Not another minister on the Will again!

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By Leong Sze Hian

The dispute over the House and the Will should have been kept private. It is regrettable that our ministers are getting involved in what should have been a private matter. The right forum should have been a court of law.

I refer to the article “Oxley Road dispute: Indranee asks Lee Hsien Yang who drafted the late Lee Kuan Yew’s final will” (Straits Times, Jun 25).

It states that “Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah on Saturday (June 24) called on Mr Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to identify the lawyer who drafted the final will of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

On Saturday, her focus was on the will. She said Mr Lee Hsien Yang has insisted that Ms Kwa Kim Li from Lee & Lee had drafted it. But the lawyer, who prepared the first six wills, has denied having a part in the final document.

He also said his wife and her law firm Stamford Law, now Morgan Lewis Stamford, did not prepare the will.

But PM Lee recounted in a statutory declaration that his sister-in-law said she had got lawyer Ng Joo Khin from her law firm to handle it, which Mr Ng has not refuted, said Ms Indranee.

Calling on Mr Lee Hsien Yang to shed light on the matter, she said it raises questions on whether the late Mr Lee had received independent advice.

“Under our law, the lawyer drafting a will is required to be independent. If the lawyer has an interest in the will, the lawyer must make sure the person making the will gets independent advice,” she added.

The late Mr Lee made seven wills between August 2011 and December 2013, changing some of the terms over the years.

He had left a larger share of his estate to his daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, in the sixth will, but in the seventh will, all three of his children got an equal share.

This means Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s share increased, said Ms Indranee, adding: “As Mrs Lee Suet Fern is his wife, if she prepared the seventh will, then the question which will arise is what independent advice (Mr Lee Kuan Yew) received?””

As to “this means Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s share increased” – does it mean that the other beneficiary’s share also increased?

If this is the case – since we are on the subject of “interest” or arguably, “conflict of interest” – does it mean that all the beneficiaries whose share increased, may arguably, also have an interest or possible conflict of interest?

Is it also possible that the Minister in making these remarks may also arguably, have a conflict of interest as she is subordinate to one of the beneficiaries and she reports directly to one of the Ministers on the ministerial committee?

Since the Minister is not on the ministerial committee or the cabinet – in what capacity is she making these remarks?

Since the Prime Minister has lifted the whip on his own party and said that Members of Parliament (MPs) can ask all their questions on 3 July in Parliament – why is the Minister making these remarks now?

In this connection, I would like to requote what Mr Han Fook Kwang, former editor of the Straits Times wrote – “First, it is a valid question to ask how involved ministers should be on this issue. The only matter that concerns the Government is whether to preserve 38, Oxley Road, which it has the right to do under the Preservation of Monuments Act. Any other issue, including how the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew decided on his will and who his lawyers were, has nothing to do with the Government, or with you and me, least of all a committee of ministers.

Was it wise or necessary for ministers to be involved in such matters as Mr Lee’s will, which are difficult to ascertain? Should they not have confined themselves to deciding only on what to do with the house – demolish, preserve or some intermediate option?

In retrospect, ministers should have stayed clear of the dispute over the will. They should have told PM Lee: As the eldest child, please resolve the matter with your siblings. Do not involve us. We expect you to solve it, hopefully amicably. Involving the Government risks harming its good name and that of its ministers” (“Three key issues in the Lee v Lee saga“, Straits Times, Jun 21).

For the sake of Singapore, may I suggest that the Minister heed Mr Han Fook Kwang’s above remarks.

Mr Han also said “The family feud among the Lees is extremely damaging to Singapore” – the Minister should not arguably, add to the damage to Singapore as we are already the laughing stock of the world – let’s not continue to contribute to making us into the greatest laughing stock in the history of the world!

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82 comments

  1. In fact, the question should be ‘are the ministers or PAP MP’ not beholding to the head of government…? In fact, LKY raised the word ‘beholding’ many times.. in his career. Unless LHL assert that LKY is of diminished mental capability to read n sign his Will or to understand prevailing laws on Will. Secondly, Suet Fen, is an accomplished lawyer and I, a layman, knows that Will or all contracts, it must be drafted by an independent party or non-related/interested party. Singaporeans are NOT born this morning but last nite!

  2. absolutely. why are ministers being so kapoj…. do they come to the aid of their constituents in such matters? no. so stop taking sides in a family matter that is NOT your family.

  3. I think all minister please stop posting let the family settle it them self , all of the minister making the thing worse , worse thing all minister let the reader or Singaporean u r siding your boss not the true, true only family members know , all MP stop it

  4. Raymond Ng says:

    In private sector, we know all these are talkers but not doers. They have bunch of reasoning and logic but when comes to solution. They will push everything to others

  5. Neo Max says:

    To the PAP MP n ministers, answer to your conscience. Clearly, the wishes of LKY is clear , to demolish (period). But , why do we end up here like this? just because PM want to go against LKY wish, but do not want to lose political capital resulting from it? Ask yourself truthfully n to your children.

  6. Gary Ng says:

    Looks like our PM is incapable of handling the disputes himself and have to use his ministers to help him..sigh, no wonder our country so screw up..

  7. Neo Max says:

    Can Singaporeans with common sense ask these ministers to stop and LHL to put his challenge in court, instead of dragging S’pore govt reputation down by compelling its ministers to support LHL through such public declarations??

  8. Neo Max says:

    Please challenge the validity of will in court, where both sides can present its case, instead of ministers casting its doubts n trying to sway public opinion through its control of mainstream media.

  9. As the whole world watches the situation is getting dim. The remaining Ministers who have yet to contribute to Lee’s defence have no choice. Throw in the last dice or go down with him.

  10. Leo LB says:

    Really, they should not even be involved at all. Anything for that matter should be settled in Court and not Parliament for goodness sake

  11. Ronald Lim says:

    Since the ministers have openly voiced their view, how about allowing the people to do likewise, through a referendum! Of course they dare not! They don’t have the guts to do it. IF they dare, just do it! Let the people have their say! Instead, they will hide behind committees et al, and pronounce whatever their boss wants them to! Uniquely Singaporean democracy. Laughing stock of the world – democratic, communist, socialist, authoritarian, dictatorial or monarchy. Damn shameful.

  12. By involving the Ministerial Committee, and with Ministers taking side; the credibility of whole Govt got dragged down … next, they will have to make use of the 70% “daft” Singaporeans to prop it up … lol.

    1. Dilys Tan says:

      These ppl are making a simple instruction becoming more complicated and confusing. Crazy. That’s their tricks maybe! Just imagine a gang with power & their 70% as backup vs 2 non political players, it’s quite similar to City Harvest Church vs Roland Poon some 12 or 13 years ago…. vvvv tough! But we are more concerned over the abused of power allegations!

  13. This herd of ministers and ministers of state are just like animals with small and simple brains. They do and talk as they are bred, told and trained to by the corrupt master. They cannot see and think beyond their brain capacity.

  14. Sas Karma says:

    So many Kaypoh and busybodies in pap. All of them should just Shut Up and focus on their own jobs, thats what we pay them for – to improve the Nation, Economy, standard of living and citizens lives! All the bloody kaypohs!

    1. Lim LG says:

      CAN YOU ALL REMEMBER HER ANOTHER CRONY OF TG PAGAR GRC, CHAN CHUN SENG, WHO HAD TVE TIME TO DIG OPPO PARTY’S INTERNAL AFFAIRS WHEN CHAN CS WAS THEN DEPUTY SOCIAL WELFARE MINISTER??

      AND YET DURING 2013 NATL DAY RALLY SPEECH, LHL PROMOTED CHAN CS TO FULL FLEDGED SOCIAL WELFARE MINISTER, WHEN ONE WEEK BEFORE THE RALLY SPEECH, CH 8 FEATURED A CHARITY SHOW WHERE ONE FAMILY OF 4 HAD NO FOOD, NO SHELTER AND WERE SLEEPING AT VOID DECK.

      THESE CRONIES ARE PAID SO MUCH TO POKE INTO OTHERS’ AFFAIRS I/O DOING THEIR RESPECTIVE MINISTERS’ JOBS AND DUTIES WELL.

  15. Ah Soh says:

    So far not less than 3 ministers had spoken for LHL. I think many are still waiting for one to speak for LWL & LHY. Where is he/she?

  16. Changes of LKY’s Will on the Demolition of house:

    Ver 1 – Demolish house (drafted by KKL)
    Ver 2 – Demolish house (drafted by KKL)
    Ver 3 – Demolish house (drafted by KKL)
    Ver 4 – Demolish house (drafted by KKL)
    Ver 5 – ̶D̶e̶m̶o̶l̶i̶s̶h̶ ̶h̶o̶u̶s̶e̶ (drafted by KKL)
    Ver 6 – ̶D̶e̶m̶o̶l̶i̶s̶h̶ ̶h̶o̶u̶s̶e̶ (drafted by KKL)
    Ver 7 – (Reverted to Ver 1, with Demolition clause re-drafted by LSF)

    Note:
    LKY appointed LHY & LWL as executors & trustees, but not LHL.
    LHL learnt about the content (Ver 7) only in Apr-2015 (after LKY’s death).
    LHL now casts doubts on the validity of last (Ver 7) will.
    LSF denies drafting the last (Ver 7) will (because only inserted a clause?).
    KKL denies drafting the last (Ver 7) will (because it’s recycling Ver 1?).

    Questions:
    WHO deleted that Demolition clause?
    Under WHOSE instruction?

    A summary of FamiLEE Saga:

    Late Lee Kuan Yew wanted to demolish;
    Late Kwa Gek Choo wanted to demolish;
    Lee Hsien Yang wants to demolish;
    Lee Wei Ling wants to demolish;
    People (77% – poll in 2015) agreed to demolish;
    Lee Hsien Loong pretended to want to demolish;

    LKY & KGC passed away.

    Only then, Lee Hsien Loong had his subordinates formed a committee to demolish the demolish-clause, in guise of preserving heritage.

    Reason:

    A demigod needs a physical temple for devotees to worship. It’ll come in handy and very very helpful during General Elections. Proven in GE2015.

    Because, Lee Hsien Loong doesn’t have enough credit of his own.

  17. IS LHY RESISTING PRESERVATION FOR MONETARY BENEFITS?

    Taking a POSITION OF INTEGRITY

    PM Lee Hsien Loong’s long held position on 38 Oxley Road is that “it is not tenable for the family to retain proceeds from any dealing with 38 Oxley Road, as it would look like the family is opposing acquisition and preservation of the House for monetary reasons.”

    This is the position he also conveyed to the Lee family. A refusal to reap monetary benefits from the significance of 38 Oxley Road to Singapore is a position of integrity.

    LHY IS NOT HAPPY WITH THIS POSITION HELD BY LHL.

    In line with his position, PM Lee made a first offer to transfer 38 Oxley Road (which was bequeathed to him) to his sister LEE WEI LING for a nominal $1 on the condition that should the property be transacted later or acquired by the Government, all proceeds would go to charity.

    This offer was rejected.

    In another bid to resolve the dispute, he then made a second offer to sell the house to LHY at reasonable market value on condition that they each donate an amount equivalent to half of that value to charity.

    This ensures 100% of the proceeds went to charity.

    On his part, PM Lee donated not just 50% but all of the money he received from selling the house to LHY. This is in line with his position that he will not retain any money from the sale of 38 Oxley Road.

    IS LHY RESISTING PRESERVATION FOR MONETARY BENEFITS? LHY CAN HELP DISPEL ANY IDEA BY REVEALING HIS PLANS FOR 30 OXLEY ROAD.

    1. Irene Chong he is he n me is me. Did I says I own anything on fb? I have my right to ask ppl to shut up bcos I don’t like ppl come n tell me this n that. I’m not a young woman cos I’m already LHL generation. I like to use this word shut up can or not? Why must I see LKY interview? My father n LKY are good friends from same old school n also PAP members. We know what he says n what he want n we trusted LHL bcos we know him well. His father trusted him so much cos before he die he verbally says he will leave his house, his younger children n Singapore to LHL bcos he know LHL will look after them well n says that he’s happy with LHL. LHL siblings their interest is all about property n $. He will regret it one day for destroying his older brother, PAP n the government. He also put Singapore into shame! This are family matters he’s not allow to destroy his older brother, his job as a PM for Singapore, PAP n the government. Shame!

    2. Gbee G Chen go and listen to all the relevant interviews given by LKY, some are even posted on YouTube. Can you not be civil when you want to argue on Facebook?

    3. Irene Chong u go to LKY grave ask him by yourself! LKY last will secretly done by who n is suspected something is wrong. If u want to know better go to his grave ask him if not then u better shut up!

    4. Didn’t LKY himself say that demolishing his house will add value to his neighbours who can then sell theirs to Developers and of course he expected likewise for No. 38. So why are people attributing this idea to LHY and creating rumours that he has some ulterior motive?

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