Over the last two days, Members of Parliament expressed the consternation and frustration of Singaporeans who have been subject to a drip-feed of sweeping allegations against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong via a Facebook campaign run by his embittered siblings. Serious accusations were made of abuses of power by him and his wife, as well as various other state agencies.
Yet, these broad allegations were never backed up with specific charges that could be investigated or substantiated with proper evidence that could be scrutinised and tested for veracity. Instead, what was offered were snatches of e-mail, recollections and bare assertions. The accusers neither presented a dossier of complete documents nor made themselves available for questioning by the media or the authorities which might look into their charges. So, many questions remain, as more heat was generated than light. For instance, up till now, everyone has been left wondering just who had drafted the final will of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
After weeks of hearing claims and counter-claims, citizens looked to the House for some answers and resolution. What has emerged after two days of debate is some clarity on Mr Lee Kuan Yew's deliberations on what ought to be done about his home at 38, Oxley Road, after his death. He had spoken often of his wish to demolish the building, but had also considered other options if his wishes were overridden by the government of the day. PM Lee and Cabinet ministers presented accounts of official discussions related to the fate of the house. MPs raised questions and these were answered. Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong made a notable intervention when he put his reputation on the line and asserted that, having heard all that he had heard, he remained fully confident in the PM and his team. His call for an end to the family feud, if only so that the country might return to more important matters of state - a wish most Singaporeans share - alas, appears to have gone unheard. Within hours of the session, more Facebook posts were flying, with new allegations being made. So while the debate in Parliament was helpful in clarifying some issues, it seems far from being the last episode in the sorry saga of the Lee family dispute.
While Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling insist that they are fighting to fulfil their father's wishes on his house, they cannot be oblivious to the damage they are doing to his legacy, the Singapore he spent his life building. If indeed they have evidence to back up their social media assertions, they owe it to Singaporeans to come forward and reveal it in full, so that any wrongdoing might be looked into by the proper authorities, and put right. That must surely be what their father would have wished for.
Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox