Singapore—In the latest development of the Lee Family Saga, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, posted on her Facebook account on Tuesday morning, April 30, that their father former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s lawyer had lied about the making of his will, which has not only been an issue of contention within the family, but has also become a legal issue before the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC). She also posted email as proof.
In her post, Dr Lee calls PM Lee her “dishonourable brother” who “has repeatedly alleged that my sister-in-law, Yang’s wife, prepared and somehow got our father to sign a will in December 2013.”
She also accuses lawyer Kwa Kim Li of lying and having “breached her duties to her client, my father.”
Ms Kwa has denied having been involved in the events that led to the preparation of Lee Kuan Yew’s will in 2013.
Dr Lee writes, “Lee & Lee have always been lawyers for my father’s personal matters including all his wills, powers of attorney, and Advance Medical Directives including his affirmation in August 2014 of his AMD.”
She explained that her father had clarified the adjustments he wanted to make to his will “extensively” with Ms Kwa before he signed it in December 2013. She also said that in the last two months of 2013, the founding Prime Minister had discussed in person and over emails his desires for his will, including a discussion on the will that preceded the December 2013 one.
Dr Lee added, “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.”
To top it all off, Dr Lee included an email from Ms Kwa, dated December 12, 2013, proving Dr Lee’s assertions, and she added that “there are more.”
From: Kwa Kim Li (address redacted in Dr Lee’s post)
Sent: Thursday, 12 December 2013, 12:48 pm
To: Kuan Yew Lee (PMO)
Subject: RE: Codicil to equalize Ling
Dear Uncle Harry,
Under your present will dated 2 nov 2012, Ling has been given 1 share more than Loong and Yang, out of your total estate. This is because you reasoned that Ling does not have double income like her brothers.
We discussed last week that you would now like to sign a Codicil to change this, and to give Ling equal shares with Loong and Yang out of the total estate.
I will prepare the codicil for you to sign this week, or when you are ready.
Regarding the Oxley property, I have some thoughts and I will call you later today.
Two weeks ago, on April 15, Dr Lee had taken to Facebook to write on the same topic, in order to address news reports alleging that her younger brother, Lee Hsien Yang, had somehow managed to obtain more money from the will of their father, Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Dr Lee stated forthrightly in her Facebook post on April 15, “This is a lie,” and called the allegations “false and dishonourable.”
Dr Lee explained that in the version of her father’s will, written in 2012, LKY had intended to leave “a little more” for his daughter. However, in the final version of his will dated a year later, in 2013, he had evidently changed his mind and chose to leave all three of his children—Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Hsien Yang, and Lee Wei Ling—equal shares.
She called out reports in the media that have spread the “false and dishonourable allegations” that have accused her younger brother of swindling their father.
She wrote, “Equal shares was always our parents’ intention and agreement between them and with the children.”
Dr Lee also clarified that LKY’s final will had been drafted by lawyer Kwa Kim Li. “Kwa Kim Li was retained as our father’s lawyer for all his wills save the first (drafted by our mother, for which she was the principal beneficiary).”
She also said that it was the lawyer who told LKY that equal shares between the three offspring would be the best, writing, “Kim Li herself advised our father to go to equal shares. In an e-mail to me, she wrote: ‘I told him…. when he instructed me to divide the estate unequally, that it was already decided that the estate was to be divided equally.’ This is exactly what was reflected in his final will.”
Lee and Lee vs Lee
Dr Lee’s post is just the next part of the tale of infighting between the Lee siblings, which began mid-June two years ago. In a joint statement over social media, Dr Lee and her younger brother, Lee Hsien Yang, said that they had “no confidence” in the Prime Minister, whom they accused of wanting to keep the family home in 38 Oxley Road so that he could start a political dynasty, with his son Hongyi as his heir apparent.
A month later, PM Lee called these accusations “entirely baseless” in a special parliamentary session.
Shortly afterward, his sister and brother announced a truce of sorts on social media, saying, “For now, we will cease presenting further evidence on social media, provided that we and our father’s wish are not attacked or misrepresented,” in a joint statement.
However, the fight between the siblings did not end there. The wife of Lee Hsien Yang, Lee Suet Fern is now facing a disciplinary tribunal called for by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for her alleged role in helping prepare the will of her father-in-law. On Friday, April 12, Lee Hsien Yang announced on Facebook that the AGC had filed “over 500 pages of complaint” against his wife.
In January, a case of “possible professional misconduct” in the preparation of Lee Kuan Yew’s final will was referred to the Law Society by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
The Attorney General claimed, “In this case, AGC became aware of a possible case of professional misconduct by Ms Lee. Ms Lee appears to have prepared the Last Will of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and arranged for Mr Lee Kuan Yew to execute it, despite the fact that her husband, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, is one of the beneficiaries under the Last Will.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s share increased under the Last Will. AGC also noted that Mr Lee Hsien Yang had said publicly that the Last Will was drafted by Ms Kwa Kim Lee of M/s Lee & Lee. However, Ms Kwa Kim Lee has denied that she drafted it.”
In a Facebook post on January 7, Lee Hsien Yang denied that his wife had ever been Lee Kuan Yew’s lawyer. He wrote, “My wife was never Lee Kuan Yew’s lawyer. Our father’s private will was executed some 5 years ago. Our father informed his entire family and his lawyers at Lee & Lee when he completed his will and kept his will at Lee & Lee. This was his re-signing of his 2011 will in which Minister Shanmugam was involved. Lee & Lee had been our father’s lawyers for all his wills since his first will in 1995. That first will was drafted by our mother, Kwa Geok Choo, who was then the principal beneficiary under our father’s will.
No one has complained from the outset on the process and circumstances of our father’s signing his final will – not Lee Kuan Yew, not his estate which stands in his shoes after his death, not any of the beneficiaries, including Lee Hsien Loong, who was advised by Lucien Wong, now AG. The will was proven in court in 2015 with no issues raised; all parties have acted in accordance with the will since then.”/TISG