PM Lee claims to no longer have any interest in Oxley house, in ministerial statement

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered a ministerial speech on the 38 Oxley Road dispute, this afternoon. The statement made in parliament was a coordinated response intended to repudiate the bevy of allegations made by his younger siblings Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang who claim that their elder brother has abused his power as the PM in matters relating to their late father Lee Kuan Yew’s last willed desire to demolish their family home; that PM Lee and his wife Ho Ching harbour ambitions to build a “Lee family cult” and launch their son Hongyi into power; and that the PM used his influence to obtain a deed of gift between the younger siblings and the National Heritage Board.

Defending himself against these “baseless” accusations, PM Lee spoke about discussions on 38 Oxley Road both prior to and after Lee Kuan Yew’s passing and shared about where the matter stands today, besides clarifying why he brought the matter to Parliament instead of a court of law.

On Lee Kuan Yew’s desire for 38 Oxley Road

PM Lee suggested that the main bone of contention between his siblings and himself is that his siblings firmly believe that their father wanted to demolish the house without compromise, while he believes that while Lee Kuan desired for the house to be demolished, he was willing to consider alternatives if the Government decided against the demolition.

PM Lee reiterated that his father, who for many years desired to have their family home at 38 Oxley Road demolished after his passing, reconsidered his desire after public pushback in 2011.

Following this, PM Lee stated that his brother Lee Hsien Yang proposed that their father gift the property to Singapore, subject to the condition that the house be demolished and for a small public park to be built on the old premises instead.

PM Lee said that he offered another option that Lee Kuan Yew preferred, where the house is demolished, re-developed according to Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes and then sold off, with the proceeds going to charity.

The PM and his wife then apparently drew up plans to renovate the house and remove private spaces which Lee Kuan Yew accepted before telling the family in December 2011 that it was “best to redevelop 38 Oxley Road straightaway” without demolishing it after his death after he died. PM Lee stated that no one objected to these plans when he and Ho Ching proceeded to adhere to his father’s new instructions.

It is only when he discussed what to say about the house in Parliament, PM Lee claims, that Lee Hsien Yang objected to the plans that Mr Lee Kuan Yew had allegedly approved, as he wanted the house to be demolished immediately. Lee Hsien Yang and his wife Suet Fern are said to have vigorously objected to the PM reading Lee Kuan Yew’s willed view on what to do with the house if it is to be preserved.

Following Lee Kuan Yew’s death, PM Lee claims that he recused himself from all Government decisions relating to the house and divested himself of his childhood home.

Today, after the issue has blown up explosively in the public sphere, PM Lee stated that there is no longer anything for the siblings to dispute over as he no longer has an interest in the house since all the 3 siblings want is for their father’s personal desire of demolishing the house to be enforced.

On Harbouring Dynastic Ambitions for son Hongyi

PM Lee refuted allegations of nepotism, recalling that his son has publicly said that he is not interested in politics and that he will not push his son to join the political fray.

He also addresses concerns about his wife being CEO of Temasek holdings by pointing to her superiors – the Board of the organisation and shareholder, the Ministry of Finance: “If Ho Ching ever behaves improperly, I have no doubt that the Temasek Board, the President and CPA know what their duty is,” he said.

On the Deed of Gift to NHB

The PM also disagreed with Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang’s claims that he used his power to circumvent their authority as executors of Lee Kuan Yew’s estate by improperly obtaining a Deed of Gift that formalised his sibling’s donation of artefacts to the NHB.

On the contrary, PM Lee claimed that it was the siblings who improperly conducted themselves when they failed to consult him when they signed the Deed although he is entitled to be consulted as a beneficiary of his father’s estate.

On the “Secret” Ministerial Committee

Refuting allegations that he convened and secretly governs the Ministerial Committee that has been set up, PM Lee once again highlighted that the point is moot since he recused himself from all committee decisions:

“I had nothing to do with the decision to set up the Ministerial Committee. I do not give any instructions to the Ministerial Committee or its members. My only dealing with the Committee has been to respond to their requests in writing by formal correspondence, no different from my siblings’ dealings with the Committee.”

“This is the right and proper way to handle a conflict of interest,” he added.

On choosing Parliament as the forum to defend himself

In light of speculation that the PM deliberately chose an arena that is biased towards him, PM Lee claimed that Parliament was the proper setting to clear the air as the claims made against him have undermined Singaporeans’ confidence in the Government. As the most commanding minister in office under the constitution, PM Lee said that he had to promptly and publicly address the allegations in Parliament as he has “a duty to explain myself to MPs, and rebut in Parliament the allegations against me and my Government.”

He said that while he ordinarily would have sued for defamation as the claims against him cast doubts on the integrity of the whole Government, he did not do so in this case as he did not want to sully his parents’ name by taking his siblings to court: “…suing my own brother and sister in court would further besmirch my parents’ names. At the end of the day, we are brothers and sister, and we are all our parents’ children.”

“As the eldest son in the family, it is my duty to protect my parents’ and family’s reputation,” he said, “I did not expect that they would disregard the family’s reputation and air this matter in public, by making baseless allegations against me and the government. As the elder brother, I really don’t know what else I should or can do.”

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73 comments

  1. Alvin Peh says:

    Til this point whether he is interested in the house is not of our interest to know. Our interest at this point of time is allegations made against the PM for abuse of power, nepotism and corruption. PM lee, his wife and lucien wong

  2. Cha T Doc says:

    For Gods sake just give me the house. Its causing too much trouble in singapore and we have other issues to worry about. Im taking one for my country

  3. Sas Karma says:

    you have still brought SHAME to the country, there is nothing you can do now for SIngapore, except to step down and let someone else better to take over. STEP DOWN LAH!!!!

  4. John Ng says:

    Against old man’s Will are actually against and hurts hundred of thousands of his die hard supporters out there, and that will tear the party apart.
    After many days of brainstorm I guess someone might have suggested him to give up 38 Oxley for good.

  5. So can demolish immediately ? Or still the committee is controlling… Is the same thing.. He said no interest but his committee acting no ball will help him to find all excuse in disguise to preserve it.

  6. If both LHY and LWL want it in the courts. Then LHL you need to go to the court. It is very straightforward. Let the court and laws judged. There is no need to hide if one is not afraid of dark. By going to the court it also gave a fair judgement to Mr LKY’s will he made.

  7. Whether u hv a claim or not that’s not the issue. The issue is yr bro n sis publicly criticised that you have misuse yr power. How do you wanna do about this accusation, if any, cause the whole world had already known u as a dishonourable son n had misuse the powers vested on u.

  8. If he is no longer interested in Oxley Road why don’t he say so in the very beginning. Why waste your time? Why waste everyone’s time. It it a shame to admit you are wrong?

  9. The excuses are within the expected. We shall await the siblings response especially about his claims of LKY approved renovation plan. Not addressed are the insinuations in his statutory declarations

  10. Ace Chew says:

    expected of him to siam all responsibilities, dun sue but still convene a COI where his sibling can air their side of the story, now what is said is only your side of the story. unless the siblings come out with rebuttal else this case will be closed like all other cases, under the carpet again. did he answer why monkey finger is the appointed contact person in PMO? dun know how to answer or dun want to answer?

  11. Alan Chew says:

    Talk rubbish, PM, It’s bcos everything you secretly does have been blown out in public, you now says that you no longer have any interest in Oxley road.

  12. Kelmon Ng says:

    Let’s the demolition begins tomorrow and all problems solved.
    Concentrate your time on HDB lifts, MRT delays, Economy and Jobs .

  13. Indirect or unseen influence. Those who are in public service or listed companies are extremely competent in the application of unseen hands in corporate or public governance. Declaring you recluse or exclude yourself does NOT result in no influence. Seen it too often!

    1. Agree 100% ! Just the like of his own happening , old man did not initiate his getting into politic , now no difference with his own son , and even monkey finger dowager has no fault , his own kakis watch over her , lbh/hsk watches over her and everything shall be aok urh??? What a joke ???

  14. Ronnie Lim says:

    He has to create as “escape clause” to exit from such embarrassment la. If dig further, more worms will surface. He didn’t address the AG part leh? The real action will be from the siblings rebuttal. We will know later tonight.

  15. Realm Chua says:

    “The family matter is an emotional one, and it is not likely that it can be resolved fully… But still I hope someday there will be a reconciliation among the siblings. In the meantime, the national must come first. I must maintain the people’s trust in the government. I must assure them this remains an incorruptible, effective and impartial government – all keys to Singapore’s survival” – PM Lee

  16. Sk Tan says:

    Dunno what to do??? Haha… clown performing to retards???

    SUE…!!!! Since all are baseless accusations what are you waiting for???

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