PM Lee Hsien Loong shares siblings' wish to take dispute private; DPM Teo sees statement by Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling as positive development

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean speak in Parliament.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean speak in Parliament. PHOTOS: PARLIAMENT HOUSE OF SINGAPORE, GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said he shares his siblings' desires to take private their disagreement over the fate of their father's 38, Oxley Road house.

In a statement on Thursday (July 6) night, PM Lee said: "I share their wish not to carry on the dispute in public and to manage the disagreement in private. That is exactly what I have been trying to do."

He was responding to a statement put out by his two younger siblings - Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling - earlier in the day.

The two younger Lee siblings had said they were looking forward to discussing the matter with PM Lee "without the involvement of lawyers or government agencies".

They said: "We do not wish to see Singapore embroiled in a never-ending public argument. For now, we will cease presenting further evidence on social media, provided that we and our father's wish are not attacked or misrepresented."

The three siblings are embroiled in a dispute over the house of their father, founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. The spat broke out into the open on June 14, when the two younger Lee siblings posted a six-page statement on Facebook alleging that PM Lee had abused his power to try and preserve the house for political gain.

 

Both Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee want to demolish the 38, Oxley Road house, saying it is in accordance with their father's wishes. It led to an almost-daily exchange of accusations and rebuttals.

 

This week, PM Lee refuted his siblings' allegations in a two-day debate in Parliament.

In his siblings' statement on Thursday, they said they had reached out and "privately offered a ceasefire" after their initial June 14 statement.

Referring to this offer, PM Lee said the siblings wanted him to "call off his ministerial statement and the debate in Parliament, disband the Ministerial Committee, and not respond to their accusations".

"I could not agree to do any of that. It would have been improper and irresponsible," he said.

He also referred to the allegations repeated by his siblings in their latest statement, saying: "I have already refuted these and stand by what I have said."

On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister also welcomed the latest developments in the saga, noting that Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang have stated they welcome their brother's desire to manage the disagreement in private.

"Like most Singaporeans, I regard this as a positive development," he said of their remarks.

On Thursday, both younger siblings also reiterated claims that PM Lee had used a "secret" ministerial committee to push his agenda.

Responding to this, DPM Teo said: "With regard to Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang's allegations against the Ministerial Committee, public agencies and public officers, the Government has already responded comprehensively to all of them in Parliament."

"With this development, I hope that we can all work together and focus our energy on taking Singapore forward."

 

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