Singapore — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has remained silent as his younger siblings, in Facebook posts on Sunday (June 14), reasserted their lack of confidence and trust in him as a brother and a leader.
Exactly three years earlier, on June 14, 2017, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang had publicly disavowed any support for their elder brother. At the time, the three siblings — who are the children of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew — were embroiled in a bitter feud about their late father’s will.
PM Lee’s siblings said that he abused his power as head of government to subvert their father’s willed desire to demolish their family home. PM Lee rejected in Parliament all the claims against him. He added that he would not sue his siblings for defamation since he did not want to “besmirch” their parents’ names.
A few months later, in October 2017, PM Lee said that the family feud remained unresolved and that he had not communicated with his siblings. When asked about it, he had told CNBC that he was “not sure if it’s solved”.
Adding that he was still saddened by it, PM Lee had expressed the hope that relations with his siblings would improve in future, when “emotions have subsided”. He said: “Perhaps one day, when emotions have subsided, some movement will be possible.”
Taking issue with his brother’s words, Mr Lee Hsien Yang hit back:
“Our brother says he is unsure that the feud is solved. Notwithstanding his public statements, Hsien Loong has made no attempt to reach out to us to resolve matters in private.”
That was the last PM Lee spoke of his siblings. While Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang have made public comments against their brother in the three years since their private feud spilled into the public domain, PM Lee has largely remained silent.
Meanwhile, the Attorney-General’s Chambers initiated legal action against Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s son, Li Shengwu, over a private Facebook post, and lodged a complaint against Mr Lee’s wife, Lee Suet Fern, to the Law Society.
In September 2019, PM Lee’s Press Secretary Chang Li Lin indicated that he might choose to sue his siblings in the future even though he had shown “restraint” as this was not his “preferred course of action”. Ms Chang said PM Lee had “thus far” chosen not to sue his siblings and that “his decision not to sue his siblings then did not mean that he would not ever take legal action, should this become necessary”.
In a Facebook post on Sunday (June 14), Dr Lee Wei Ling said that the three years since her feud with her elder brother became public had not changed her opinion of him. Asserting that the events since 2017 had only served to reinforce her view, she wrote:
“On 14 Jun 2017 Yang and I made public our concerns in a Facebook post entitled ‘What has happened to Lee Kuan Yew’s Values?’ We stated that ‘We do not trust Hsien Loong as a brother or as a leader. We have lost confidence in him.’ Events since then have only served to reinforce our view.”
Mr Lee Hsien Yang shared her post. PM Lee has yet to comment on this latest barb and continues to maintain silence on the matter. / TISG