Lee Wei Ling raps Shanmugam for view on conflict of interest

Wei Ling says it is 'absurd' that minister Shanmugam has no conflict of interest in Oxley house committee
The late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s Oxley Road residence. (Photo: Reuters)

Lee Wei Ling criticised Law Minister K Shanmugam after he said that he does not have a conflict of interest over his role in a Ministerial Committee exploring options for the Oxley Road house where the late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew lived.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (18 June), the late Lee’s daughter said about Shanmugam, “We were once very good friends and each had helped the other a great deal. Also Shan knows Pa’s real wish and concern as Pa consulted him when I invited Shan to Oxley.”

She called Shanmugam’s view on conflicts of interests “absurd”.

The children of Lee Kuan Yew, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, have been embroiled in a public spat over whether the family home at 38 Oxley Road should be demolished according to their father’s will.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean revealed on Saturday (17 June) that he chairs the Ministerial Committee, whose members also include Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong and Shanmugam.

Shanmugam, who is also Minister for Home Affairs, said on the same day, “I was already a Cabinet Minister when I spoke with some members of the Lee family – at their behest – and gave them my views. They were not my clients. Nothing that I said then precludes me from serving in this Committee.”

Shanmugam was responding to Lee Hsien Yang, Wei Ling’s younger brother, who had claimed in a Facebook post that Shanmugam’s presence in the committee represented a “clear conflict of interest”, given that the minister had advised Lee Kuan Yew, Hsien Yang and Wei Ling on aspects of the late Lee’s will related to his wishes for the house.

The law minister added that it was “ridiculous” to claim that he had a conflict of interest.

Earlier Sunday, Hsien Yang also made a Facebook post refuting Teo’s claim that there was “nothing secret” about the committee.

“We recommend that he look up the definition of ‘secret’ in a dictionary,” the post said.

Hsien Yang’s post also included a picture showing statements by the late Lee saying that he wanted the house to be demolished after his death.

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