Dr Lee Wei Ling, founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s middle child and only daughter, has finally changed her Facebook profile picture after nearly four years of displaying a painting of her family home at Oxley Road, on social media.
Dr Lee featured the painting of the Oxley house as her profile picture on Facebook in September 2015 – months after her father passed away in March 2015. In May 2017, Dr Lee’s younger brother, Lee Hsien Yang, changed his Facebook cover photo to the same painting of the Oxley house his sister used as her profile picture.
Two months later, a family feud between Dr Lee, Lee Hsien Yang and their elder brother – Singapore’s current Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong – spilled into the public domain.
In July 2017, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang accused their elder brother of abusing his power as head of government to preserve their family home, against their father’s willed desire to demolish the house, in order to bolster his grip on power.
Dr Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang also alleged that Lee Hsien Loong used state organs against him and that he was moulding his son, Li Hongyi, to enter politics. The siblings also said that the Government convened a secret committee to make a decision on the house.
The relationship between the younger siblings and PM Lee had apparently become so fractured that they revealed that their brother has rebuffed their attempts at reconciliation and that during the “first Chinese New Year reunion after our father’s death, our brother invited all relatives except us.”
PM Lee addressed the allegations against him in a Parliamentary debate where he declared that he has been cleared of all charges. He added that he will not sue his siblings for defamation since that would “besmirch” the names of their parents.
Dr Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang reinforced their allegations, following this, but offered a ceasefire on releasing further evidence in favour of settling the matter in private, on the condition that they nor their father’s will be attacked or misrepresented.
But that was not all.
Lee Hsien Yang’s eldest son, Li Shengwu earned the ire of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) after posting a private “friends-only” Facebook post, criticising Singapore’s government and judiciary and the AGC commenced legal action against him. A contempt of court lawsuit is ongoing against Shengwu.
One and a half years later, the AGC filed a 500-page complaint against Lee Hsien Yang’s wife, Lee Suet Fern. The AGC alleged that Lee Suet Fern would be liable for professional misconduct if she had a hand in preparing Lee Kuan Yew’s will, since her husband is a beneficiary of the will.
Both Dr Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang have vehemently denied any claim that Lee Suet Fern played a part in preparing Lee Kuan Yew’s will. In January, Dr Lee indicated that the dispute between the siblings is not over as she revealed the AGC’s action against her sister in law.
She wrote on social media: “Hsien Loong has been unhappy with our father’s will and our father’s wish to demolish his home at 38 Oxley Road.” Asking why the AGC is initiating this complaint now after all this time, Dr Lee asserted that she feels that the action against Lee Suet Fern is “wholly without merit”:
“Lee Kuan Yew, a highly regarded lawyer, never complained about his will. No beneficiary has complained to the Law Society, not even Hsien Loong who was advised by Lucien Wong (previously his personal lawyer, now AG). Why therefore this new attack on our father’s will? Why is this being initiated now, and by the AGC, after all this time? Our view is that this action is wholly without merit.”
The AGC asserted lawyer Kwa Kim Lee, who was identified by Lee Hsien Yang as the one who drafted the last will, denied doing so. Today (30 Apr), Dr Lee hit back and released email correspondence between her father and Kwa Kim Lee, said to be proving that the lawyer prepared the last will.
Hours before she released the email correspondence, Dr Lee finally changed her profile picture, from the picture of her family home to a photograph of herself as a young child.
The black and white photograph, that seems to be taken at what could have been a simpler time, shows Dr Lee looking straight at the camera as she hangs on to a tree: