PM Lee not involved in ministerial committee discussions on Lee Kuan Yew’s Oxley Road house

PM Lee not involved in ministerial committee discussions on Lee Kuan Yew’s Oxley Road house

A man walks past the house of Singapore's late founding father Lee Kuan Yew at Oxley Rise in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has not been involved in discussions by an internal ministerial committee set up by the Cabinet concerning the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s home at 38 Oxley Road, Cabinet Secretary Tan Kee Yong said on Wednesday (Jun 14).

The committee was set up to consider the options for the house and the implications of those options, he said in a statement. 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.

Mr Tan said as part of the committee’s work, it sought the views of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s children, Prime Minister Lee, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang to ask if they wished to say anything about the late Mr Lee’s thinking in respect of the Oxley Road home, beyond what has already been stated in public.

“Mr Lee Hsien Loong’s views were sought in his personal capacity, given his position as Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s eldest son and his interest as a beneficiary of the estate,” Mr Tan said.

Prime Minister Lee had earlier said in Parliament that he intended to fulfil his father’s wishes to have the house demolished after Dr Lee Wei Ling moves out, and the Prime Minister said he would recuse himself from any Government decision made on the house.

Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang said in a statement released early Wednesday that PM Lee is against demolition of the house, alleging that he has an incentive to preserve the house “to inherit (Lee Kuan Yew’s) credibility”.

Mr Tan said in his statement that the committee has made clear to Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang in response to a query from them, 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 list out the different options with regard to the house and the implications, Mr Tan said. “This will help a future Government when a decision needs to be taken about the house.”

Mr Tan said the ministerial committee had asked Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang on how Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s last will was prepared, and the role that Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s wife, Mrs Lee Suet Fern and lawyers from her legal firm played in preparing that will.

Both Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang had been invited to put their response by way of statutory declaration as Mr Lee Hsien Loong did.

Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang have not responded to date and have indicated that if they respond at all, they will only be able to reply at the earliest by the end of June, Mr Tan said.

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