I am not sure that it is resolved: PM Lee on dispute with siblings over Oxley Road house

PM Lee is unsure if the dispute with his younger siblings over their late father's house at 38, Oxley Road has been resolved.
PM Lee is unsure if the dispute with his younger siblings over their late father's house at 38, Oxley Road has been resolved.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is unsure if the dispute with his younger siblings over their late father's house at 38, Oxley Road has been resolved, saying the matter is "in abeyance" - a state of temporary inactivity.

In a CNBC interview released on Friday (Oct 20), he said he has not communicated with Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling recently. 

The feud between the Lee siblings erupted into the open on June 14, when Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee posted a statement on Facebook to say that they had lost confidence in their older brother's leadership, and feared the use of organs of state against them.

They accused him of wanting to preserve founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's house, against their father's wishes, for political capital. They said that the PM had abused his position as prime minister to influence a ministerial committee considering options for the house.

PM Lee refuted their charges of abuse of power in a two-day Parliament sitting in July.

He said there was no evidence to back up their claims of abuse, and that he and the Government had acted properly and with due process.

In a statement issued after the sitting, his siblings said they would stop posting further allegations and evidence against PM Lee for now, provided their wish and their father's desire to demolish the Oxley Road house "are not attacked or misrepresented".

 

They also said they welcomed PM Lee's desire to settle their quarrel in private, and "look forward to talking without the involvement of lawyers or government agencies".

Asked how are relations with his siblings and whether he hopes to reconcile with them, Mr Lee told CNBC: "I think they are where they are. Perhaps one day when emotions have subsided, some movement will be possible. These things take time."

As to whether he is sad about the way things have turned out, he said: "Yes, of course."

The interview prompted a near-immediate response from Mr Lee Hsien Yang, who said in a  Facebook post on Friday afternoon: “Our brother says he is unsure that the feud is solved. Notwithstanding his public statements, Hsien Loong has made no attempt to reach out to us to resolve matters in private.”

He added that the Attorney-General is “busy prosecuting” his son, Mr Li Shengwu, for his private correspondence, and said letters that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) sent to his son make repeated reference to the family feud.

The AGC has been given permission by the High Court to continue with contempt of court proceedings against Mr Li over a Facebook post he made on the judiciary.