PM Lee sought to bypass court system with ministerial committee on Oxley Road: Lee Hsien Yang

Mr Lee Hsien Yang (pictured) said PM Lee Hsien Loong had sought to bypass the court system regarding the setting up of a ministerial committee for the Oxley Road house.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang (pictured) said PM Lee Hsien Loong had sought to bypass the court system regarding the setting up of a ministerial committee for the Oxley Road house.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - By setting up a ministerial committee to consider options for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's house, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had sought to bypass the court system, said Mr Lee Hsien Yang on Sunday (July 2) in a continuing attack on his elder brother. 

In his latest post on a dispute surrounding their late father's house, he accused PM Lee of taking "his grievance on a 'private family matter' to a committee of his subordinates".

The committee, set up by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, is tasked with studying options for the house at 38 Oxley Road and considering the implications on Singapore.

It has been in the cross-hairs of Mr Lee and his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, who have charged that its purpose is to block the demolition of the house.

On Sunday, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said in a two-page statement: "This was an extra-judicial secret attack, aimed at undermining our father's last will and his unwavering wish."

He added that the "mysterious" committee refused to list the options it was considering for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's house, even after repeated requests from his estate.

 
 

"The committee now claims it was just discussing options for the house, but this is an excuse offered after its operations were exposed," said Mr Lee Hsien Yang who is a joint trustee of the late Mr Lee's estate along with Dr Lee.

Several ministers have said in the past few weeks that there was no mystery surrounding the committee, comprising ministers such as K Shanmugam, Grace Fu and Lawrence Wong.

They also said the practice of setting up such committees began many years ago, and similar committees of ministers have been set up to ensure that important issues affecting Singapore are given in-depth attention.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang said the closest hint the committee gave to any discussion was a “vague paragraph” from Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong on Aug 24 last year. 

Mr Wong had stated that the committee was set up to look at different options for the property, and the implications of these options, including for the neighbourhood.

He used the property being converted to a park as an example, noting that in that case the committee would like to examine implications for other properties in the vicinity.

But this "avoids confirming whether being 'converted to a park' is an option under sincere consideration", said Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

He said he and his sister, Dr Lee, wrote in to ask for concrete information.

On Sunday, he posted extracts of some of these e-mails. Among other things, they wanted to know more about the committee's members and the options being considered.

But, said Mr Lee Hsien Yang: "The mysterious committee did not answer our queries. It spent most of its time repeating Lee Hsien Loong's relentless attacks on our father's demolition wish."

He added: "Whether or not LHL supposedly recused himself from decision-making, his own subordinates cannot be the judge of a matter in which he has a direct personal interest."

 

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