SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his brother Lee Hsien Yang will each donate half the value of the Oxley Road house of their father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, to charities named in the obituary notice, the Prime Minister announced on Facebook on Friday (Dec 4). Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away on March 23 this year.
The eight charities are:
- Education Fund
- NTUC-U Care Fund
- Garden City Fund
- Association of Muslim Professionals
- Eurasian Association
PM Lee added that he will recuse himself from any Government decision made on the house.
"To honour the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Lee Hsien Yang have each agreed to donate half the value of 38 Oxley Road to the charities named in the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's obituary notice," wrote PM Lee.
"Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang would like to honour the wish of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew that the house at 38 Oxley Road be demolished after Dr Lee Wei Ling ceases to live in it.
"Mr Lee Hsien Loong has recused himself from all government decisions involving 38 Oxley Road and, in his personal capacity, would also like to see this wish honoured."
"Speaking as the children of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang hope the government will allow the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's wish for the demolition of the house to be honoured and that all Singaporeans will support their cause."
Mr Lee Kuan Yew wrote in paragraph 7 of his will: “I further declare that it is my wish, and the wish of my late wife, KWA GEOK CHOO, that our house at 38 Oxley Road, Singapore 238629 (‘the House’) be demolished immediately after my death or, if my daughter, Wei Ling, would prefer to continue living in the original house, immediately after she moves out of the House. I would ask each of my children to ensure our wishes with respect to the demolition of the House be carried out. If our children are unable to demolish the House as a result of any changes in the law, rules or regulations binding them, it is my wish that the House never be opened to others except my children, their families and descendants. My view on this has been made public before and remains unchanged. My statement of wishes in this paragraph 7 may be publicly disclosed notwithstanding that the rest of my Will is private.”
In Parliament in April, PM Lee had said: "If and when Dr Lee Wei Ling no longer lives in the house, Mr Lee has stated his wishes as to what then should be done. At that point, speaking as a son, I would like to see these wishes carried out. However, it will be up to the Government of the day to consider the matter.”
The Prime Minister had also asked Esplanade Chairman Lee Tzu Yang to chair a committee to gather views from the public and conceptualise a memorial for Singapore’s founding fathers.
“A founder’s memorial need not be a grand structure, but it must stand for our ideals, our values, our hopes and aspirations,” said PM Lee in Parliament in April. “It must belong to all Singaporeans and mean something significant to us all. It should be a place where we and future generations can remember a key period in our history, reflect on the ideals of our founding fathers, and pledge to continue their work of nation building.”
"I have therefore asked Mr Lee Tzu Yang to chair a committee to gather views from the public, and conceptualise such a memorial for our founding fathers,” he added. “He has agreed to do so and if the idea of a Founders’ Memorial finds resonance among Singaporeans, the committee will take the project further.”
The 15-member committee first met in June, and said that a memorial for Singapore's founding generation of leaders should focus on the values and ideals that shaped the nation, and inspire a next generation.