PM Lee's siblings need to show more proof of allegations, say 4 in 10 Singaporeans: survey

Lee Hsien Yang (right), younger brother of Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, leaves the Supreme court on April 10, 2017. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN
Lee Hsien Yang. (Photo: AFP)

The siblings of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong need to provide more proof to support their allegations that their older brother abused his power in regard to their family home before most Singaporeans can make up their minds about the claims, a survey by Blackbox Research showed.

Conducted online from 27-29 June this year, the poll of 949 Singaporeans showed that, when asked about their thinking on the abuse of power allegations, 40 per cent wanted more proof, 20 per cent believed they were more than likely to be true, while 15 per cent felt they were likely to be false.

Another 15 per cent found the issue “very confusing”, while the remaining 11 per cent said they didn’t care.

The controversy erupted on 14 June, after Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang issued a statement of “no confidence” in their brother, accusing him of pursuing a personal agenda with regards to the 38 Oxley Road home of their late father, Lee Kuan Yew.

PM Lee has denied the allegations and apologised that the family feud has affected Singapore.

According to Blackbox’s survey, over half of the respondents believed the dispute would hurt Singapore’s international image’s “a little”, while 32 per cent thought it would hurt “a lot”.

Best forum?

When polled about the best forum to settle the dispute over the future of the house at 38 Oxley Road, the respondents were divided. Only 12 per cent agreed that the special ministerial committee that is currently looking at the issue was the most appropriate one.

Most of the respondents – 23 per cent – felt that a new independent inquiry was required, while 22 per cent believed that taking the issue to the courts was the best way forward.

PM Lee is set to address the issue in a parliamentary sitting on Monday (3 July), having said that the “baseless accusations” brought against him by his siblings cannot be left unanswered.

As head of the ministerial committee, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will also be making a statement in Parliament.

Should the house be demolished?

When asked whether the Lee family home on 38 Oxley Road should be demolished, 49 per cent of the Singaporeans polled felt that it should be, compared to just 27 per cent who felt that the house should be kept intact.

Only 18 per cent believed that Lee Kuan Yew had changed his mind on demolishing the house, while more than half believed that Lee Kuan Yew wanted it to be demolished.

However, if a court of law were to confirm that the last will made by Lee Kuan Yew was done when he was of sound mind and without undue influence or pressure, a huge majority – 88 per cent – of the respondents felt that the government should respect the request and demolish the house.

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