SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has apologised to Singaporeans over the dispute between him and his siblings over the house of their late father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, at 38 Oxley Road.
"I deeply regret that this dispute has affected Singapore’s reputation and Singaporeans’ confidence in the Government. As your Prime Minister, I apologise to you for this," PM Lee said in a statement on Monday (Jun 19).
"As the eldest of the siblings, it grieves me to think of the anguish that this would have caused our parents if they were still alive."
PM Lee has been locked in a dispute with his siblings over their childhood home, and the matter spilled into the public sphere last week when Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling issued a joint statement accusing their brother of abusing his powers in Government, saying they have "lost confidence" in him.
PM LEE TO REFUTE ALLEGATIONS IN PARLIAMENT
The Prime Minister said much as he would like to move on, the "baseless accusations" against the Government cannot be left unanswered, and must be dealt with openly.
He said he will refute the charges in a ministerial statement when Parliament sits on Jul 3, and that all Members of Parliament will have the opportunity to raise questions for themselves and their constituents.
"I have instructed that the PAP party whip be lifted. I urge all MPs, including the non-PAP MPs, to examine the issues thoroughly and question me and my Cabinet colleagues vigorously.
"I hope that this full, public airing in Parliament will dispel any doubts that have been planted and strengthen confidence in our institutions and our system of government," said PM Lee in his statement.
He also assured Singaporeans that the dispute will not distract him and his Cabinet from dealing with more important national issues such as the economic and security challenges facing Singapore.
"As public servants, my Ministers and I will always protect the integrity of our institutions, and uphold the strict standards separating private affairs from our public duties," said PM Lee.
"We are determined to repair the damage that has been done to Singapore. We will continue to lead our nation and serve you to the best of our ability."