SINGAPORE: Local website The Online Citizen (TOC) apologised to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (Nov 13) for saying that he intended to sue publisher Epigram Books over a children's book entitled The Phantom of Oxley Castle.
"TOC apologises unreservedly to Mr Lee Hsien Loong for stating that he intended to sue the publishers and authors of the book for defamation," it said in an article outlining its account of what happened.
TOC posted on Facebook on Sunday that Epigram and the authors of the book, Chloe Tong and Liana Gurung, had been "notified that PM Lee will be suing them for defamation".
However, Epigram Books said on Monday it did not receive "any letter of any kind from PMO (Prime Minister's Office) or any individuals".
TOC also gave an explanation of why it published its Facebook post on Sunday, concluding: "We stand by the fact that we were informed by the Publishers of possible legal action that would come their way today (Nov 13). Our information and source were deemed accurate and credible at the material time."
Epigram described the picture book as "a fairy tale of two princes and a princess living in Oxley Castle with their pesky butler OB Markus. One night, the children hear a strange ghostly noise coming from the dungeon and decide to investigate". The castle in the story has 38 rooms and is located on a "tiny tropical island".
Earlier this year, a dispute between PM Lee and his siblings, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling, about their family home at 38, Oxley Road led to a Parliament session to address accusations made by the siblings against Mr Lee.