Lee Hsien Yang explains why he made 38 Oxley Road dispute public

Lee Hsien Yang explains why he made 38 Oxley Road dispute public

30 oxley road afp
File photo of 38 Oxley Road. (Photo: Toh Ting Wei/AFP)

SINGAPORE: Mr Lee Hsien Yang explained on Saturday (Jul 1) why he and his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, went public with a dispute regarding their late father's house at 38 Oxley Road.

In a post on Facebook, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's brother said the reason the siblings felt compelled to "bring these issues before the people of Singapore" was that they were "pushed by (PM Lee)'s secret Cabinet committee".

"As we sought to remind the people of Singapore of our father’s last wish, we encountered opposition every step of the way. It became clear that we faced a vast and coordinated effort by Hsien Loong against us. He did not want our father’s wishes remembered or carried out; he wished to rewrite history to claim that Lee Kuan Yew ‘accepted’ the preservation of his house. Hsien Loong was ready to use his power and influence to thwart our father’s wishes, to meet Hsien Loong’s and Ho Ching’s personal political agenda."

Mr Lee Hsien Yang also reiterated that his parents' view on demolition of their house was unwavering.

"I know what they wanted, and as executors of our father’s will, my sister and I have a legal duty to carry out his wishes, instead of allowing them to be perverted by sophistry and machinations. It was a difficult decision, but we were pushed into a corner. We have to stand up and fight for our parents even if it means bringing things into the public sphere as a last resort."

In the post, Mr Lee Hsien Yang also said he had no inclination to take steps to redevelop the family's Oxley Road house into a condominium.

 "It has been insinuated that I seek to redevelop the Oxley Road house into a condominium for financial profit after buying it at 150 per cent market price.

"Beyond zero certainty on timing and the ability to demolish, this requires both rezoning by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and cooperation with the neighbors. I have no inclination to seek either of these. Preservation of the house would be trampling on Lee Kuan Yew’s values, and it would be an affront to these same values to develop a luxury 'LKY' condominium," he stated.

The dispute between the siblings spilled over into the public sphere on Jun 14, when Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee said in a six-page statement that they "felt threatened" by PM Lee’s use of his position and influence over the Singapore Government and its agencies to "drive his personal agenda” since their father died on Mar 23, 2015. They also accused him of wanting to demolish 38 Oxley Road against the wishes of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, their father.

PM Lee has rejected his siblings' allegations and promised to deal with the "baseless accusations" against the Government when Parliament sits on Monday. He has previously stated that he has recused himself from Government decisions on the house and that he personally wished to respect his late father's demolition wish.

Source: CNA/mz