Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee released a statement yesterday acknowledging that it was him who set-up the Ministerial Committee deliberating on the fate of 38 Oxley Road. He said that the Committee chaired by him had other Ministers like Grace Fu, K Shanmugam, and Lawrence Wong, in it.
Lee Kuan Yew’s younger son, Lee Hsien Yang, hit back almost immediately after DPM Teo’s statement was released. Mr Lee said that his sister and he had asked repeatedly for information – from the outset for almost a year – about who comprised of this Committee, but that this information was denied to them until now.
He further said that the siblings had expressed concerns about Law Minister K Shanmugam being in the Committee, because having advised his father and his sibling on how to achieve Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes and the drafting of the demolition wish, he could possibly have conflict of interest.
Mr Shanmugam hit back at Mr Lee soon after he made that comment in his Facebook. Mr Shanmugam said that he is well aware of the rules of conflict, as he had been in practice for over 22 years, and that the suggestion that he was in conflict is “ridiculous”.
The Law Minister further said that if Mr Lee still believed that there was a conflict, he can get a lawyer to write to the Minister for his response.
Cabinet CommitteeMr Lee Hsien Yang has questioned my being in the Committee chaired by DPM Teo.There are dozens of…
Mr Shanmugam’s post in his Facebook has drawn mixed responses.
Julie Chin, whose Facebook profile suggests that she is a staunch PAP supporter said: “I think it is LHY and his wife who do not know what conflict of interest is!!!! They’re party of interest in the Will yet she was involved in the writing and execution of the Will. Something is seriously wrong with their thinking!!!!”
Another Facebook user L Lian Yeow said: “Yes. Sick and tired. Just shocking to know that LHY is a keyboard warrior and feed his audience little by little. Why so defensive? Sick and tired. Disturbing the whole nation. Just toxic : (”
Others however questioned the setting up of the Committee and supported the call for Lee Kuan Yew’s house to be destroyed once his daughter moves out of it.
Lim Robert: “Why should there be a Ministerial Committee set up to explore other options regarding the demolition of late LKY house when LKY mentioned in Parliament as well as in the Media that he wanted his house demolished when he passed on. He even mentioned it in his book “Hard Truths”.”
Goh Ming: “Perhaps we should just demolish the home once MM LKY daughter not living there anymore, since it was his wish to demolish the home and let the plot of land redeveloped. We could just 3D scan the interior and exterior of the home and let future Singaporean explored it virtually.”
Chan HonSun: “All the members in this “secret committee ” are LHL’s subordinates…Hence this why this committee is “shadowy” and an “abuse of power” . If you are really just and ” free of conflict ” , then the committee should have made up of people neutral to both LHL n LHY . But with PAP having overwhelming majority in government… That would be difficult . If WP MPs were in this committee…then I would say the committee would be serving it’s purpose. The committee is setup by LHL to clearly to get what he wants… I challenge you people to respect the late LKY’s wishes n NOT LHL’s wishes . Dare to do it? I doubt so though… Conscience will haunt you people eventually… And LKY’s spirit deep down.”
Ivan Tan: “Dear Sir, I think it’s important to clarify if any opinion the committee forms on the validity of the Last Will has any legal weight. From my layman’s view, the committee cannot arbitrate the dispute between the siblings (as LHY alleges). It cannot take the place of the probate court. It’s an important point because the wider accusation is that this is the unorthodox platform used to bypass proper legal procedures, an “organ of state” used to settle this personal matter unfairly. It’s brings into disrepute our legal system and the upholding of rule of law. It has to be clarified quickly if that’s not the case to prevent confidence in the system being eroded.”
Kyle Malinda-White: “You still haven’t answered the question, sir? Why are you and others in a committee to decide on other decisions for a will that has already been confirmed? I think it’s fair you remain transparent on this matter to Singaporeans. We don’t want to see politicians wasting taxpayers’ resources and time by giving “due process” (DPM Teo’s words, not mine) to a will that has already been privately settled.”
Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, responded to Mr Shanmugam’s Facebook message and said the Law Minister’s “view on conflicts of interests is absurd and unethical.”
She added: “It is sad to see how he has changed.”