SINGAPORE: Mdm Ho Ching was “never authorised” to remove the personal belongings of Mr Lee Kuan Yew from his home, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said on Saturday (Jun 24).
The youngest son of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was responding to a note on Facebook by Mdm Ho, the wife of his brother and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, on the circumstances under which the elder Mr Lee’s belongings were loaned to the National Heritage Board (NHB) for a memorial exhibition.
Mdm Ho had explained that she was tidying up the house after Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s death when she came across "small interesting items which (she) thought were significant in papa’s life". She also said that she kept both Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his sister Dr Lee Wei Ling informed on what she had done, including the loan of the items to NHB.
PM Lee also said on Friday that the loan to NHB was “openly done, and for a good cause – an exhibition remembering my father soon after he died”.
But in a Facebook post on Saturday, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said that he and Dr Lee – the executors of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s estate – had not authorised Mdm Ho to lend the items to NHB.
“The estate's residual items fall under the executors of our father's estate (which neither Ho Ching nor Hsien Loong were for any of the seven drafts of the will) - not the beneficiaries or the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office),” he wrote.
“The executors of LKY's estate never authorised Ho Ching to remove the items she admits to removing. Informing the executors after the fact does not give her the right to intermeddle.”
He also questioned again why Mdm Ho was acting on behalf of the PMO, despite having no official position.
“Moreover, the personal items do not belong to the PMO and are not theirs to loan. This oversteps the legal rights of the PMO,” he added.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang also said that he and his sister “do not object in principle” to lending Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s personal effects to the NHB.
“Indeed, we gave many of our father's personal items to the NHB to exhibit – a gift that the NHB tried to return after 'someone senior' ordered them to unwind the gift.”
On Friday, he alleged on Facebook that the Oxley Road house’s component of the memorial exhibition for Mr Lee Kuan Yew did not go ahead, despite NHB CEO Rosa Daniel signing an agreement to terms of the Deed of Gift of items for display at the National Museum.