Thursday, 26 July 2018

The famiLEE tree


Lee Chin Koon (father 1901)
Chua Jim Neo (mother 1903)

Lee Kuan Yew (1923)
Dennis Lee Kim Yew (brother 1925)
Freddy Lee Thiam Yew (brother 1927)
Monica Lee Kim Mon (sister 1930)
Dr Lee Suan Yew (brother 1935)

Kwa Geok Choo (wife 1920)

Lee Hsien Loong (son 1952) - Wong Ming Yang (wife, deceased) / Ho Ching (wife)
Dr Lee Wei Ling (daughter)

Lee Hsien Yang (son 1957) - Lim Suet Fern (wife)
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The Lee Family Tree


Lee Kuan Yew

Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away at the age of 91, on 23 March 2015. But his contributions to Singapore will forever be etched into our nation’s history.

Read our story on the 91 things we’ll remember about him and his life story here. Mr Lee Kuan Yew suffered from slight dyslexia, though his condition didn’t deter him from achieving unrivalled success in the region.

Education:
  • He attended Telok Kurau English School before moving on to Raffles Institution, where he secured a scholarship to attend Raffles College.
  • He graduated from Cambridge University and read law at Fitzwilliam College.
Career:
  • LKY was the first Prime Minister of Singapore and served from before Singapore’s independence in 1959, till 1990.
  • He also served the Tanjong Pagar constituency for nearly 60 years as a Member of Parliament.
  • He was the man who transformed Singapore from a third-world country to a bustling first-world metropolis, with international media such as BBC in awe at how LKY engineered Singapore’s miraculous economic transformation.
  • Leaders worldwide recognized his contributions with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe referring to him as “one of the greatest leaders of modern times that Asia has produced”.
  • He was duly awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers — the highest honour for foreign leaders conferred by the Japanese.

Kwa Geok Choo

Behind every successful man there stands a woman. And for LKY, that woman was none other than Madam Kwa Geok Choo.  She and LKY got secretly married in England, 1947 before remarrying in Singapore in 1950. She gave birth to three children: Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling.

But she wasn’t just a wife — she was a pillar of strength, confidante and advisor to LKY. You can read their love story here.

Education:
  • Just like LKY, Mdm Kwa studied at Raffles College, and was the sole female student in the distinguished institution. The two often vied for top spot in the school, and their competition of sorts blossomed into romance.
  • She studied law at Girton College in Cambridge University — where she graduated as a Queen’s Scholar from Malaya.
Career:
  • Together with her husband, the two founded the Lee & Lee law firm.

Lee Hsien Loong

PM Lee is the eldest son of LKY and Mdm Kwa. He got married to his first wife, Dr Wong Ming Yang 黄名扬 and had two children with her — a son and a daughter. Sadly, she passed away in 1982 of a heart attack, reported The Straits Times.

Education:
  • He followed in his parent’s footsteps and graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University. He was a Senior Wrangler — one of the greatest attainable intellectual achievements in Britain. But he didn’t stop there.
  • He earned himself a Diploma in Computer Science from Cambridge and a Master of Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Career:
  • Prior to his involvement in the political scene, PM Lee served in the Singapore Armed Forces from 1971 to 1984 where he was promoted to brigadier-general.
  • He took over from Mr Goh Chok Tong as Prime Minister in 2004, after serving under him as Minister For Trade and Industry, Minister for Finance and Deputy Prime Minister.
  • He is also currently heading the PAP team in the Ang Mo Kio GRC.
  • Read our story on how PM Lee and his father fare against each other in a head-to-head comparison.

WONG Ming Yang 黄名扬 (Deceased October 28, 1982 aged 31)

Ho Ching
Personal Life:
Education:
  • Ho Ching was named Student of the Year after becoming one of the top students of her cohort while at National Junior College.
  • She graduated from NUS with first-class honours in Electrical Engineering and obtained her Masters of Science (Electrical Engineering) from Stanford University.
Career:
  • She started out as an engineer in the Ministry of Defence in 1976 and has held positions such as Director of Defence Materiel Organisation and Deputy Director of Defence Science Organisation.
  • She moved on to Singapore Technologies in 1987 and became its President and CEO in 1997.
  • Since 2002, Ho Ching has been the CEO of Temasek Holdings.

Lee Wei Ling

Dr Lee Wei Ling is the younger sister of PM Lee and elder sister of Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

At 62-years of age Dr LWL is still single and has given reasons for her choice. She served as LKY’s personal doctor as mentioned by PM Lee in his private eulogy speech for his father, and was her father’s close companion. Read our story on Dr LWL’s view on healthcare here.

Education:
  • Like her other siblings, Dr LWL is a President Scholar.
Career:
  • Dr LWL is a neurologist and former director and senior consultant of the National Neuroscience Institute.
She used to write for The Straits Times from 2008 to 2009, but left when she claimed the editors didn’t allow her to exercise her freedom of speech, reported AsiaOne. She also wrote a book, entitled “A Hakka Woman’s Singapore Stories”.

Lee Hsien Yang

LHY got married to Lim Suet Fern and they have three sons.

Education:
  • The youngest of the three siblings, LHY graduated from National Junior College and was awarded the President’s Scholarship and Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship.
  • Another graduate from Cambridge University, he obtained a double first in Engineering Science and has a Masters of Science in Management from Stanford University.
Career:
  • Just like his elder brother, LHY rose through the ranks in the Singapore Armed Forces and became a brigadier-general.
  • He was the CEO of Singtel from 1995 to 2007.
  • From 2007 to 2013, he was the Chairman of Fraser and Neave.
  • LHY is the current Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CASS).

Lim Suet Fern

LSF has three children with LHY: Li Huanwu, Li Shengwu and Li Shaowu.

Education:
  • LSF undertook Law and graduated from Cambridge University in 1980 with a double first, just like her husband.
Career:
  • The 59-year-old is currently the Managing Partner of Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC, a leading Singapore-based regional law firm.
  • She has served on the boards of publicly listed companies all over the world, including Hong Kong and New Zealand.
  • She was also formerly the President of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association.

Li Hongyi

Li Hongyi is the second son of PM Lee and Ho Ching. He has expressed that he has no interest in politics.

Education:
  • He was from Rosyth Primary under the Gifted Education Programme.
  • He moved onto Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Raffles Junior College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • He won the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Math & Science in the year 2006.
Career:

Li Shengwu

Li Shengwu has publicly backed his father (Lee Hsien Yang) and aunt’s (Lee Wei Ling) claims on Facebook.

He believes news in Singapore is heavily controlled by the government and he’s said  “…my immediate family has been increasingly worried about the lacks of checks on abuse of power”.

Education:
  • Li Shengwu is a student alumni of Raffles Junior College, where he represented Singapore at the 2003 debate world championships.
  • His passion for debate saw him beat 700 others to the “Best Speaker” award at the 2010 World Universities Debating Championships.
  • He topped his class in the Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Balliol College in Oxford and pursued a Masters in Economics at Oxford’s Kebel College.
  • His PhD was from Stanford University.
  • He has been a Junior Fellow at Harvard Society of Fellows since 2016.
  • Read our story on 12 Ling Shengwu facts you never knew about.
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Li Huanwu

No call to social action this year -- I'll be more selfish: it's the day before my birthday (it's also the day after Magnus' birthday).

Be there. (And grab a drink when you stop by.)

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ALL IN THE FAMILEE

Associated words used by netizens: FamiLEE, LEE-gime, LEEgalised corruption, LEEgacy, and Marry-tocracy.

I was very curious about a Lee Family Tree graphic that was created by Alternative View SG.

I have gathered some excerpts from reliable sources which verify most of the family ties in this Lee Family Tree image.

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Lee Chin Koon

Lee Chin Koon (b. 1903 Semarang, Indonesia–d. 12 October 1997 Singapore) was a storekeeper and depot manager for the Shell Oil Company, and father of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew.

Early life and education - Lee was born in the Indonesian town of Semarang to Lee Hoon Leong and Ko Liem Nio. When Lee was a baby, his parents took him to Singapore, where his father, Hoon Leong, hailed from. He was educated at St Joseph's Institution, and left school with a Junior Cambridge Certificate.

Lee’s father worked as a dispenser after leaving school, and later became a purser with the Heap Eng Moh shipping line owned by tycoon Oei Tiong Ham. Before long, Lee having gained Oei’s trust and confidence, was accorded power of attorney over the tycoon's assets in Singapore. Lee recalled his childhood in a wealthy family, and a time when he was allowed a "limitless account" at Robinsons and John Little, two high-end department stores in Raffles Place. However, the Great Depression in the late 1920s, and early ’30s hit the family hard, and their fortunes suffered.

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Mr Lee Kuan Yew's mother among 11 women inducted to Singapore Women's Hall of Fame

11 outstanding Singaporean women past and present will be inducted to the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame (SWHF) Friday evening (March 27) at a gala dinner to mark International Women's Day which fell on Mar 8.

One of the posthumous honourees include Mdm Chua Jim Neo, mother of Singapore's founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Mdm Chua, better known as Mrs Lee Chin Koon, wrote her definitive Mrs Lee's Cookbook in 1974 when she was 67 yrs old. Mdm Chua decided to produce a cookbook so that future generations would know about the intricacies of Peranakan cuisine.

She was just 15 when she wed Mr Lee Chin Koon in an arranged marriage. In his memoirs, her eldest son, the late Mr Lee wrote: "She had been married off too early. Had she been born one generation later and continued her education beyond secondary school, she could easily have become an effective business executive."

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8 Facts About Chua Jim Neo That Show She’s More Than Just Lee Kuan Yew’s Mother
Chua Jim Neo Published A Definitive Nyonya Cookbook At 67, 50 Years After Lee Kuan Yew’s Birth

As we prepare for the National Day festivities, let’s take a moment to remember a lady who in many ways is responsible for the Singapore we know today.

She is the late Madam Chua Jim Neo, founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s mother.

Mdm Chua passed away on 8 August, 1980, at the age of 73. Here are 8 interesting facts about the woman that give us a glimpse into not only Mr Lee’s life, but as well as the Singapore of yesterday.
  • Married at 15
  • Stood her ground against her husband
  • Saved her jewellery for LKY’s education
  • Inducted into Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame
  • Published a cookbook
  • Her dad had 3 wives
  • Complex fam web
  • Driver’s licence cancelled by LKY

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Hall of Fame: Chua Jim Neo

Chua Jim Neo, better known as Mrs Lee Chin Koon, wrote her definitive Mrs Lee’s Cookbook in 1974 when she was 67 years old. At an age when many women of her generation were content to play with their grandchildren, Jim Neo decided to produce a cookbook so that future generations would have access to the intricacies of the Peranakan cuisine. The book, reprinted many times, is considered one of the most authoritative on Peranakan cuisine in Singapore.

Born in 1907, Jim Neo was the eldest child of Neo Ah Soon and wealthy Hokkien businessman Chua Kim Teng from Pontianak in Dutch Borneo. At age 15, she married Lee Chin Koon, a storekeeper, in an arranged marriage. She had five children, a daughter and four boys, the eldest of whom was Kuan Yew, who became prime minister of Singapore in 1959.

In his memoirs, Kuan Yew described his mother thus: “She devoted her life to raising her children to be well-educated and independent professionals, and she stood up to my father to safeguard their future. My brothers, my sister and I were very conscious of her sacrifices; we felt we could not let her down and did our best to be worthy of her and to live up to her expectations.”

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LKY’s Maternal Ancestors Found!
Saturday 2 nd August, descendants are brought to visit the cluster of tombs belonging to Chua Kim Teng,  Seow Geok Luan and Chua Eng Cheong by Raymond Goh

Today’s Chinese newspaper Zaobao,   reported on a significant find  of Lee Kuan Yew’s  maternal ancestry  in the depths of the forest  of Bukit Brown. It is the find of the year (2014) for Bukit Brown  researchers and bloggers  Raymond Goh and Walter Lim.

The find was discovered on 1 st July.  From photos sent to Raymond by a tomb keeper in the area,  Raymond subsequently on the same day,  verified it on site as belonging to  Lee Kuan Yew’s family.  The find was  kept under wraps to allow Zaobao correspondent Chia Yen Yen, time to conduct further research with family members of Lee Kuan Yew, specifically his brother,  Dr Lee Suan Yew contributed this family  photo to the article.

The 4 tombs were identified as belonging to  Chua Kim Teng and his two wives Seow Geok Luan and Leong Ah Soon,   and  Lee Kuan Yew’s  maternal great grandfather Chua Eng Cheong.  They are from Lee Kuan Yew’s mother side ie Mrs Lee Chin Koon nee Chua Jim Neo.  Leong Ah Soon’s grave is situated in Bukit Brown Cemetery, the other three are situated close together in a family cluster in  Lao Sua Hokkien Cemetery which is located in the hill known as Bukit Brown in old maps. Lau Sua Hokkien Cemetery is adjacent to Bukit Brown Cemetery.

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Discover ideas about Lee Kuan Yew

Family Portrait Mr Lee Kuan Yew (in black) in a family portrait the night before he left for England for further studies. Clockwise from left, Mr Lee's siblings Monica, Dennis, Freddy and Suan Yew, his mother Chua Jim Neo and father Lee Chin Koon.

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Remembering Lee Kuan Yew: Brother used his wits to help family

One of my mother's favourite stories of LKY was about the time she taught him his ABCs.

In those days, colourful alphabet toys were not available, so my mother made her own by cutting out letters from The Straits Times' headlines.

She said she showed the alphabet to LKY only once and when she shuffled the letters, my brother - who was just a few years old - managed to put all the letters back in the right order.

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Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
Mr Lee Kuan Yew as a baby. This photo was taken after he won first place in a baby show

A video is made to Remember Mr Lee Kuan Yew's Life Journey - This is a Tribute to Lee Kuan Yew for being a great leader.

Click HERE or click on the image below to view the Video Montage of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's Life Journney

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Lee Kuan Yew: Family Man

LEE Kuan Yew was a man with few close friends. Those who knew him best and saw his tender, caring side came mainly from his tight family circle.

But others who interacted with him caught glimpses of the private man away from his public persona as Singapore's hard-driving, straight-talking first prime minister. At home, he was ever the devoted son who cared deeply for his mother, Chua Jim Neo, even if he upset her once by cancelling her driving licence when he decided she had become too old to drive.

She was an English-speaking Straits Chinese matriarch famed for her Peranakan culinary skills who died in 1980, aged 75. He greatly admired her for standing up to her temperamental, more carefree husband in order to keep the family finances healthy and raise her children properly.

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Devoted husband and caring father

LEE Kuan Yew was a man with few close friends. Those who knew him best and saw his tender, caring side came mainly from his tight family circle.

But others who interacted with him caught glimpses of the private man away from his public persona as Singapore's hard-driving, straight-talking first prime minister.

At home, he was ever the devoted son who cared deeply for his mother, Chua Jim Neo, even if he upset her once by cancelling her driving licence when he decided she had become too old to drive.

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Life With The Lees: How An Ex-Nanny Spent 40 Years With Lee Kuan Yew’s Family
Ouyang Huanyan looked after Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s household from the 1940s

While news of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s passing was spreading like wildfire on the Internet in Singapore, all was peaceful at Shun De Foshan, China. A 98-year-old lady, Mdm Ouyang Huan Yan, who was Mr. Lee’s former nanny, was oblivious to his demise until she was contacted by a reporter for an interview.

Upon hearing the news, she said her heart felt heavy and that she hoped PM Lee Hsien Loong and Lee Hsien Yang would take care of their health and not be too grieved.

Ouyang was an 18-year-old when she left her home in Xixi village, Guangdong province in 1934 with her sisters and aunts.  They were known as ma jie, amah or zi shu nu – women who took celibacy vows to better serve their masters. She first worked for Tan Kah Kee, a Chinese businessman and philanthropist, for nine years, before working for the Lees as Mr. Lee’s mother, Chua Jim Neo, took a fancy to her. The two families were neighbours then, with Ouyang frequenting the Lee’s since her friend was a domestic helper in the Lee’s.

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Lee Kuan Yew: The Singapore Story

My earliest and most vivid recollection is of being held by my ears over a well in the compound of a house where my family was then living, at what is now Tembeling Road in Singapore. I was about four years old. I had been mischievous and had messed up an expensive jar of my father's 4711 pale-green scented brilliantine. My father had a violent temper, but that evening his rage went through the roof. He took me by the scruff of the neck from the house to this well and held me over it. How could my ears have been so tough that they were not ripped off, dropping me into that well? Fifty years later, in the 1970s, I read in Scientific American an article explaining how pain and shock release neuropeptides in the brain, stamping the new experience into the brain cells and thus ensuring that the experience would be remembered for a long time afterwards.

I was born in Singapore on 16 September 1923 in a large two-story bungalow at 92 Kampong Java Road. My mother, Chua Jim Neo, was then 16 years old. My father, Lee Chin Koon, was 20. Their parents had arranged the marriage a year previously. Both families must have thought it an excellent match, for they later married my father's younger sister to my mother's younger brother. My father had been brought up a rich man's son. He used to boast to us that, when he was young, his father allowed him a limitless account at Robinsons and John Little, the two top department stores in Raffles Place, where he could charge to this account any suit or other items he fancied. He was educated in English at St. Joseph's Institution, a Catholic mission school. He said he completed his Junior School Certificate, after which he ended his formal education--to his and my mother's eternal regret. Being without a profession, he could only get a job as a storekeeper with the Shell Oil Company when the fortunes of both families were destroyed in the Great Depression.

I grew up with my three brothers, one sister and seven cousins in the same house. But because they were all younger than I was, I often played with the children of the Chinese fishermen and of the Malays living in a nearby kampong, a cluster of some 20 or 30 attap- or zinc-roofed wooden huts in a lane opposite my grandfather's house. It was a simpler world altogether. We played with fighting kites, tops, marbles and even fighting fish. These games nurtured a fighting spirit and the will to win. I do not know whether they prepared me for the fights I was to have later in politics. We were not soft, nor were we spoiled. As a young boy, I had no fancy clothes or shoes like those my grandchildren wear today.

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MM Lee's last farewell to his wife

Ancient peoples developed and ritualised mourning practices to express the shared grief of family and friends, and together show not fear or distaste for death, but respect for the dead one; and to give comfort to the living who will miss the deceased. I recall the ritual mourning when my maternal grandmother died some 75 years ago. For five nights the family would gather to sing her praises and wail and mourn at her departure, led by a practised professional mourner. Such rituals are no longer observed. My family’s sorrow is to be expressed in personal tributes to the matriarch of our family. In October 2003 when she had her first stroke, we had a strong intimation of our mortality.

My wife and I have been together since 1947 for more than three quarters of our lives. My grief at her passing cannot be expressed in words. But today, when recounting our lives together, I would like to celebrate her life. In our quiet moments, we would revisit our lives and times together. We had been most fortunate. At critical turning points in our lives, fortune favoured us.

As a young man with an interrupted education at Raffles College, and no steady job or profession, her parents did not look upon me as a desirable son-in-law. But she had faith in me. We had committed ourselves to each other. I decided to leave for England in September 1946 to read law, leaving her to return to Raffles College to try to win one of the two Queen’s Scholarships awarded yearly. We knew that only one Singaporean would be awarded. I had the resources, and sailed for England, and hoped that she would join me after winning the Queen’s Scholarship. If she did not win it, she would have to wait for me for three years.

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Persisting Despite Everything
The Sunday Times Apr 24, 2011 By Lee Wei Ling

My elder brother Hsien Loong’s son Yipeng was born on Oct 7, 1982. The baby had albinism, which means he had no pigment on his skin and eyes, and his vision would be impaired. Hsien Loong phoned our father to tell him about the baby’s condition, and added: ’He will not be able to do national service.’

Loong’s late wife Ming Yang died of a heart attack three weeks after delivering the baby. I had just returned to Boston then after passing my MRCP (UK) examination, when my father phoned me to tell me that Ming Yang had died. I flew home immediately, and stayed for a month. Then I returned to Boston to continue my training in paediatric neurology.

Recently, while clearing some papers, I came across old letters exchanged between my mother and me from that period. They speak of a sad time in our family, of persisting despite everything, of keeping faith with the fundamentals. Below I reproduce a letter from my mother to me, dated Nov 25, 1982, and my reply, dated Dec 7, 1982.

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A family portrait of PM Lee with his parents, siblings and children

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Life with the Lees

In 1945, Madam Ouyang Huanyan found employment as a housekeeper with a Lee family. Never did she expect the eldest son of the family to eventually become the Prime Minister of Singapore. She also witnessed the wedding of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Madam Kwa Geok Choo, his classmate from Cambridge University. It was a simple affair where relatives were invited to dinner.

This anecdote and others are published in a book titled Zishu Nu From Shunde, by China Women Publishing House in 2006. It features the history and stories of Madam Ouyang and other women who left China to work as housekeepers and nannies in South-east Asia in the early 1900s. They all came from the Shunde district in Guangdong province.

The book came to the attention of National Neuroscience Institute chief Lee Wei Ling recently. Dr Lee, Mr Lee's daughter, told The Sunday Times that a friend had chanced upon the book while visiting a village in China. In one of the chapters, Madam Ouyang, now 91 and still healthy (see box below), recounted her life in Singapore.

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Lee Kuan Yew's legacy, Singapore's future and a family feud

The rich and modern metropolis of Singapore is frequently described as an "economic miracle".

When Lee Kuan Yew, the principal architect and first prime minister of the wealthy island state, died in 2015, over a million Singaporean residents turned out to honour his memory and his accomplishments - not the least of was the creation of an effective and largely incorrupt government and civil service, which proved a huge magnet to foreign investors.

But with economic pressures increasing amid a growing appetite for greater democracy, Lee Kuan Yew's complex legacy is coming under scrutiny.

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13 Controversies Of Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew, no stranger to controversy.

While he may have developed Singapore from economic backwaters to a First World Country, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew still had his fair share of controversies. A man of his status might have been revered by many, there are also many dissidents who want to bring him down.

We delve into 13 controversies he was embroiled in:
  • Operation Coldstore
  • Media should be the government’s mouthpiece
  • Stop at Two
  • Land Acquisition Act
  • Graduate Mother’s Scheme
  • Eugenics
  • Francis Seow
  • The Hotel Properties Limited Saga
  • International Herald Tribune
  • Islam
  • Suing opponents into bankruptcy
  • Certificate Of Entitlement (COE)
  • High ministerial pay

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Ministerial Committee Report on 38 Oxley Road

MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE COMPLETES ITS WORK, LAYS OUT RANGE OF OPTIONS FOR 38 OXLEY ROAD FROM PRESERVATION TO DEMOLITION:
  • The Ministerial Committee on 38 Oxley Road has completed its work and released its Report today.
  • The Report lays out a range of options for the Property – from preservation on one end, to demolition and redevelopment on the other. The Report does not make any recommendations and there is no need to make a decision on the Property now. The various options in the Report are meant to help a future government make an informed and considered decision when the need arises.
  • The Report addresses the Committee’s three terms of reference. First, the Committee assesses that the Property has architectural, heritage and historical significance. Second, it is the Committee’s view that while Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s preference was for the Property to be demolished, he was prepared to accept options other than demolition, provided that suitable arrangements were made to ensure that: (i) the Property was refurbished, and kept in a habitable state; and (ii) the family's privacy was protected. Third, the Report lays out the possible plans and options for the Property, and the considerations for each of them, to serve as drawer plans for a future government.

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I asked Ho Ching to enter politics: Goh Chok Tong
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and wife Ho Ching leave after an audience with Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at Nurul Iman Palace in Bandar Seri Begawan October 5, 2017. (PHOTO: Reuters)

Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong has revealed that in the early 1980s, he approached Ho Ching to enter politics – but was told that the timing was wrong.

In the first volume of his newly-released memoirs entitled Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story, Goh, who was Prime Minister of Singapore from 1990 to 2004, recalled that he had spotted Ho in the Ministry of Defence and thought that “she had the intellect and the attributes we were looking for”. “She would have made a good minister, a different kind of minister.”

Ho, who is now chief executive of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, was in her late 20s at the time. “She did not say no. She said not at this stage. She was still young.”


Do you agree with ESM Goh that Ho Ching would have made a good minister?

A book about Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong is making waves lately with its many revelations about various prominent figures.

One such revelation was that Goh, in the early ’80s, had approached Ho Ching – while she was working in the Ministry of Defence, and before she married current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long – to join politics. Ho Ching is currently CEO of Temasek Holdings.

Goh had thought “she had the intellect and the attributes we were looking for”, adding that “she would have made a good minister, a different kind of minister”. She did not say no, but rather, not at [that] stage.


In approaching Ho Ching for politics, has Goh breached his duties as cabinet minister?

To me, the aspiration to hold political office should be a calling. As such, I never really understood or agreed with the ruling Peoples' Action Party's (PAP) practice of handpicking people who have not been involved in politics to join the party and run for office. If you want to get people who have hitherto not been involved in politics to join the political scene, you would have to entice them to join. They may have to leave their existing jobs and to get them to do that - wouldn't you have to sweeten the deal? This is perhaps why our current Members of Parliament (MPs) and ministers are paid so well. Arguably, some were not really interested in political office to begin with and only joined the fray because they were invited to and perhaps made attractive offers? Are these the right type of candidates?

I don't query the intellect of those who have been handpicked. That said, having a high intellect does not necessitate to being a good MP or minister. A good MP or minister needs to have more than intellect, he or she needs to have empathy, desire and passion to be involved in public service. My concern is that the system of handpicking people not involved in politics to join the party may attract candidates who are only in it for the money or prestige. This, in turn, means that the government has to constantly offer high remuneration as an incentive to otherwise uninterested people. Is this the best use of public money?

Former Prime Minister and current Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong (Goh), has in his newly-released memoirs entitled Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story, confirmed that this practice of inviting suitable candidates to join the firm. He revealed that "in the early 1980s, he approached Ho Ching to enter politics – but was told that the timing was wrong." He further said that Ho Ching "had the intellect and the attributes we were looking for”. This begs the question - What attributes are they looking for? It sounds rather vague doesn't it? We are left to speculate what exactly those attributes are. Is it a safe pair of hands that will toe the party line part of the desired attributes? Is what is best for PAP always what is best for Singapore as a country?


ESM Goh reveals Ho Ching didn’t say no when first approached to join politics

In the book, ESM Goh revealed that he did try to ask Ho Ching, presently the second wife of PM Lee, to join politics. But that was before she was married to PM Lee, after Lee's first wife Wong Ming Yang died shortly after giving birth to their first son, who was born with Albinism.

Goh said, "I did approach Ho Ching and ask her if she would be interested in politics. It was quite early on. She was about 28, 29 or 30, before she married Lee Hsien Loong." Goh said he spotted her in Mindef and thought that she had the necessary "intellect and attributes". "I knew she was a President's Scholar, but I didn't know her well - only superficially because she was in the science part of Mindef," he added.

"Through briefings and so on, I could see that she had a lot of substance. She would have made a good minister, a different kind of minister." Apparently, Ho Ching did not say no right away.


If we vote for PM Lee, we are also voting for Ho Ching as a package deal?

I understand that political spouses have a certain role to play alongside their husbands or wives who are politicians. They are on hand to formally greet dignitaries and provide social support. This role however is ceremonial at best. It has no official capacity. After the initial greetings and pleasantries which are photographed, these spouses usually retreat when actual discussions commence.

It therefore comes as a surprise that wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (PM Lee), Ho Ching was reported to have joined PM Lee, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, China's Vice President Wang Qishan together with other Singapore ministers and officials, as the group sat down to discuss various issues.

While Ho Ching, as head of Temasek Holdings, is a powerful woman in her own right, it still remains that she has no official governmental role. In that regard, her presence at governmental discussions may be misplaced. Instead of sitting down to join the group in their discussions, shouldn't she have left after the initial greetings?


“I thought of Hsien Yang for politics but he would be outshone by his brother”: Goh Chok Tong

Earlier in the biography, Goh asserted that he was the one who spotted and roped Lee Hsien Loong into politics. He also revealed that Lee Kuan Yew asked him to consider inviting his daughter Lee Wei Ling to join the ruling party but that he did not approach Lee’s middle child after Lee Hsien Loong advised him against it.

When Peh asked Goh whether Lee Kuan Yew recommended that Goh rope his youngest boy into politics, Goh said Lee did not. He added that he did think of Lee Hsien Yang but did not approach him because he would have been outshone by his elder brother and partly because he did not want to be seen as just a figurehead if three Lee men are in Parliament:
  • “He never mentioned Hsien Yang. I thought of Hsien Yang, but I did not recommend him because I think he would be outshone by his brother.
  • “Having two brothers in Parliament was okay – Bernard Chen and Kenneth Chen, at one time. 
  • “But in Cabinet, how could I succeed as a PM if the father was there, the elder son and the second son too? Nobody would believe am my own man isn’t it? With three – what chance would you have?
  • I mean, that was how people would think, not knowing we are individuals.”
Goh continued that Lee Hsien Yang “would be different from the brother,” had he entered politics since he is not a yes man.


ESM Goh: Hsien Yang has private sector’s experience while Hsien Loong has none

In the book, ESM Goh related how he did think of inviting PM Lee's brother, Lee Hsien Yang, to join politics. "But I did not recommend him because I think he (Hsien Yang) would be outshone by his brother (Hsien Loong)," Goh said.

Goh didn't think it was a good idea to have too many members from the same family in the Cabinet:
  • "Having two brothers in Parliament was okay - Bernard Chen and Kenneth Chen, at one time. But in Cabinet, how could I succeed as a PM if the father was there, the elder son and the second son too?" he recalled.
  • "Nobody would believe I am my own man, isn't it? With three - what chance would you have? I mean, that was how people would think, not knowing we are different individuals."
  • Still, ESM Goh thought that Hsien Yang's experience in the private sector is one up when compared to PM Lee, who does not have any.
  • "Hsien Yang, had he come in, he would be different from the brother," he opined.
  • "These are not yes-men. You see the situation now, he is fighting the brother."
  • Goh continued, "He (Hsien Yang) would be a different individual with different qualities."
  • "His value would be - had I been interested, and that was later on - experience in private sector. Hsien Loong did not have it," he added.


Lee Kuan Yew suggested Wei Ling as PAP candidate: Goh Chok Tong

While it is often perceived (rightly or wrongly) that the late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew brought his son Hsien Loong into politics, Goh Chok Tong says that the elder Lee actually recommended his daughter Wei Ling as a political candidate.

In the first volume of his newly-released memoirs entitled Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story, the Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) revealed that some time in the 1980s, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) was looking for female candidates as there was a shortage of them. In this regard, Singapore’s first prime minister recommended his daughter as a potential candidate. “He said Wei Ling would make a very good MP,” recalled Goh in the book.

This was down to her “very strong compassion for the down and out” and her “very strong sense of justice”, said the 77-year-old, quoting the late Lee. Ultimately, after sounding out George Yeo – who went on to become Foreign Minister – and then political neophyte Hsien Loong, Goh decided against it. “(Hsien Loong) did not think she was suitable and he was absolutely right,” said Goh, who was Prime Minister of Singapore from 1990 to 2004.


Excerpts from Goh Chok Tong’s biography: On "Lee Wei Ling"

Q: (Lee Kuan Yew) did not suggest Lee Hsien Loong & yet he suggested Lee Wei Ling?

A: Wei Ling as an MP. MP is okay. And it was because of her social conscience, which was very strong. At that time, we did not have so many women candidates. We were looking for women candidates and it was difficult to find them. So, he was helping me. It was not because he wanted her, but he was helping me look for candidates. It was in that context - here was a good candidate.


Police investigating man who offers ride to PM Lee’s son, takes video without consent

A police report has been lodged regarding videos taken of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s son, Mr Li Yipeng, who was offered a ride in a private car driven by a 31-year-old Singaporean man.

In the videos, the man, who had offered and given Mr Li a ride, was heard asking the 36-year-old repeatedly to confirm his identity, his residential address and the security arrangements for him.

The videos were taken without Mr Li’s knowledge or permission, the police said in a statement. The man has been identified and is assisting the police with their investigations.


Police report made after private car driver took videos of PM Lee Hsien Loong's son

A police report has been made regarding videos taken of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's son, Mr Li Yipeng, who was offered a ride in a private car, said the police in a statement on Sunday (March 17).

The car was driven by a 31-year-old Singaporean man, added the police.

It is believed the vehicle was not a private-hire car.

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Driver who filmed PM Lee's son fined $900 and disqualified from driving for using phone on the road

The driver who took videos of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's son while giving him a lift home was fined $900 and disqualified from driving for eight months for a traffic offence.

Andrew Sim Kay Yong, 32, persuaded Mr Li Yipeng, 37, to get in his car. He then drove off and began recording videos of himself questioning Mr Li on various issues like his security arrangements and whether he had seen his uncle, Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

Sim pleaded guilty to one charge under the Road Traffic Act on Thursday (Nov 14).

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Man who filmed PM Lee’s eldest son during car ride gets S$900 fine and temporary driving ban
Andrew Sim Kay Yon, 32, who has had previous run-ins with the law said in mitigation that he was acting as a good Samaritan in offering the PM's son a lift. The judge expressed that this motive seemed doubtful

A Singaporean who filmed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s son Li Yipeng as he gave him a ride in his car was sentenced to a S$900 fine today (14 Nov) for using a mobile phone while driving. The 32-year-old was also banned from driving for a period of eight months for the offence.

The court heard that Andrew Sim Kay Yon spotted 36-year-old Li at a taxi stand on 15 March this year and recognised him as PM Lee’s son. Sim pulled up near Li and offered him a ride in his private car. Li accepted and gave his address to Sim. During the car ride, Sim filmed Li on four occasions between 3.54pm and 4.04pm during the drive from Esplanade to Rochalie Drive, without Li’s knowledge or permission. Sim held his phone in one hand while steering the car with the other hand to film Li.

In the videos, that were subsequently circulated on social media, Sim can be heard repeatedly asking Li to confirm his identity, residential address and security arrangements. In a statement released on 17 March, the Singapore Police Force had said that the invasive questions raised “serious security concerns, given Mr Li’s background.”

1st row: Lee Kuan YewKwa Geok Choo
2nd Row: Li Shaowu, Ho Ching, Li Haoyi, Lee Wei Ling, Li Yipeng, Li Xiuqi
3rd Row: Lim Suet Fern, Lee Hsien Yang, Lee Huanwu, Li Hongyi, Loong, Li Shengwu

Ho Ching, Mao Ting, Li Haoyi, Li Xiuqi, Lee Hsien Loong, Li Hongyi, Li Yipeng, Li Huanwu, Lee Hsien Yang, Lim Suet Fern, Li Shengwu













Follow the rainbow: LKY’s grandson weds in South Africa

In a speech in 1996, then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) urged young Singaporeans to go out into the world and seize opportunities. He said, “There is a glorious rainbow that beckons those with a spirit of adventure”.
“To the young and not-too-old I say, look at the horizon, find the rainbow, go ride it”.
More than two decades later, Mr Lee’s own grandson Li Huanwu is has actually ‘followed that rainbow’ as he tied the knot with his boyfriend Yirui Heng in Cape Town, South Africa this weekend where same-sex marriage was legalised in 2006.

In fact, Mr Li posted on his Facebook page a photo of a rainbow he spotted on the horizon just after his wedding with the hashtag #followthatrainbow – perhaps it was the providential rainbow that LKY mentioned all those years ago.

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Photos of PM Lee Hsien Loong enjoying an evening with family at Botanic Gardens go viral
Photos of PM Lee Hsien Loong, Mrs Lee and his grandchild enjoying a concert by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) at the Gardens have gone viral. PHOTOS: 媛來就在新加坡 / FACEBOOK

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spent his Saturday evening (April 6) at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, & his visit caught the attention of several eagle-eyed netizens.

Photos of PM Lee, Mrs Lee & his granddaughter enjoying a concert by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) at the Gardens have gone viral after they were posted on Facebook on Sunday night.

He was pictured in a polo T-shirt & pants on a colourful picnic mat, holding his mobile phone up to take photos of Mrs Lee & his grandchild.


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PM Lee demands The Online Citizen take down allegedly defamatory article or face legal action

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s spokesperson has issued a letter to sociopolitical website The Online Citizen (TOC), demanding that it remove an article containing “false” and “libellous” allegations and publish an apology.

In the letter sent to TOC chief editor Terry Xu at 6pm on Sunday (Sept 1) — a copy of which was made available to the media — Ms Chang Li Lin, the prime minister’s press secretary, took issue with an article titled, “PM Lee’s wife Ho Ching weirdly shares article on cutting ties with family members”, which she called a “scurrilous” attack on PM Lee’s character and integrity. A link to the article, dated Aug 15, was also posted on TOC’s Facebook page.

The article and Facebook post repeated several false allegations that were levelled against PM Lee by his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, said Ms Chang.

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Lee Wei Ling posts email proving LKY’s will was made by Kwa Kim Li
Dr Lee Wei Ling is accusing lawyer Kwa Kim Li of lying and said that the lawyer has “breached her duties to her client, my father.”

In the latest development of the Lee Family Saga, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, posted on her Facebook account on Tuesday morning, April 30, that their father former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s lawyer had lied about the making of his will, which has not only been an issue of contention within the family, but has also become a legal issue before the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC). She also posted email as proof.

In her post, Dr Lee calls PM Lee her “dishonourable brother” who “has repeatedly alleged that my sister-in-law, Yang’s wife, prepared and somehow got our father to sign a will in December 2013.” She also accuses lawyer Kwa Kim Li of lying and having “breached her duties to her client, my father.”

Ms Kwa has denied having been involved in the events that led to the preparation of Lee Kuan Yew’s will in 2013.

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Dr Lee Wei Ling 29 April


My dishonourable brother Loong has repeatedly alleged that my sister-in-law, Yang’s wife, prepared and somehow got our father to sign a will in December 2013. Kwa Kim Li (KKL) of Lee & Lee has denied involvement in the events that led to this 2013 will. These are all falsehoods. KKL has been lying. She has also breached her duties to her client, my father.

Lee & Lee have always been lawyers for my father’s personal matters including all his wills, powers of attorney, and Advance Medical Directives including his affirmation in August 2014 of his AMD.

The truth is that my father had discussed the changes he wanted extensively with KKL before he signed his December 2013 will. From late November 2013 all the way till Friday 13 December 2013, my father had had discussions and exchanged emails with KKL of Lee & Lee on what he wanted in his will. These included discussions of his immediately prior will. The will my father signed on Tuesday 17 December 2013 reflected these prior discussions with his lawyer KKL. It was exactly what he wanted. It provided for equal shares for all the children, something he had agreed with our mother and all of us.

Here is one email proving my father discussed his December 2013 will with Kwa Kim Li. There are more.

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Lee Hsien Yang shared a post May 15

Dr Lee Wei Ling May 15

Papa was led by Loong to believe that Oxley Road had been “gazetted” by the government. This was the background to Loong’s insistence that Papa should change his will to give Oxley Road to Loong alone. Indeed, Pa wrote to his lawyer Kwa Kim Li of Lee & Lee, on 6 Sep 2012 saying "Although it has been gazetted as a Heritage house it is still mine as owner.” Pa also said "But the house is still mine and I can in my will give Ling the right to stay on in the house."

Loong eventually persuaded Papa that since Oxley had been “gazetted”, it was futile to keep Papa’s direction to demolish Oxley in his will. In late 2013, Pa began to doubt the truth that Oxley had been “gazetted”. On the evening of 29 Nov 2013, Pa discussed with his lawyer Kim Li the possibility of a "degazetting" of 38 Oxley Road after he died. Papa was concerned that the government would reverse course after his death so as to benefit Loong. He also made Kim Li recap what was in his Will in force at the time (dated 2 Nov 2012). Contrary to what Loong has alleged, Pa knew full well the contents of his prior will when he signed his Dec 2013 will.

Papa’s discussions with Kim Li were with a view to making changes to his 2012 will. Several emails between Pa and Kim Li record parts of these discussions and Pa’s instructions. Papa had come to a view that the government would reverse course on the “gazetting” of 38 Oxley Road after his death benefitting Loong as a result. This was what I believe led Pa to decide to revert to reinstate the provision to demolish the house, which had always been his unwavering wish, and also to grant me the right to live in the house as long as I wished.

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“Ho Ching is watching all of us” – Temasek CEO skirts question on the company’s plans for leadership succession
Instead of giving a direct answer as to what Temasek's leadership succession plans are, when he was asked to give details on these plans and on Mdm Ho's role at the company, Mr Pillay would only say that Mdm Ho is "very much now involved in the stewardship aspects of Temasek…she still keeps a watchful eye over all of us to make sure we continue to do the right thing"

Temasek International CEO Dilhan Pillay appeared to skirt questions on Ho Ching’s role at Temasek and the organisation’s plans for leadership succession, at a recent press briefing.

Temasek International is the investment arm of Singapore sovereign wealth fund, Temasek, which is led by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, Ho Ching. Instead of giving a direct answer as to what Temasek’s leadership succession plans are, when he was asked to give details on these plans and on Mdm Ho’s role at the company, Mr Pillay would only say that Mdm Ho is “very much now involved in the stewardship aspects of Temasek…she still keeps a watchful eye over all of us to make sure we continue to do the right thing.”

The South China Morning Post noted that Mr Pillay also quipped, “Right now, she’s watching all of us,” and that this remark was met with laughter.


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Lee Hsien Yang last Wednesday

Temasek announced its results yesterday. No surprise that it still didn’t disclose Ho Ching’s salary. Why is it such a big secret?

http://theindependent.sg/the-secret-that-is-ho-chings-sala…/


The secret that is Ho Ching’s salary – will we ever know?

The annual remuneration of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Temasek Holdings seems to be the most well-kept secret, with Singaporeans asking, questioning and even speculating what that elusive number could be.

With Ho Ching heading the fund for the past 16 years, since 2002, many push for some transparency.

One Singaporean, Philip Ang, did some calculations and comparisons on his blogIn a post, he wrote, “Although Temasek Holdings manages our state reserves and should be transparent, the PAP government has legislated senior management executives’ remuneration state secret”.


Lee Hsien Yang questions: Why is Ho Ching’s salary such a big secret?

After the announcement yesterday (July 9) that Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state investment firm, reported a record net portfolio value for the last financial year, many, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s younger brother, have been asking about why its chief executive officer (CEO), Ho Ching’s salary remains shrouded in secrecy.

PM Lee’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang, took to Facebook earlier today to point out an obvious, but hidden, piece of the puzzle. He wrote, “Temasek announced its results yesterday. No surprise that it still didn’t disclose Ho Ching’s salary”.

The younger Mr Lee also questioned, “Why is it such a big secret?”. Along with his post, Mr Lee Hsien Yang also shared the following article: The secret that is Ho Ching’s salary – will we ever know?


Lee Hsien Yang: Why is Ho Ching’s salaries a big secret?

The estranged brother of the Prime Minister has hit out at his sister-in-law calling for the government to declare Ho Ching’s salaries:

“Temasek announced its results yesterday. No surprise that it still didn’t disclose Ho Ching’s salary. Why is it such a big secret?”

Through nepotism, the Prime Minister’s wife was made the CEO of Temasek Holdings in 2003, despite having no experience in fund management and being an engineer by training.


Singapore PM Stirs Flap in Cambodia by Bringing up Vietnam’s 1979 Invasion

Cambodian officials are bristling this week after a recent remark by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recalling Vietnam’s January 1979 invasion and decade-long occupation of Cambodia.

Lee used his official Facebook page on May 31 to send Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha condolences on the death of former Thai Prime Minister General Prem Tinsulanonda, who led Thailand during the period of Vietnam’s control of Cambodia and joined a coalition of nations who fought to end Hanoi’s occupation.

“His time as PM coincided with the Asean members (then five of us) coming together to oppose Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia and the Cambodian government that replaced the Khmer Rouge,” Lee wrote. The five original members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.


DBS branch in Hong Kong vandalised with vulgar messages directed at PM Lee Hsien Loong
One of the widely shared images showing the graffiti that was scrawled on the DBS branch in Hong Kong. (PHOTO: Social media)

Vandals have attacked a DBS branch in Hong Kong by scrawling vulgarities directed at Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his family and the ruling People's Action Party.

Photos of the vandalised DBS branch were posted late Thursday morning (Nov 14) on a Facebook group called the Concerned Citizens Band Together for a better Singapore. The post was shared more than 850 times in four hours. A DBS spokesman told The Straits Times that the graffiti was cleaned off as soon as it was discovered on Thursday morning.


Some Hong Kongers have been upset by comments PM Lee made on the Hong Kong protests at the Forbes Global CEO Conference at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore in October.



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