SINGAPORE: Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s son and current PM Lee Hsien Loong’s estranged brother Lee Hsien Yang has said that Cabinet Minister K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan are wrong about what he said about the Ridout Road rentals in a Facebook post and invited the pair to sue him in the UK, if they believe they have a case.
His statement, published on Facebook this evening (29 July), comes days after Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and Foreign Affairs Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan said they will take legal action against Mr Lee for making defamatory allegations regarding their rental of two black-and-white bungalows at Ridout Road.
Mr Shanmugam said on Thursday (27 July) that Mr Lee had accused both ministers of “acting corruptly and for personal gain by having Singapore Land Authority (SLA) give us preferential treatment by illegally felling trees without approval, and also having SLA pay for renovations to 26 and 31 Ridout Road”.
Asserting that these allegations are false, Mr Shanmugam said: “We have asked him to apologise, withdraw his allegations and pay damages, which we will donate to charity. If he does not do so, we will sue him.”
Mr Shanmugam was referring to a Facebook post that Mr Lee made on 23 July that stated: “Two ministers have leased state-owned mansions from the agency that one of them controls, felling trees and getting state-sponsored renovations.”
Pointing to the exact phrasing he used in his 23 July post, Mr Lee said today: “Shanmugam and V Balakrishnan are wrong about what I said. My post did not assert that Shanmugam and V Balakrishnan acted corruptly or for personal gain by having SLA give them preferential treatment by illegally felling trees without approval and also having SLA pay for renovations for them.
“My post simply stated facts that were already widely published in the Singapore and international media.”
He added: “My post was made in the UK. If K Shanmugam and V Balakrishnan believe that they have a real case, then they should sue me in the UK.”