On 22 June, Lee Hsien Yang posted a Facebook message revealing that while Lee Kuan Yew was entered into hospital on 5 Feb 2015, fighting for his live in ICU, Ho Ching, the daughter-in-law, instructed someone to take Lee’s belongings from his residence at Oxley Road the next day (6 Feb 2015).
The items were handed over to National Heritage Board’s (NHB) on the same day when they were taken out from LKY’s residence. NHB listed Ho Ching as the PMO’s point of contact.
The media then made further enquiries with NHB and last night, NHB quickly clarified that the actual collection date of the items was 6 April 2015 (after LKY’s death in March) and not “6 Feb 2015”. It added that it was a “clerical error” that had led to the wrong date being recorded in the cited list.
In reply, Hsien Yang said that NHB’s statement of “clerical error” was “even more troubling” as by then, LKY has already passed away and permission must be obtained from Hsien Yang and Wei Ling to remove any belongings of their father as they are the official executors of their father’s estate.
“By LKY’s will, the estate’s residual items, such as personal documents, fall under the absolute discretion of the executors Wei Ling and myself. Unapproved removal of these items, even by a beneficiary, constitutes both theft and intermeddling,” he said.
“Ho Ching is not an executor or a beneficiary to our father’s estate. We also still do not understand how she is a proper contact representative for the PMO,” Hsien Yang added,. Ho Ching does not hold any government positions.
“It is deeply troubling that someone can represent the PMO despite holding no official position,” he said.
NHB is a statutory board under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Lawrence Wong was the Minister in charge of MCCY when it received the items. Lee Hsien Yang also identified Lawrence as the Minister who communicated with him about the ‘secret’ committee and he also brushed off questions about K Shanmugam’s involvement in committee.
The CEO of NHB at that time, Rosa Huey Daniel, was also concurrently the Deputy Secretary (Culture) under the Ministry headed by Lawrence Wong. Mrs Daniel became the CEO of the National Arts Council (NAC) in March this year, but she still holds the concurrent appointment under MCCY, overseeing policy formulation and implementation in the arts and culture sector.
In the ongoing bitter spat between the children of Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Lee Hsien Yang earlier released a lawyer letter, raising questions if his brother had abused his position as Prime Minister in the matters relating to the house at Oxley Road.
Lee Hsien Loong's personal lawyer, Lucien Wong, wrote to us on 12 June 2015 to demand the NHB Deed of Gift. Only hours…
The letter released was from Mr Lucien Wong, who is now the Attorney-General. Mr Wong was then acting as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s personal lawyer.
Mr Wong acting for PM Lee questioned the Lees’ Deed of Gift made in favour of National Heritage Board (NHB). Mr Lee said that Mr Wong had on 12 June 2015, written to the siblings of PM Lee demanding the NHB Deed of Gift, but that he wrote another letter hours later on the same date saying: “our client has since received a copy of the Deed of Gift dated 8 June 2015 from NHB.”
The letter from Mr wong questioned the restrictions Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling placed on NHB for displaying the items and furnitures from 38 Oxley Road. They required NHB to mention Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s demolition wish when displaying the items given from his house. According to Mr Lee, PM Lee objected to this.
Questioning if PM Lee obtained the Deed Gift in his public or personal capacity, Mr Lee said: “Did LHL (Lee Hsien Loong) acquire the Deed of Gift in his public capacity, or his private capacity? If in his public capacity, to use this in his personal legal disputes is a clear abuse of authority. If in his private capacity, how can other private citizens go about acquiring confidential deeds of gift from the NHB?”
Lawrence has since replied to Lee Hsien Yang saying: “The Prime Minister was given the deed in his official capacity. If Mr Lee Hsien Loong had asked for the information in his private capacity, he would have been entitled to know about the exhibition and the items from the estate, given his position as the eldest son of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and beneficiary of the estate.”
<NHB Deed of Gift> I plan to speak on this in Parliament on 3 July, and clear the air on the matter, as I was then the…
Mr Lee in responding to Lawrence Wong said that the Minister “is not telling the whole truth.”
“He omits to mention that the deed of gift was signed with the CEO of NHB on the evening of 8 Jun 2015,” Mr Lee added.
Lawrence Wong in his Facebook post is not telling the whole truth. He omits to mention that the deed of gift was signed…
Incidentally, the current CEO of NHB is Chang Hwee Nee, wife of Minister Heng Swee Keat.
It’s not known if Hsien Yang will be making any police reports regarding the alleged illegal removal of belongings from Lee Kuan Yew’s residence.