'We are not making a criticism of the Government': Lee Hsien Yang responds to 38 Oxley Road Parliament debate

'We are not making a criticism of the Government': Lee Hsien Yang responds to 38 Oxley Road Parliament debate

LKY 38 Oxley Road
38 Oxley Road. (Photo: Howard Law) 

SINGAPORE: The dispute over the 38 Oxley Road house would have remained a private family matter, had Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong not used Government agencies and a "secret" ministerial committee to "force his way," said his brother Lee Hsien Yang on Wednesday (Jul 5). 

"Sadly, it is Lee Hsien Loong who has dragged the Government into a personal dispute," the younger Mr Lee wrote on Facebook, a day after Parliament concluded a two-day debate over allegations of PM Lee misusing his power to deal with the dispute.

During the Parliamentary debate on Tuesday, former prime minister Goh Chok Tong questioned if the Lee siblings were waging a personal vendetta without considering the damage done to Singapore's reputation.

In response, Mr Lee said: "We are not making a criticism of the Government of Singapore, as we made clear from the beginning. What we have said is that we are disturbed by the character, conduct, motives and leadership of our brother, Lee Hsien Loong."

He added: "The PM should abide by the same high standards that are expected of even junior civil servants. To show evidence that he has failed to meet these standards, is not to attack the Singapore system, but to preserve it."

Mr Lee again accused his brother of using his position as Prime Minister to drive his personal agenda, and said he and his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, "felt threatened" by PM Lee after the death of their father, Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

The dispute largely surrounds the future of the late Mr Lee's house at 38 Oxley Road, and whether it should be demolished as stated in his last will.

"Our father’s legacy is more than bricks and mortar," Mr Lee wrote. "He made sure that all Government officials acted with justice and integrity. He accepted nothing less than incorruptibility, especially for the very top. Singapore can yet live up to his legacy."

PM Lee on Tuesday said the two days of debates in Parliament have shown that he and the Government acted properly and with due process, as no MPs have alleged any additional facts or charges, or substantiated any of the allegations.

He also expressed regret over the family spat and said he hopes for reconciliation with his siblings.

“I hope that one day, these passions will subside, and we can begin to reconcile ... At the very least, I hope that my siblings will not visit their resentments and grievances with one generation upon the next generation. And further, that they do not transmit their enmities and feuds to our children.”

Source: CNA/gs