation of the Lee dynasty from the point in the early 1980s when Lee Kuan Yew emerged as the centre of all the significant power networks in Singapore, through to the consolidation of power in the hands of his son, Lee Hsien Loong, in 2011. In the process of doing this, it argues that despite official rhetoric that says that the country runs on the talent of the best and most talented men and women in the country, and the closely related myth that professionalism provides the basis of governance, the reality is that of rule by a family-based clique of confidantes and relatives.

There is a strong element of reality to both myths, but both elements are ultimately subordinated to and in the service of the forces of consanguineous and personal networks.

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Lee Hsien Yang defends final will of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, says his father gave 'express instruction' to revert to first version
Mr Lee Hsien Yang said his father gave "express instruction" for the last will to follow the first version. FOTO: ST FILE

More questions have emerged over the final will of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, after his younger son Hsien Yang asserted that his father gave "express instruction" for the last will to follow the first version.

In a Facebook post on Saturday (Jun 17), Mr Lee Hsien Yang wrote: "Lee Kuan Yew's final will in Dec 2013 was engrossed on the basis of his express instruction to revert to his first will from 2011."


He added that his father's final will "was simply Lee Kuan Yew's first will of Aug 20, 2011, re-executed on his instructions".

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Lee Kuan Yew's final will was simply his first will: Lee Hsien Yang
This general view shows the outside the house of Singapore’s late founding father Lee Kuan Yew at Oxley Road / AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN

Addressing media queries on the late Lee Kuan Yew’s will, Lee Hsien Yang on Saturday insisted that his father’s final will was the result of the first Singapore prime minister’s instruction to revert to his first will.

In a Facebook post in the wee hours of Saturday (17 June), Lee Hsien Yang also said that his father acknowledged the demolition clause of the family home on 38 Oxley Road in the final will.

“Lee Kuan Yew read the final will carefully and initialled every page, including just below the demolition clause,” he said.

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Lee Hsien Yang June 17 at 1:46pm · LKY's Final Will
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Lee Hsien Yang June 17 at 1:29am · In response to media queries on the will:
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Lee Hsien Yang Yesterday at 7:57am

SMS Indranee Rajah asks "Why is the government being asked to demolish the house now?" We have never asked the Government to allow us to demolish the house now, only after Wei Ling's departure.

In turn, we ask "Why was a secret committee on the house formed in 2016?" On 13 April 2015, PM Lee stated that since Wei Ling intended to continue living in the house, it was for the "government of the day" to decide.

Beyond the committee's opening letters, the committee was focussed primarily on parroting LHL's attacks on our father's will, and in particular, clause 7. (Just as SMS Indranee does now.) This was clearly an abuse of power by LHL.

SMS Indranee is pretending that the secret committee had an open discussion with Lee Kuan Yew's Estate about options for the house. Nothing could be further from the truth. The committee refused to state either the options it was considering or its final deliverable.

Long before the committee was formed, we offered to DPM Teo that the house be demolished after Wei Ling's departure, and a memorial garden be built in its place. DPM Teo was reluctant and did not pursue the discussion further. LHL also rejected this offer.

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Singaporeans weary of prime minister's family spat
Singaporean founding father Lee Kuan Yew, center, celebrates his 80th birthday in 2003. His children have become embroiled in a feud following his death in 2015. © Reuters

The siblings have continued to trade blows via Facebook, with no sign of a truce coming anytime soon. Many Singaporeans, unaware of what caused such distrust among the family in the first place, have started showing signs of weariness with the ongoing drama.

"Parliament is not a forum for siblings' disputes," an internet user believed to be Singaporean said in a comment on a local news website. Concerns have grown that the saga will drag on despite more pressing issues, such as the economy and the growing threat of terrorism in Southeast Asia. Han Fook Kwang, editor-at-large of the influential newspaper The Straits Times, said, "The family feud among the Lees is extremely damaging to Singapore."

The row has invited criticism from overseas, too. "The dispute between [the prime minister] and his siblings might challenge the stability of the country and bring pressure for political reform," wrote the Global Times, the Chinese Communist Party's English-language newspaper.

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Lim Tean: PM Lee must sue for defamation to clear his name else President needs to convene an independent Commission of Inquiry
video

Adding to the chorus of voices denouncing the Prime Minister for choosing Parliament to defend himself, Lim Tean, a veteran lawyer and recent politician, has called for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to sue his two siblings for defamation over the allegations that they have been unleashing against him over the past two weeks. He also calls for the President to convene an independent commission of inquiry, should the PM refuse to raise the matter in the court.

Citing his experience as a practising lawyer in Singapore for 17 years, he highlights the point that in order to get at the truth, all the relevant parties, accusers and accused must be subject to cross-examination by counsel and all the evidence must be before the Commission and Parliamentary questions cannot take the place of cross-examination.

He wrote, "I see that for the Parliamentary session on 3 July , MPs have to file their questions in advance and we already know the questions which  the Worker’s Party MPs will ask. This might be alright for normal parliamentary sittings but not when the truth has to be discovered. It is like a student being given the exam papers days before the exam. There will also be limited time for follow-up questions on 3 July and none of the MPs except for maybe the Prime Minister himself will have the full facts before them to come to a proper decision."

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Tan Jee Say to Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of The Republic of Singapore

As President, you have the specific duty of safeguarding the integrity of the public service, and it is incumbent on you to get to the bottom of all this, to establish the facts and if true, hold those responsible fully accountable and put into place means and measures to ensure that no one can abuse his or her public position for private gain without the most severe punishment meted out to him or her.

As this is a matter of grave public concern, it is absolutely vital that you direct this inquiry to be conducted by way of open public hearings so as to ensure public confidence that nothing will be swept under the carpet and that every relevant detail will be examined.

This issue is of extreme urgency and the inquiry should be conducted soonest possible. As this matter takes place under your watch, you cannot simply pass the buck to the next President as you still have more than two months left of your presidential term of office. A period of two months is more than sufficient for this inquiry to be conducted and completed in good order as our public service is well-known for its efficiency.


Tan Jee Say: “Dear Prime Minister, please think of Country, Family, Colleagues, and resign now”
Former civil servant and Secretary-General of SingFirst, Tan Jee Say has written an open letter to the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, asking for his resignation. Citing five reasons why PM Lee should resign, Mr Tan made a plea to PM Lee to think of his country, family and colleagues and to step down as the Prime Minister

"Dear Prime Minister, please think of Country, Family, Colleagues, and resign now" - I know, along with many Singaporeans, that you must be feeling very troubled these two and a half weeks. But we also know that you are a man with a very strong will. As you told Singaporeans at a rally during the 2015 General Election, "Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him or give it up."

But giving up does not necessarily mean weakness in a person if it is done for noble reasons that are for the greater good of society. In view of what had happened between you and your siblings in the last few years that exploded in full public view only recently, I would like to make this plea to you, "Dear Prime Minister, please think of your Country, Family and Colleagues, and resign from the premiership now!" Here are my 5 reasons :
  • You have become a liability to the nation.
  • Your priorities are misplaced.
  • You had not been in the best of health.
  • Not being PM can be positive for your children.
  • Several of your ministerial colleagues have been dragged into the dispute.

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LEE FAMILY SPAT: HO CHING INSTRUCTED SENIOR CIVIL SERVANTS WHEN SHE HAS NO OFFICIAL POSITION IN GOVT

Singapore has no such thing as the wife of the prime minister being a ‘first lady’. Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990. During those many years, his wife (our mother) consistently avoided the limelight, remaining his stalwart supporter and advisor in private.

She lived discreetly, and set a high bar for the conduct of a prime minister’s wife. She would never instruct Permanent Secretaries or senior civil servants.

The contrast between her and Ho Ching could not be more stark. While Ho Ching holds no elected or official position in government, her influence is pervasive, and extends well beyond her job purview.

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Lee Kuan Yew turning in his grave

A Filipino columnist for the Manila Times wrote that Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), the redoubtable Singaporean leader who had a penchant to hector other leaders and lecture the West about Asian values, must be turning in his grave.

He said while his – that is LKY – country is still up in the charts for sheer performance, the family he has left behind is being torn apart by a family feud. “His political dynasty may not be as cohesive or admirable as everyone supposed. “In my view, what the dispute really hurts is his father’s sanctimony. He does not look holier than other people now,” he wrote.

He said LKY poked his nose into the business of others, and tried to tell them what to do.

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LKY poked his nose into the business of others

Some Singaporeans posted responses to the prime minister’s statement on Facebook, urging him to sue his siblings for libel. Lee Hsien Yang says he is ready to face a lawsuit. He says the purpose of his statement was to make it harder to thwart his father’s wishes. But Lee Hsien Loong says it is his siblings’ airing of the family dispute that “has hurt our father’s legacy”.

In my view, what the dispute really hurts is his father’s sanctimony. He does not look holier than other people now. LKY poked his nose into the business of others, and tried to tell them what to do. He made it official policy for Singapore to sue opposition politicians and journalists who criticized him and his government with expensive lawsuits in his homecourt, in order to drive them to bankruptcy or to submission.

If Lee Hsien Loong sues his siblings to accomplish the same objective, he will drive Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy to disrepute and ridicule.

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HOW CUM BIG NOSE said our GARMENT will DECIDE on OLD MAN HOUSE

Quote Originally Posted by rambo22  View Post
http://www.straitstimes.com/politics...h-govt-dpm-teo

Decision on Oxley house lies with Govt: DPM Teo

What Do You Think ??

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Lee Hsien Loong 4 December 2015

My siblings, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang, and I have issued the following joint statement:
  • "To honour the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Lee Hsien Yang have each agreed to donate half the value of 38 Oxley Road to the charities named in the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's obituary notice.
  • Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang would like to honour the wish of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew that the house at 38 Oxley Road be demolished after Dr Lee Wei Ling ceases to live in it.
  • Mr Lee Hsien Loong has recused himself from all government decisions involving 38 Oxley Road and, in his personal capacity, would also like to see this wish honoured.
  • Speaking as the children of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang hope the government will allow the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's wish for the demolition of the house to be honoured and that all Singaporeans will support their cause." 

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Half the value of Oxley Road house to be donated to charity

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said on Facebook that he and his two other siblings Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling would like to respect their father’s final wishes to demolish the Oxley Rd house.

Singapore’s founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, passed away on 23 March this year. The outpouring of grief by the young and old alike in Singapore was followed by calls to preserve the Oxley Road house which he lived in.

However, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was always adamant about having the house demolished after his passing and should his daughter Dr Lee Wei Ling no longer lived in it. Mr Lee Kuan Yew wrote this in his will:
"I further declare that it is my wish, and the wish of my late wife, KWA GEOK CHOO, that our house at 38 Oxley Road, Singapore 238629 (‘the House’) be demolished immediately after my death or, if my daughter, Wei Ling, would prefer to continue living in the original house, immediately after she moves out of the House. I would ask each of my children to ensure our wishes with respect to the demolition of the House be carried out. If our children are unable to demolish the House as a result of any changes in the law, rules or regulations binding them, it is my wish that the House never be opened to others except my children, their families and descendants. My view on this has been made public before and remains unchanged. My statement of wishes in this paragraph 7 may be publicly disclosed notwithstanding that the rest of my Will is private."
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Lee Kuan Yew’s family to donate the value of Oxley Rd house to charity
PM Lee Hsien Loong, Mr Lee Hsien Yang & Dr Lee Wei Ling reiterate their request that Singaporeans respect the wishes of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away in March

"To honour the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Lee Hsien Loong & Mr Lee Hsien Yang have each agreed to donate half the value of 38 Oxley Road to the charities named in the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's obituary notice," wrote PM Lee. "Dr Lee Wei Ling & Mr Lee Hsien Yang would like to honour the wish of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew that the house at 38 Oxley Road be demolished after Dr Lee Wei Ling ceases to live in it.

"Mr Lee Hsien Loong has recused himself from all government decisions involving 38 Oxley Road and, in his personal capacity, would also like to see this wish honoured."

"Speaking as the children of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Dr Lee Wei Ling & Mr Lee Hsien Yang hope the government will allow the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's wish for the demolition of the house to be honoured & that all Singaporeans will support their cause."

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Full Coverage:
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"I will GET UP!"

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