Former PAP Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, Mr Inderjit Singh, has weighed in on the Oxley saga that has gripped Singapore over the last few weeks. Writing in his Facebook page, Mr Singh opined that if Singapore – which has been unfavourably thrust into international focus because of the dispute – is to come out on top, then everyone from PM Lee and his siblings to ordinary citizens must give something up.
He wrote, “I would like to offer a solution. The only way forward for all of us – the Lee family, the government and for Singaporeans – is for each of us to give up something for Singapore to win. We all lose some but we win the bigger picture: Singapore’s image.
“The crux of the matter is the fate of the 38 Oxley house; should it be demolished or preserved as a heritage site?”
Stressing that it is imperative for Singapore to make a decision on 38 Oxley Road and not leave future generations of government to continue the battle, Mr Singh outlined four sacrifices that must take place so Singapore can move to addressing more pressing national matters and close this saga with grace. The four sacrifices are:
- For Dr Lee Wei Ling to move out of 38 Oxley Road so the house may be demolished immediately: “As much as she has the right to reside in her own home, she can be assured that her father’s wish for the home to be demolished will be honoured with certainty.”
- For Mr Lee Hsien Yang to allow the house to be sold to the government and developed as a memorial garden: “He has to give up the potential financial gains from developing the property for Singapore to win.”
- For PM Lee and the government to immediately allow the Oxley house to be demolished.
- For Singaporeans to give up the desire to preserve the home as a heritage site: “We have seen that the desire to preserve the 38 Oxley house has led to a bitter dispute that not only has hurt the family of our founding PM, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, but also his legacy…we have to give up this desire and allow the house to be demolished and find better ways to remember Mr Lee Kuan Yew, his legacy and the legacy of our pioneer generation of leaders.”
Adding that though he wishes to preserve the house to remember the late Founding Prime Minister, Mr Singh says he respects Lee Kuan Yew’s desire to demolish the house: “Let him have his wish as our gratitude of what he did for Singapore. Let us remember him in other ways.”
He also asked whether it is worth preserving the house since it will be a reminder of the explosive family dispute that rocked headlines locally and internationally, before offering that an alternative to preserving the heritage the house represented may be to build a replica of some of the key areas of the house in other parts of the country.
“I urge PM, the government, the Lee siblings and Singaporeans to give up the desire to preserve the house and allow the 38 Oxley house to be demolished today, not in the future. We can win and win big for Singapore’s future of we can agree to this.”
Mr Singh retired from politics prior to the 2015 General Elections, after his ward Kebun Baru was absorbed into Nee Soon GRC due to fresh electoral boundaries. He has been known for his hard-hitting speeches in Parliament about overcrowding and major issues related to the national growth policy, soaring costs for small business owners, the impact of economic restructuring and about foreign labour.
The Way forward for 38 Oxley – To win some we have to lose some – Everyone must give Up Something for all to Win On…