'No mystery' as to why ministerial committee was set up over 38 Oxley Road issue: Tharman

(PHOTO: Reuters)

Ministerial committees are a means of ensuring that important issues are given “in-depth attention”, and is a practice that started many years ago, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Thursday (22 June).

“I have to say there is no mystery as to why a ministerial committee was set up to look into the options for 38 Oxley Road. DPM Teo, who chairs Cabinet on matters to do with the house, has explained straightforwardly why he set it up.”

In a Facebook post, Tharman noted that there are ministerial committees on a whole range of issues, some of which may sit for years, and that he chairs several of them. “They help us think through difficult choices in Government before they come to Cabinet, and to canvas views outside when appropriate,” he said.

“So have confidence, no matter today’s sad dispute. We have a system of governance that Lee Kuan Yew and his team built, and it isn’t going away. You can count on PM Lee Hsien Loong and all of us in his team for that,” he added.

Tharman is the latest senior politician to weigh in on the Lee family feud. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong have all commented on the saga in recent weeks.

The children of late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew have been embroiled in a public spat over the fate of the Oxley Road house. PM Lee’s younger siblings have accused him of abusing his power in looking to prevent the house from being demolished as per the late Lee’s final will.

PM Lee apologised to Singaporeans on Monday (19 June) for the family feud that has “disturbed and confused” Singaporeans and said he would be making a Ministerial Statement in Parliament on 3 July to refute the allegations against him.

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