Questions emerge on who wrote Lee Kuan Yew's last will

Questions emerge on who wrote Lee Kuan Yew's last will

38 Oxley Road. (Photo: Howard Law)

SINGAPORE: Amid a growing dispute between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling over their late father’s Oxley Road home, questions are emerging as to who exactly prepared the final will of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Ms Kwa Kim Li of law firm Lee & Lee on Friday (Jun 16) stated that she did not prepare the late Mr Lee's last will, contrary to his youngest son Lee Hsien Yang's earlier claim that she had.

In reply to a query from Channel NewsAsia, Ms Kwa stated: "No, I did not prepare the last will".

The younger Mr Lee was responding to "grave concerns" raised by PM Lee about how their father's last will was prepared – in particular, the removal and subsequent re-insertion of a clause stating the late Mr Lee's wish that his house at 38 Oxley Road be demolished after his death.

In the statutory declaration he made to a ministerial committee tasked to consider the future of the house, PM Lee also raised concern over the potential conflict of interest in his sister-in-law Mrs Lee Suet Fern's role in helping prepare the final will, noting that her husband Mr Lee Hsien Yang, stood to gain from it.

The late Mr Lee had earlier given his only daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, an extra share in his estate, but in his final will, reverted to giving each of his children equal shares.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang subsequently said that Mrs Lee's firm, Stamford Law, did not draft any of his father's wills, and that the late Mr Lee's last will was instead drafted by Ms Kwa, who had also prepared his previous wills.

FINAL WILL WAS SIMPLY THE FIRST WILL RE-EXECUTED: LEE HSIEN YANG

Shortly after Ms Kwa denied preparing the final will, Mr Lee Hsien Yang responded with a Facebook post saying that his father's final will was "simply Lee Kuan Yew's first will of 20 August 2011 re-executed on his instructions".

He pointed to a Dec 16, 2013 email from his sister Dr Lee to him in which she stated "Papa says go back to 2011 will".

Mr Lee also cited a letter from PM Lee to the Cabinet, in which the Prime Minister stated that the 2011 will had been prepared by Ms Kwa, and the demolition clause drafted by his sister-in-law, Mrs Lee Suet Fern.

He said the two Stamford Law lawyers who had witnessed the late Mr Lee's signing of his last will were called upon "simply because Kwa Kim Li was not contactable", adding that their role "was purely one of attestation".

The final will was given to Ms Kwa for safekeeping, he said.

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