Oxley Road report: PM Lee accepts committee's conclusion on his late father's wishes and the options on house

SPH Brightcove Video
The ministerial committee set up to consider the future of 38 Oxley Road says the decision on which option to take will be left to a future government.
The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his wife Madam Kwa Geok Choo at their home at 38, Oxley Road with their three children, (from left) sons Lee Hsien Loong and Lee Hsien Yang and daughter Lee Wei Ling. PHOTO: COURTESY OF LEE FAMILY

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (April 2) said that as a son, he accepts the ministerial committee's conclusion about his late father Lee Kuan Yew's wishes regarding 38 Oxley Road, and the three options it has laid out in its report.

His comments come in response to a 21-page report released earlier on Monday afternoon by the committee, which was looking into options for the founding Prime Minister's house.

In a Facebook post on Monday, PM Lee said he has read the report by the committee, which was commissioned and approved by the Cabinet.

He also noted that he had recused himself from discussions on his late father's property.

"Speaking as a son, I accept the committee's conclusion on what my father's wishes were regarding the house at 38 Oxley Road, and the range of options it has laid out," he said.

"As the committee pointed out, there is no need to make a decision now," added PM Lee, noting that his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, is likely to continue living there for the foreseeable future.

"I hope that when the time comes to decide on what to do with the house, this report will help the Government of the day to make an informed decision that both respects my father's wishes and is in the public interest."

The committee had recommended three options for a future government to decide on:

- preserve the property and gazette it for conservation or as a national monument

- retain the basement dining room, which has the most historical significance, and tear down the rest of the property

- allow the property to be demolished fully for redevelopment

The four-member panel was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, and also comprised Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu.

After reviewing documents and statements made by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the committee concluded that the founding Prime Minister's preference was to have the property demolished.

However, the late Mr Lee was also prepared to accept other options, it said, provided suitable arrangements were made to ensure the single-storey bungalow was refurbished and kept in a habitable state, and the family's privacy was protected.

The fate of the house was thrust into spotlight in June 2017, when Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang posted a statement on Facebook accusing PM Lee of abusing his power in a bid to preserve the house, among numerous other accusations.

PM Lee later delivered a ministerial statement in Parliament to refute their accusations.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.