Driver being investigated over videos taken of PM Lee's eldest son

Nicholas Yong
Assistant News Editor
The videos in question were circulated over WhatsApp and posted on Facebook over the weekend. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

A police report had been made over video recordings taken of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s eldest son, Li Yipeng, while the latter was inside a private car driven by a 31-year-old Singaporean man.

“In the videos, the man who had offered and given Mr Li Yipeng a ride, was heard asking Mr Li repeatedly to confirm his identity, his residential address and the security arrangements for him,” said the police in a statement on Sunday (17 March).

The statement also said that the man had offered Li – who has Asperger syndrome – a ride and that the videos were taken without Li’s knowledge or permission.

Given Li’s background, the police said they are looking into the matter with the driver’s assistance as the nature of the questions “raises serious security concerns”.

The police are also looking into a photo of a Facebook post allegedly made by PM Lee about the incident. The photo’s contents have been established to be fake and a 39-year-old man is assisting the police in their investigation into the matter.

Driver has criminal record

In a separate statement, police also said that the driver had been previously convicted of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent in 2014.

Yahoo News Singapore understands that the man was also previously given a warning for theft and had a police report lodged against him for criminal intimidation at some point.

Nosy questions

The videos in question were circulated over WhatsApp and posted on Facebook over the weekend.

In one 54-second clip, the driver can be seen adjusting a camera to focus on his passenger.

He then questions him as to his name and destination. “So your dad is the Prime Minister of Singapore? You don’t have a driver with you?” the driver is heard saying.

In another clip, the 36-year-old Li is heard telling the driver, “I don’t feel comfortable telling you about my current home life… I just don’t think it’s appropriate.”

PM Lee’s press secretary responds

In response to media queries, Lee’s press secretary Chang Li Lin said that the prime minister is aware of the incident, the videos and the fake Facebook post.

“It is of concern that a vulnerable person can be taken advantage of like this. Yipeng happens to be PM’s son, but many other vulnerable persons go about Singapore on their own, and they must be able to do so safely, without being taken advantage of or harassed and without their privacy being breached,” said Chang.

She added that Lee would offer no further comment on the matter as it is under police investigation and conveyed this thanks to members of the public who have expressed concern over the incident.

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