Lee Wei Ling disputes PM's account of her reaction to changes to her father's will

The Lee siblings. (From left) Lee Hsien Yang, Lee Hsien Loong and Lee Wei Ling.
The Lee siblings. (From left) Lee Hsien Yang, Lee Hsien Loong and Lee Wei Ling. PHOTO: ST FILE

Dr Lee Wei Ling said yesterday that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching were being "mischievous and dishonest" for selectively using quotes from her "to suggest that Hsien Yang and his wife were trying to cheat me in our father's final will".

She said in a Facebook post that the final will of her late father, former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, was important to her as it gave her "a clear right" to live at 38, Oxley Road, which is what she wanted.

"I had much earlier and repeatedly made clear to Hsien Loong and Ho Ching the truth that there was no duplicity by Hsien Yang and his wife, Suet Fern," she said in a post shortly after PM Lee released a summary of a statutory declaration that he had made to a ministerial committee that was set up to look into options for the Oxley Road house.

"He continues to repeat a position that I have both clarified and discredited as a smokescreen to obscure the key point that Lee Kuan Yew's final will of 17 December 2013 is in the same terms as his will of 19 August 2011, including the demolition clause, exactly as our father had intended."

In the declaration, PM Lee outlined his concerns about how the late Mr Lee's will was prepared, and in one part said Dr Lee had "grave suspicions" that Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife Suet Fern "did her in" by removing an extra share that she had received in the estate.

Dr Lee said in her post that following Mr Lee's will of Aug 19, 2011, PM Lee and his wife "were unhappy that I had been given a right to live at the original house at 38, Oxley Road. They pushed and persuaded my father very hard on this issue. This eventually resulted in 2012 in my losing my right to stay in the house and my share of my father's estate being reduced to only a life interest".

She disclosed she was upset and had quarrelled with her father, and said it was Mrs Lee Suet Fern who interceded on her behalf, met Mr Lee and "made a case that since I was his only daughter and was unmarried, it was particularly important that he provide for me rather than reduce my interest in his estate".

"My father did reinstate me and gave me an extra 1/7 share as a result. Hsien Yang and his wife were never informed of this extra share and continued to worry that I should be fairly treated and have a right to live in the house," Dr Lee said.

"I, too, was concerned about my right to live at 38, Oxley Road. Lee Kuan Yew's final will of 17 December 2013 gave me that right. It is this that Ho Ching and Hsien Loong are trying to deny me."

Mr Lee Kuan Yew died on March 23, 2015, at the age of 91.

Dr Lee yesterday also uploaded copies of e-mails from September 2012 of exchanges she had with Mrs Lee Suet Fern, as well as one that Mrs Lee Suet Fern sent to Mr K. Shanmugam, who was then foreign minister.

In the e-mail to Mr Shanmugam, Mrs Lee Suet Fern disclosed, among other things, that she persuaded Mr Lee Kuan Yew "to capitulate" and give Dr Lee "equal share in the same manner as her brothers. No restrictions at all...".

The copies of these e-mails were, however, removed from her Facebook page shortly afterwards. They were then put back up again under another account.

In another Facebook post in the early hours of yesterday morning, Dr Lee had said she and Mr Lee Hsien Yang would not have issued a public statement if the disputes with PM Lee over the late Mr Lee's house "were merely a family affair".

She said the main message of their six-page statement released on Wednesday was not that the siblings feared what PM Lee would do to them. Rather, she alleged that PM Lee's "misuse (of) his official power" against his siblings in relation to the house at 38, Oxley Road suggests he could do the same to ordinary citizens. She added that their lawyer edited this message out of the statement.

In their statement, the two siblings also said they had lost confidence in PM Lee, adding that they feared the use of state organs against them.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2017, with the headline 'Lee Wei Ling disputes PM's account of her reaction to changes to her father's will'. Print Edition | Subscribe