While Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s views have been sought in his personal capacity, he has not been involved in the Cabinet’s discussions on the internal Ministerial Committee that is deliberating the fate of the house at 38 Oxley Road, said the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday (14 June).
“As (PM Lee) had previously stated, he has recused himself from all Government decisions concerning the House,” said Cabinet Secretary Tan Kee Yong , who noted that PM Lee is the late Lee Kuan Yew’s eldest son and a beneficiary of the estate. Tan also clarified that the committee was set up to consider the options for the house which once served as the late Lee’s residence.
“These included looking into various aspects, including the historical and heritage significance of the House, as well as to consider Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s thinking and wishes in relation to the House.”
In the early hours of Wednesday, PM Lee’s siblings Hsien Yang and Wei Ling issued a statement denouncing him and declaring that they had “no confidence” in the Prime Minister. PM Lee has denied his siblings’ allegations.
In reference to the Ministerial Committee, Hsien Yang and Wei Ling claimed that PM Lee had made “extensive representations” to it and “deliberately misrepresented Lee Kuan Yew’s clear intentions for his own political benefit”. They said their father had made it clear he wanted the residence to be demolished after his passing and that he was “a strong opponent of monuments”.
They added, “He (PM Lee) also sits in a direct position of power over the Committee comprised of his subordinate ministers, thus wielding considerable influence for any outcome he desires.
In response to the joint statement, the Cabinet Secretary said that the committee had sought feedback from all three of the Lee siblings about the late Lee Kuan Yew’s will and how it was prepared.
“In the course of its work, the Committee received representations from Mr Lee Hsien Loong on various facts and circumstances in relation to how Mr Lee’s Last Will was prepared…The Committee has also invited Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang to put their response by way of Statutory Declaration, as Mr Lee Hsien Loong had done.”
Tan noted that the committee had made clear to Wei Ling and Hsien Yang that “the Government has no intention of doing anything with the House as long as Dr Lee Wei Ling continues to reside there.
“The Committee will be listing out the different options with regard to the House and the implications. This will help a future Government when a decision needs to be taken about the House.”