Lee Hsien Yang in his own words: ‘Why I’m speaking up’

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Since the episode involving my parents’ house became publicised, my sister, Wei Ling and I have taken to social media to reach the people of Singapore. We have no other access. Please let me step back and introduce myself, so that Singaporeans know where I am coming from.

I am the youngest child of Lee Kuan Yew. I have an elder brother Hsien Loong, and an elder sister Wei Ling.

I am a private individual who has always avoided public attention. I am not a politician, and I have never desired to be a one. When I reach out to Singaporeans, please bear in mind that I am a novice. I have neither brigades of staff nor teams to back me up. Indeed, until this episode occurred, I had never posted on Facebook. As such, I ask for your patience – I am only a man working to honour his father’s wishes.

Why

Many have asked me why Wei Ling and I have felt compelled to bring these issues before the people of Singapore. They ask why I have made public a huge national controversy. The answer is that we were pushed by Hsien Loong’s secret cabinet committee.

Growing up in Lee Kuan Yew’s family was a unique experience. My father, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, was a powerful and influential man. My mother too, though she avoided the public eye, was herself a very principled woman. For all these privileges afforded by my parents, they always taught us to act with integrity and to always do the right thing. This was an inviolable value of theirs.

When my father died, the issue of carrying out both my parent’s wishes for their house came up. Our father firmly believed that demolition of his house was the right thing for Singapore. He believed Singapore needed to focus on her future and not on monuments. My father named my sister and I his executors, and with it came his expectation and trust that we ensure his wishes are honoured. Unfortunately, our brother, Hsien Loong, and his wife Ho Ching, have in private vehemently opposed demolition.

As we sought to remind the people of Singapore of our father’s last wish, we encountered opposition every step of the way. It became clear that we faced a vast and coordinated effort by Hsien Loong against us. He did not want our father’s wishes remembered or carried out; he wished to rewrite history to claim that Lee Kuan Yew “accepted” the preservation of his house. Hsien Loong was ready to use his power and influence to thwart our father’s wishes, to meet Hsien Loong’s and Ho Ching’s personal political agenda.

At that point, I could have said to myself, “This is too big for me. This political world is not my world. I could just let events take their course. This is not worth it.” It would have been easy to keep my head down — why risk public outcry, suffer campaigns of character assassination, or even exile? But doing the right thing is rarely easy.

I am not a perfect human being. But I do my best to act with the honour and integrity expected of me by my parents. Their view on demolition of their house was unwavering. I know what they wanted, and as executors of our father’s will, my sister and I have a legal duty to carry out his wishes, instead of allowing them to be perverted by sophistry and machinations. It was a difficult decision, but we were pushed into a corner. We have to stand up and fight for our parents even if it means bringing things into the public sphere as a last resort.

My Goal

Since these events became public, many reached out to me. Some have scolded me for disrupting the status quo. Others have offered words of encouragement and support. But both groups often ponder what I hope to achieve through all this.

I am just a son trying to honour my father’s final wish: to demolish my father’s house immediately when my sister, Wei Ling, no longer lives there. In the meantime, to ensure her the unfettered right to live in the only home she knows as long as she should wish. Ling, being unmarried and without children of her own, stayed there with Papa and helped look after him in his final years. It was our father’s wish that she should be permitted to stay in the original house for as long as she wanted.

It has been insinuated that I seek to redevelop the Oxley road house into a condominium for financial profit after buying it at 150% market price. Beyond zero certainty on timing and the ability to demolish, this requires both rezoning by the URA and cooperation with the neighbors. I have no inclination to seek either of these. Preservation of the house would be trampling on Lee Kuan Yew’s values, and it would be an affront to these same values to develop a luxury “LKY” condominium. The price I paid for the house was simply a price I paid to help ensure my father’s wishes are honoured.

Wei Ling may live in Oxley Road for decades to come. I simply hope to ensure our father’s wishes are honoured when the day comes. Since I cannot predict the timing or whether the government will even permit us to demolish the house, it is impossible to plan beyond that point. We suggested options such as demolishing the house and planting a memorial garden, but Hsien Loong has staunchly refused.

Our father, and we too, recognise that the Government has the power to gazette the house — no man stands above the law after all. We are simply very sad that it is in fact Hsien Loong using powers and instruments of the state to achieve preservation of the house for his personal agenda, whilst pretending to be an honourable son.

Source: https://goo.gl/Nah2ra

80 COMMENTS

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      Let’s Give Mediation A Chance

      Yes, give LSL one big say, july 3. Then ask Catherine Lim to lead a team to mediate. Meanwhile, all of us hold our peace. After all, in a month’s time we celebrate August 9. (The rehearsal is this evening.)

      Not unlike Qatar, both our nations are small, in size and population, rich and successful, with large neighbors. We have a top 10 airline, SIA, and a top 10 airport. Qatar has 3+1 : Emirates, Qatar Airways N Etihad and her Hamad International Airport.

      Today, each of us faces an unprecedented crisis. It’s complex and sensitive. And difficult to resolve. However, there is a key difference : theirs is several external forces at play, political, while ours is two internal parties in dispute, family. With national interests at core.

      Mediate. That’s what, since Day 1, Qatar’s ministers and ambassadors have been working over-time on. Can we count on our sages to mediate, to bring this crisis to a happy end. We call on Kishore Mahbubani, who has deep admiration for LKY, to participate.

      And ask TT, GCT, TCH, and (respected) Tharman to pick up the telephone to persuade LSL to accept mediation.

      As the saying goes, ‘Let’s not win the battle and lose the war.’

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    We all know you are not a perfect human being Mr LHY. Neither are we, the slaves of Singapore that.
    I do have a feeling however that your “Honourable” Big Brother will think otherwise about himself.

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    Dr lee should moved out and let the demolition happen when both of u are still around, no offence but the government will alway out live anyone and even if your brother is no longer PM,he will be as a SM, and I doubt the next PM will want to do something that will tranish the relationship with Him,

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    LWL FB…李玮玲医生称,李显龙总理曾“生气地威胁”要将李光耀故居列为国家受保护古迹。
    李玮玲今天(1日)下午通过面簿表示,这个情况是在律师向李家宣读遗嘱之后发生,让她“深感不安”。
    她也称,李总理在李光耀逝世不久后就愿意违背爸爸的意愿,是个可耻的儿子。“我要新加坡人看到李显龙和何晶的真面目与目的。”
    李玮玲指李总理和妻子何晶滥用总理公署的权力,而李总理不仅是个不孝子,他作为总理的行为也是不行的。…..SEE HIS REAL FACE…

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      Do not think it is that easy…afterall this 38 OR saga is still on going. Who dare to demolish the house now? Which contractor dare to do it before BCA ‘s approval?? Without a permit from BCA for demolition, no contractor can demolish a house!!

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    Mr Lee please convince us you are doing what you claimed. Because it’s difficult for Singaporeans to believe you as you are coming up with different things every day.

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    Please do the right thing, and best to demolish the house now so that your father’s wishes are fulfilled. I recommend not to let your greedy brother gets his way. we had enough of his rubbish policies and rubbish promises, its time he get his fair share of crap!

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    as this whole drama plays out, has anybody wondered why does one want so badly to demolish the pile of bricks while the other wants so badly to keep it???

    are there some deep dark secrets being hidden and or perhaps “things” that CANNOT EVER see the light of day etc… on the other hand if every other property has a lease expiry why not just raise the place to the ground and build another mall; after all, that’s what generates income doesnt it???

    If both siblings are so adamant towards the accusations against their brother why not move the motion to impeachment? Why simply stop with regard to the pile of old bricks?

    While it is their world renowned doctrine for challenged individuals to sue their challengers, if not otherwise be stepped down, why hasn’t any charges been brought against the siblings from the prince himself?

    is this drama going to end simply with another branch of the famalee coming in to lord over this rock with the exact or worse policies originating from the same roots?

    as far as most (i ass_u_me) are concerned the CPF at 55 issue is of huge public interest yet there has been no word ever…. public services in shambles and yet….. silence….

    ask the right questions… support the right causes

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    We understand and support you. Although preserving Oxley 38 do have its advantages and to capture a significant part of our history in which you are also part of.
    But the method used to achieving it isn’t right. This disgusting method has been used in many other occasions to achieve the objective. We should never propagate such culture into Singapore and to our young.
    You have our support.
    We have to fight to preserve our heritage that makes Singapore a great nation.

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    Both sides of the Lees in this family dispute over the house should step aside and let the nation through Parliament decides the fate of 38 Oxley Road.    They should free themselves from attachments to or have any emotional bias over the outcome.

    This house is not a not an ordinary house to the nation.
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    No private will is above the laws: The Planning Act, Building Control Act; and the Preservation of Monuments Act [Chapter 239]
     
    I hope PM Lee will allow MPs to vote on the house on the 3rd July in Parliament by casting free and secret ballot votes: to gazette or not to gazette the house.
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    Ballot voting is not by show of hands.
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    PM Lee should abstain from voting in Parliament on this.
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    I hope politically the PAP Govt will let the MPs do their part, cast their ballot votes freely and in secret on this house.   If approved, it will give a strong moral endorsement for the Cabinet to cast their ballot votes in secret to decide the fate of the house under the above three Acts.
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     It will not be a one man’s decision but a collective decision on the house coming from Parliament and the Cabinet.
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    PM should abstain from voting in Cabinet on this issue.
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    MPs should table this resolution and cast their secret ballot votes on it:
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    “That 38 Oxley Road be gazetted as a a national heritage site and building under the Preservation of Monuments Act [Chapter 239].”

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    News stated this:
    LEE HSIEN YANG’s latest long post boils down to one thing: he wants the house demolished and he believes that the rule of law should not apply.

    LHY said the secret committee compelled him to go public. But of course. The so-called secret committee is carrying out the due process of law which he is so dead against. When one is so dead against the due process of law, what do you do? You go public and try to rally public support to bring pressure against the due process of law!

    There is nothing secret about a committee carrying out the due process of law. But it is helpful to LHY to paint them as ‘secret’ to make them look sinister.

    Instead of being so destructive to the legacy that LKY has left us, LHY can always be part of that due process that finds the best way forward where 38 Oxley Road is concerned. He has a choice.

    LHL did not say he will preserve the house and neither did the so-called secret committee say they are going to preserve the house.

    In fact DPM Teo Chee Hean has said that the extreme option of preserving the whole house is not one he would support.

    LHY therefore continues to mislead Singaporeans.

    Rule of Law has meant everything to Lee Kuan Yew and he constantly warned us to keep the system clean. He has said that the moment key leaders are less than incorruptible, less than stern in demanding high standards, from that moment the structure of administrative integrity will weaken and eventually crumble.

    PM Lee is right to demand high standards, even at the expense of being labelled a dishonourable son. LKY would be proud of LHL.

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      Gbee u must be from the inner circle. U knew so much fact & truth…perhaps HL may summon u to parliament to help mediate his sibling disputes. 🙂

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      Gbee G Chen, when ostriches sensed a danger, it’ll bury its head in the ground. When a dog felt threaten, it’ll growl, show its teeth & try to fighten people off…
      Only truth shall liberate you poor soul. It’s good to hv faith wif someone. But only when he’s proven to be an honourable person. I wonder why you retaliate at my commendation? Is it becos deep down in you, you cannot confront the truth? You knew the hypocrisy?
      I understand, like you, all Sgpns are all hurt by the Lee family disputes.
      Take time to think it through. Be sensible. Be civil. There’s no need to be vulgar. It’ll get u nowhere but more hurt.
      Hv a gd day! 🙂

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      Gregory Tan U are wasting time here! Don’t come n tell me this n that cos u do not have any right. Tell yourself to wake up n stop being a KPO!
      Gregory this is u when ostriches sensed a danger, it’ll bury its head in the ground. When a dog felt threaten, it’ll growl, show its teeth & try to fighten people off…
      Only truth shall liberate you poor soul. It’s good to hv faith wif someone. But only when he’s proven to be an honourable person. I wonder why you retaliate at my commendation? Is it becos deep down in you, you cannot confront the truth? You knew the hypocrisy?
      I understand, like you, all Sgpns are all hurt by the Lee family disputes.
      Take time to think it through. Be sensible. Be civil. There’s no need to be vulgar. It’ll get u nowhere but more hurt.
      Hv a gd day! 🙂

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    Ah Yang & Ah Ling be ready to be Sue by him ” The Ruthless Tyrant ” get your facts n evidence ready to challenge him in Court not in Parliament or you and ling can also counter sue him !

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    Spoken like a gentleman without fear of being prosecuted by our bad guys & bullies who are trying their best to gun him down. This because he believed we should always respect our parents last wishes.

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    If the casting of secret ballot votes on the fate of the house by 89 MPs is considered too drastic an action, I hope on 3rd July, DPM Teo will release a joint-signed statement by his Ministerial Committee members.

    The statement should help allay the fears and concerns of the Lee siblings by giving them the assurance that the house and land will not be gazetted by the present Govt as a national monument and heritage site so long as LWL continues to live at 38 Oxley Road.

    I believe this will be an easier solution to suppress the rising unhappiness in this dispute and address the impasse on this house.

    Whatever the steps taken to mitigate this saga, I hope a precedence has not been set as many Singaporeans might be watching and thinking whose house will be next to receive this level of privileged intervention and compromise.

    I hope it is not a difficult dilemma. Please choose wisely the next course of action.

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    Very true. Because no one respect LHL like LKY. LKY Build singapore and gave hardworking people the life they deserve. Not LHL, he gave himself the life he does not deserve and make the general public slog with their life to support his ministers and his lifestyle.

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    Well this is the first of its kind…Family domestic affair has now becoming a national issues…LKY has dedicated so much of his life to develop what we call today, Modern Singapore..nevertheless he has overlooked in his domestic affair..The recent issues of his estate has reflected on 1 thing…The siblings has not been getting well along all this while and there is no proper communication among them otherwise this outcome would not have happens..LKY might look successful..but when comes to family, it is quite disheartening…

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    Please be transparent! Tell us who drafted the last will and why done in secret and in a hurry? We’re all waiting for your answer as everybody is aware that PM and WL do not know!

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    1. It is a private matter 1st n foremost. LKY has publicly indicated repeatedly his wishes, n reasons, to demolish the house. lhl disagreed for his own reasons, rightly or wrongly. lwl n lhy agreed n want to fulfil the wish of lky n Mrs LKY as their children n also legally appointed estate execuotors.

    That is the basic disagreement. Both sides being very strongheaded, no agreement is achieved.

    2. sinister reasons:

    A. lhy: to profit fr redevelopment – disclaimed now.

    B. lhl: to preserve LKY’s legacy n to facilitate the political dynasty of the Lee – not sustainable as Sgp voters r becoming more practical. Whoever can give the majority what they want get their votes.

    C. lhl felt the last will of lky was done in a disquiet way – challenge the will in court!! that is the lawful n normal way. why a ministerial committee? should this not already be a normal job for national heritage board under the preservation laws? why “undue interference” by lhl directly?

    D. many ministers spoke for lhl when lhl already set the 3/7 date for a puzzling one side tell all parliamentary session. using state resources on a private matter ordinarily as lhl said it is of PUBLIC interest. We don’t see the historical Bukit Brown cementary getting one such session or did I miss it?

    This one is the most damaging as it projects or implied, rightly or wrongly, many of them r too eager to please a “boss” that is alive vs. one that is dead. Or they r just so insensitive that they could not wait till 3/7?

    E. will 3/7 session has “finality” as wished for by the Speaker of Parliament? Hardly as it is just one sided. It casts doubt on the usefulness of this session as lhl continues to make a bad choice to pursue this matter.

    F. the nation has many challenges n things to do instead of wasting on this supposedly private matter – surely this is just a small distraction n the ministers r, n can, still attend to those pressing national issues like counting the increased water revenue started on 1/7 right?

    G. defaming the PM n casting doubts on the integrity of the government – ok bring charges on lwl n lhy as any other person making such serious charges would hv been charged. There MUST NOT be wrong impression that the LEEs r above the laws.

    H. vote by the parliament to gazette the house or not – this will b the wrong forum n again shows that parliament will normally do whatever the BOSS want done. Not a good image to project.

    Whatever it is, the stage is all set now. Let’s watch the drama unfolds (any live telecast) n my scripts hv lhl shedding a few tear as it will b a very emotive experience.

    Peace to the LEEs.

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    It’s all about the $$$$$$. So much $$$$ involved, u think he & she cares any hoot about daddy n mummy’s wishes!!!! It’s about the $$$$$

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    It’s a sad situation but totally agree with you that you and your sister must fight for your parents and carry out their wishes with dignity and honour.

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    Most of the CPF issues have been changed so many times but through Singapore style legislation. Which is on surface, politically correctly executed? A process that is completely in the hands of the Govt that has absolute control to pass any law. The same applies to the demolition of LKY’s house. Use the Govt machinery to show the world that proper due processes were complied with. In short, politically correct decision.

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    Why not do scissors, paper, stone. Someone has to win and someone has to loose. Stop all the cat calling and be strong. The demolishing of the house will not occur now. Anything can happen in decades from now. It’s in the future. Life is so short. Forgive and ask for forgiveness.

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