Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has responded to his siblings, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang’s ceasefire offer by accepting to manage the dispute over their family home in private, before calling their initial truce offer as “improper and irresponsible.”
The children of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew have been embroiled in a feud had spilled over into the public domain last month when the two younger siblings charged that the PM abused his power to thwart their father’s willed desire to demolish their house at 38 Oxley Road via a secret ministerial committee and that he used state organs to persecute them.
After alleging that the PM took the “improper forum” of Parliament to “whitewash himself” and that he has refused to submit himself to any independent committee, the siblings nevertheless offered a ceasefire and an indefinite hiatus to the release of further “evidence” against the head of government, as long as they nor their father’s wish are attacked or misrepresented.
In response, the PM released a written statement via the PMO saying that their decision to stop carrying on the dispute in public was what he was trying to achieve all along.
In their joint statement released earlier today, the younger siblings reinforced their allegations against the PM which he refuted in his own reply, stating that he stands by his refutations made in Parliament this week.
The PM also addressed the siblings’ claims that he refused an offer of a truce made in private, in mid-June this year.
They provided some background as to what led them to bring the matter into the spotlight:
“Hsien Loong quarrelled with us on 12 April 2015, the day our father’s will was read. He wanted to state before Parliament the next day that our father had changed his mind and that there was no need to demolish the house at 38 Oxley Road. Naturally we could not agree, as that story was untrue. He was also angry that Wei Ling had an unfettered right to live in the house. He shouted at us and intimidated us. It was the crossing of the Rubicon. He has not spoken to us since.
“Shortly thereafter, Hsien Loong wrote to tell us that he had hired a lawyer (Lucien Wong) to deal with the situation, and asked who our lawyers were. We were gobsmacked. We were siblings discussing our father’s house. We had to get our own lawyers. Soon, Hsien Loong ceased to communicate with us directly. The first Chinese New Year reunion after our father’s death, our brother invited all relatives except us.
“We attempted to reach out over the past two years, through various intermediaries. We privately offered a ceasefire shortly after our statement of 14 June 2017. Our attempts at reconciliation were rebuffed.”
In his reply, PM Lee specifically touched on the original ceasefire that was issued shortly after 14 June 2017, claiming:
“My siblings referred to a ceasefire offer from them. They wanted me to call off my Ministerial Statement and the debate in Parliament, disband the Ministerial Committee, and not respond to their accusations. I could not agree to do any of that. It would have been improper and irresponsible.”