SINGAPORE - There is no immediate need to decide on the fate of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's Oxley Road house as his only daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, will continue to live there.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed this when addressing the issue in Parliament on Monday.
The late Mr Lee, who died on March 23, made clear in his will that he wanted to see 38 Oxley Road demolished, but there have been public calls to preserve it as part of Singapore's history.
"If and when Dr Lee Wei Ling no longer lives in the house, Mr Lee has stated his wishes as to what then should be done," said PM Lee. "At that point, speaking as a son, I would like to see these wishes carried out. However, it will be up to the Government of the day to consider the matter."
PM Lee noted that there have also been calls to turn the Oxley Road house into a museum and a memorial to the late Mr Lee.
"But Mr Lee was adamant that 38 Oxley Road should be demolished after his passing. He wrote formally to the Cabinet at least twice to put his wishes on the record," said PM Lee.
"He said 'it should not be kept as a kind of relic'. He said that he had seen too many other houses of famous people 'kept frozen in time… as a monument with people tramping in and out'. They invariably 'become shabby'."
The wish for the house to be demolished was strongly shared by his mother, the late Madam Kwa Geok Choo, he added. "She was most distressed at the thought of people coming through her private spaces after she and my father had passed away, to see how they had lived."
On Sunday, the executors of Mr Lee's will - his daughter, Dr Lee, and younger son Mr Lee Hsien Yang - issued a public statement asking Singaporeans to support and respect his wishes.
The e-books are available on Apple's iPad (but not iPhone), and Android tablets and smartphones from The Straits Times Star E-books app. To get them:
- Type "The Straits Times Star" to search for The Straits Times Star E-books app.
- Download it onto your iPad or Android device.
- Go to "I'm just browsing"
- You will find Lee Kuan Yew: The Final Journey and Lee Kuan Yew: The Man And His Ideas inside the app.
Due to its size, it is best downloaded over Wi-Fi.
The Straits Times has also released the PDFs of its print coverage of Mr Lee's death, from March 23 to March 30. This is also sponsored by DBS Bank.