Singapore will not be dragged down by Lee family's 'petty disputes': ESM Goh

Singapore will not be dragged down by Lee family's 'petty disputes': ESM Goh

Goh Chok Tong file
File photo of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. (Photo: AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi)

SINGAPORE: Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has weighed in on a growing dispute between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings over their late father's Oxley Road home.

"Singapore has prevailed through crises and adversity. We are a hardy people, built our family and nation from humble beginnings. What is happening in public between Lee Kuan Yew's children is not us and should not be allowed to define who we are," he wrote on Facebook on Friday evening (Jun 16).

"We are bigger than our troubles, stronger than our differences. Whatever damage Singapore may suffer, willfully inflicted or otherwise, I know Singaporeans will not lay meek. We will not be dragged down by a family's petty disputes," Mr Goh said.

"We will always look forward, to fight real battles and create a better future for ourselves and our children."

The dispute saw PM Lee's two siblings make a series of allegations against their elder brother, claiming that he opposed their father's wish to demolish the house, and that he had an incentive to preserve the house "to inherit (Lee Kuan Yew’s) credibility".

The allegations led PM Lee to make public the statutory declaration he had submitted to an internal ministerial committee that was set up to consider the future of the late Mr Lee's house.

In it, he expressed "grave concerns" about the way in which Mr Lee's last will was made - in particular, the removal and subsequent re-insertion of a clause stating the late Mr Lee's wish that his house be demolished after his death.

In response, his younger brother, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, said that their father's last will was "final and legally binding" and that PM Lee had "raised no legal challenge to Lee Kuan Yew's will in the many months after it was read".

PM Lee has said that he would consider the matter further after he returns from his leave this weekend.