Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s youngest son, Lee Hsien Yang, re-posted a screenshot of an email about his late father’s will as his wife – Lee Suet Fern, a senior lawyer – faces the possibility of being disbarred.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers lodged a complaint against Ms Lee to Singapore’s Law Society last year, over her alleged involvement in the preparation and execution of her late father-in-law’s will even though her husband was a beneficiary of the will.
In February this year, a disciplinary tribunal found her guilty of “grossly improper conduct”. Asking the Court of Three Judges to uphold the finding, the Law Society argued that Ms Lee contravened the Legal Profession Act and the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules and that she should be disbarred over her involvement with Mr Lee’s will.
The court reserved judgment and is set to release its judgment at a later date.
Lee Hsien Yang and his sister, Lee Wei Ling, have vehemently denied any claim of wrongdoing on Lee Suet Fern’s part and have said that the will was drafted by Kwa Kim Lee, their cousin who is the managing partner of Lee & Lee.
The AGC asserted that Ms Kwa Kim Lee denied any involvement in the making of Lee Kuan Yew’s last will and told both the Straits Times and Channel NewsAsia, “No, I did not prepare the last will.”
Last April, Dr Lee Wei Ling cast doubt upon Kwa Kim Lee’s statements and released email correspondence between her father and Kwa Kim Lee, said to be proving that the lawyer prepared the last will.
In a Facebook post published on 30 April 2019, Dr Lee claimed that Ms Kwa “has been lying” and “also breached her duties to her client, my father.” Asserting that Lee & Lee, the law firm where Kwa Kim Lee practices, has always been her father’s law firm for his personal matters such as his wills, Dr Lee claimed:
“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.”
The Law Society, however, is claiming Ms Lee deliberately got her father-in-law to sign a 2011 draft copy of his first will, which was apparently forwarded to her by her husband. The Law Society argued that Ms Lee arranged for lawyers from her firm – Stamford Law – to engross it, making the 2011 draft copy his final legal will.
As Singapore awaits the Court of Three Judges to release their judgment, Lee Hsien Yang has re-posted his sister’s Facebook post from last April which includes parts of the email correspondence between his father and Kwa Kim Lee.
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