SINGAPORE: The final will of late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew “specifically accepts and acknowledges that demolition may not take place”, said Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah.
In a Facebook post on Friday (Jun 23) titled “4 Things You Should Know about the Oxley Dispute”, Ms Indranee said Mr Lee “accepted that the house may not be demolished and in such case expressed his wishes on what should happen”. “Essentially he did not want the house to be open to the public," she wrote.
Ms Indranee said: “Much of the recent public discussion on this issue has been premised on the assumption that the 7th will only contemplates one outcome - demolition. But this is not the case.”
She cited the second part of the demolition clause in Mr Lee's will, which stated: “If our children are unable to demolish the house as a result of any changes in the laws, rules or regulations binding them, it is my wish that the house never be opened to others except my children, their families and descendants.”
Ms Indranee also explained why the dispute over the property at 38 Oxley Road is not purely a private matter but a matter of public interest, noting that the house is intertwined with the history of Singapore.
“It is the site where our founding fathers first came together and set Singapore on the path to its future destiny. It is where important and historical decisions were made that led to internal self-government, merger and eventually independence. The strategies to outflank the communists were developed there. It is where the People's Action Party was formed,” Ms Indranee wrote.
She reiterated that Prime Minister Lee has recused himself from taking part in any Government consideration or decisions regarding 38 Oxley Road and the house cannot be demolished now as the Government has said that it will not do anything to the house while PM Lee’s sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, is still living there.
Noted Ms Indranee: “Mr Lee Hsien Yang has said that: ‘My sister is living there and has every intention to live a long life.’”
There is therefore no need to make a decision on demolition now, she said.
“It may be decades before a definite decision needs to be taken.
"The Cabinet at that time will have to make the decision. Most of the current Cabinet Ministers are unlikely to be in Cabinet then.”