Composition of 38 Oxley Road ministerial committee 'fundamentally flawed', says Lee Hsien Yang

Composition of 38 Oxley Road ministerial committee 'fundamentally flawed', says Lee Hsien Yang

38 Oxley Road. (Photo: Howard Law) 

SINGAPORE: The composition of the ministerial committee set up to consider the options for Lee Kuan Yew's Oxley Road house is "fundamentally flawed", the founding Prime Minister's youngest son Mr Lee Hsien Yang said on Saturday (Jun 17).

Responding to a statement in which Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean revealed that the committee members included Cabinet ministers who were responsible for heritage, land issues and urban planning, Mr Lee wrote in a Facebook post: "It is clear that a committee of one's subordinates should not be sitting arbitrating an issue related to their boss."

Mr Lee also singled out the inclusion of Law Minister K Shanmugam in the committee, saying it represented "a clear conflict of interest".

"We had expressed specific concerns on the possible membership of Shanmugam and his conflict of interest having advised Lee Kuan Yew and us on options to help achieve Lee Kuan Yew's wishes, and the drafting of the demolition wish," he wrote.

Mr Lee also posted a screengrab of an email from his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, to Mr Shanmugam, acknowledging a suggestion that the Law Minister had apparently made.

Mr Lee added that he and his sister had previously raised their concern over a possible conflict of interest in writing.

"We were brushed off by (National Development Minister) Lawrence Wong with 'Nothing you have stated precludes any member of the Cabinet from taking part in the Committee's work or its deliberations, with the exception of the Prime Minister'," he wrote. His elder brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has recused himself from all Government decisions to be taken on the house.

Mr Shanmugam hit back at Mr Lee Hsien Yang's suggestion, saying in a Facebook post it was "ridiculous" and that he was "well aware of the rules of conflict".

"I am sure most Singaporeans are sick and tired about these endless allegations, which are quite baseless," he added.

"The government has serious business to attend to relating to the welfare of Singaporeans."

On Sunday, Dr Lee commented on the inclusion of Mr Shanmugam on the ministerial committee as well. "His view on conflict of interests is absurd and unethical," she said, noting that he knows the late Mr Lee's "real wish and concerns" with regard to the house.