Oxley Road dispute: Ministerial committee revealed its purpose only when 'forced into the daylight', says Lee Wei Ling

Dr Lee Wei Ling said that Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean never disclosed the options the committee was considering to her and Mr Lee Hsien Yang.
Dr Lee Wei Ling said that Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean never disclosed the options the committee was considering to her and Mr Lee Hsien Yang.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Dr Lee Wei Ling again made the charge on Friday (June 23) that the ministerial committee looking into options for her late father Lee Kuan Yew's house in Oxley Road was secret, saying it disclosed its purpose only "when forced into the daylight".

She made the point in a Facebook post, refuting earlier statements by Deputy Prime Ministers Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who both explained that such committees are often set up to consider important issues affecting the country.

Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang disclosed the committee's existence in a statement last Wednesday (June 14) that brought into the public spotlight their feud with their brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Since then, the siblings have criticised the "secret" committee multiple times.

DPM Teo said last Saturday there is nothing secret about the committee which he set up and chairs. He also disclosed the committee's members and its scope of work.

On Thursday (June 22), DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam reiterated there was "no mystery" behind the committee being set up.

 

Similar committees of ministers are often set up to deliberate on important issues affecting Singapore, he added, noting the practice began many years ago and has evolved.

"It is how we ensure that important issues are given in-depth attention, and the options are weighed by the ministers closer to the issue, before Cabinet makes its decisions and takes collective responsibility," he said in his Facebook post.

He also sought to dispel suggestions of ill-intent behind the establishment of the ministerial committee on the house. He said DPM Teo had "explained straightforwardly" why he set it up: because it is ultimately the Government's responsibility to make decisions on matters which involve public interest.

Dr Lee, however, argued on Friday that the committee had refused to identify its members for almost a year or disclose its terms of reference despite many requests from the estate of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

She added that DPM Teo never disclosed the options the committee was considering to her and Mr Lee Hsien Yang, both of whom are trustees and executors of their father's will.

"If this was really their purpose, why did they refuse to say so when the Estate asked?" she said.

 

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