Chance for PM to show his statesmanship

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be making a statement in Parliament next Monday to address allegations made against him by his two siblings.

Some people are of the view that by taking the matter to a People's Action Party-dominated Parliament, the debate becomes inherently unfair.

While this may be a valid concern, under the circumstances, this is a step in the right direction.

The dispute is too important a matter not to be discussed in Parliament.

What is more critical is how this discussion is done.

If it comes across as a sham debate - if PM Lee does not appear to address the issues honestly - or if the government leaders conduct themselves in a manner that appears unfair or browbeating, it will only give credence to the allegations of abuse of power.

PM Lee needs to systematically address the allegations, and where necessary, acknowledge that things could have been done better.

Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang should have an equal opportunity to respond after his statement and the debate in Parliament.

The media plays a big role in helping to win public confidence in the process by showing that it is fair and transparent.

I see this as an opportunity for the PM to demonstrate leadership as a statesman.

If he does the right thing and does it right, there is a good chance for the healing to start.

It will give much needed closure to a matter that has pulled us apart and away from more pressing concerns as a people.

Viswa Sadasivan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2017, with the headline 'Chance for PM to show his statesmanship'. Print Edition | Subscribe