Family feud needed to safeguard national interest: Lee Hsien Yang

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Saying the feud with the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is beyond family, Lee Kuan Yew’s youngest son Lee Hsien Yang said his public feud is necessary to safeguard the national interest of the country.

“When a Prime Minister uses the government to grasp what he wants, this ceases to be a ‘private family matter’,” he said.

“We speak up at great personal cost because we care deeply for the Singapore our father built,” Lee Hsien Yang, 59, told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) in emailed comments.

The Prime Minister’s brother said he and his sister has nothing to gain from the public feud.

“We have nothing to gain from the demolition of 38 Oxley Road, other than the knowledge that we have honoured our father’s last wish.

“What could we gain from bringing this public, that would be worth political exile from our home? No personal benefit could ever balance those scales,” Lee said.

Lee Hsien Yang in the initial release said the harassment he was facing from “organs of state” for clashing with the premier on the matter was so grave that he had made plans to go into self-exile.

In his comments to the Post, he did not provide details on when he will leave Singapore or where he was planning to settle, but repeated the same concerns.

But he told SCMP he believed he has been spied on.

“We think that the government intends to make us feel unsafe,” Lee said.

He and his sister Lee Wei Ling, 62, last Wednesday shocked the country with public accusations that their eldest brother Lee Hsien Loong, the current premier, was abusing executive powers to force them to drop plans to demolish the family home.

The late Lee Kuan Yew – prime minister from 1959 to 1990 and the architect of the Singapore’s stability and status as a high-tech, high-income global city – inserted a “demolition clause” in his seventh and final will in 2013.

He died at age 91 in March 2015.

Lee Hsien Yang said: “Let us not mince words. Singapore’s social compact under Lee Kuan Yew was – civil liberties may be curtailed, but in return your government will respect the rule of law and be utterly beyond reproach.”

He said this social compact was “now broken”, and accused his brother of being ready to use his “public powers to achieve his personal agenda”.

He characterised a ministerial committee set up to evaluate the future of the family home at 38 Oxley Road as one example of how the premier was using state apparatuses to get what he “personally wants”.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Well apparently, LHL is going to speak in parliament about the matter of Oxley…why does the matter need to be spoken in parliament if the PM keeps insisting and continues to use the word “private dispute”

    It is one or the either, private or state; call a spade a spade and not something else. If it is private, do not make use of state resources and parliament, if it is state, justify why the state needs to step in and override a citizen’s personal will, set up a truly independent body to look into the matter and ask the RELEVANT questions needed to make a decision.

    List the panel and make known the qualifications of the decisions makers, make it a public inquiry since the overriding argument is that it is to benefit Singapore. Mount a convincing argument to show HOW and WHY preserving the house benefits Singaporeans in a TANGIBLE manner.

    If that cannot be done, there is no compelling reason to preserve the house when the land can be put to much better use in already land scarce Singapore. Even MM LKY said that in the past.

  2. Pls pardon my ignorance. Can someone enlighten me who the lady on the right is? She is standing awkwardly and notably a-part yet apart.

  3. If LHL had decided to sell his shares to LHY, than why still set-up a secret ministerial committee to decide on the fate of 38 Oxley Road…if this is not fixing LHY and abuse of power, what is?

  4. I’ve seen 3 family/group photos where both LHL and LSY were accompanied by their wives. LHL and wive didn’t hold hands or showed any affection whereas LHY and wife were either holding hands or, as in this photo, he’s got an arm around his wife.

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