PM Lee Hsien Loong's son Li Hongyi says he is not interested in politics

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's son Li Hongyi (centre) said in a Facebook post on Thursday (June 15) that he is not interested in politics.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's son Li Hongyi (centre) said in a Facebook post on Thursday (June 15) that he is not interested in politics.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's son Li Hongyi has said he is not interested in politics, a day after the Prime Minister's siblings publicly accused him and his wife Ho Ching of harbouring political ambitions for their son.

In a brief Facebook post on Thursday (June 15), he said: "For what it is worth, I really have no interest in politics."

PM Lee had on Wednesday refuted the allegations that he wanted his son in politics, saying that it was an "absurd" claim.

He added: "I am deeply saddened by the unfortunate allegations that they have made. Ho Ching and I deny these allegations, especially the absurd claim that I have political ambitions for my son."

While he did not name Hongyi, his younger siblings, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling, had done so in a six-page statement they issued. The statement centred around a long-running dispute over the home of the late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at 38 Oxley Road.

Mr Li Hongyi, 30, who is in the public service, is deputy director of the Government Digital Services Data Science Division of the Government Technology Agency of Singapore, a statutory board under the Prime Minister's Office.

He studied at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Raffles Junior College.

In 2006, he won the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science and received a Public Service Commission Overseas Merit Scholarship, a top government scholarship, to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.

After graduating from MIT, he worked in Google for two years from 2011 to 2013, before returning to serve a six-year bond, according to his LinkedIn profile.

PM Lee has a daughter, Li Xiuqi, and a son, Li Yipeng, from his first marriage. He married Ms Ho in 1985 and they have two sons, Mr Li Hongyi and Mr Li Haoyi.

He had previously said in interviews that his children were not keen on entering politics.

Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang had alleged that the Prime Minister and his wife were using the late Mr Lee's legacy for their own political purposes - and that included harbouring political ambitions for their son.

The two siblings said PM Lee had obstructed them in carrying out their father's wish - as stated in his will - of having his house at 38 Oxley Road demolished after his passing.

All three siblings had issued a joint statement in December 2015 saying that they hoped the late Mr Lee's wish would be honoured.

But Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang, who are joint trustees and executors of the late Mr Lee's estate, alleged in their statement that PM Lee had not kept to his word.

In response to his siblings statement, he had said he was saddened and disappointed that they had chosen to publicise a private family matter.

He also said: "I will do my utmost to continue to do right by my parents. At the same time, I will continue serving Singaporeans honestly and to the best of my ability. In particular, that means upholding meritocracy, which is a fundamental value of our society."