Singapore’s most famous family’s Facebook feud is showing no sign of ending.
The prime minister apologised in a broadcast for the damage the allegations had done to the Lion City’s reputation and citizens’ confidence in their government.
He said he would take the issue to parliament and allow MPs to question him openly.
The colonial-era bungalow at 38 Oxley Road, near the Orchard Road shopping belt, is where the city-state’s founder lived for most of his 91 years. His final will included a wish for the property to be demolished eventually. All three children said they wanted to honour the request and an online survey in 2015 found that a majority of Singaporeans polled supported the demolition of the house.
But the current prime minister is accused by his younger siblings of attempting to undermine their father’s instructions. They point to a government committee considering options for the house.
The siblings alleged their brother threatened them and demanded their silence over their father’s wishes “hoping to inherit the faith Singaporeans had in Lee Kuan Yew through the visible symbol of the house”.
Opposition MP Tan Cheng Bock said the issue should be settled in court or by an open inquiry.
The premier’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang or Yang, 60, is chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, a board member of Rolls-Royce Holdings and a special adviser to private-equity firm General Atlantic. His sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, 62, is a senior adviser at Singapore’s National Neuroscience Institute. She is living in the prized house and her father’s instruction for demolition only applies when she leaves the property.
On June 14, Yang posted a six-page statement on Facebook representing him and his sister, saying they had “lost confidence” in the prime minister and accused him of pursuing a personal agenda and cultivating the political career of one of his sons, Li Hongyi.
In another Facebook statement, the prime minister said his father made seven wills between 2011 and 2015 and only the first two included the so-called “demolition cause”. However, despite the elder son’s request for it to be removed, it “somehow found its way back into the last will”, the statement said.
Picture credit: YouTube