SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's wife, Ho Ching, took to Facebook on Monday (April 11) to offer her "embarrassed apologies" for a post on Sunday which got the social media world buzzing.
The post was a photo of a monkey showing a rude hand gesture. It came amid public criticisms by Mr Lee's sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, about how their father Lee Kuan Yew's first year death anniversary had been commemorated.
Describing herself as a "Twitter newbie" on Monday, Mrs Lee said she had been playing around with Twitter "trying out different buttons, seeing what can or cannot be done".
She said: "Discovered Twitter reposts pictures without captions, and unfortunately one of the pictures could be misunderstood on its own. Took down as soon as a friend alerted me."
Not long after Mrs Lee's post went up, Dr Lee posted on her Facebook some e-mail correspondence between her and a Straits Times editor over a column she had written about her father's commemoration, and which the paper did not publish.
In the e-mail exchange, Dr Lee said she was "at odds on a matter of principle" with her brother. She said he had no qualms abusing his power to have a commemoration just a year after the death and also that Mr Lee wanted to "establish a dynasty". She also called him a "dishonorable son".
Mr Lee came out on Facebook later in the day to say he was "deeply saddened" by his sister's charge and that the accusations are completely untrue.
In her Facebook post on Monday, Mrs Lee said: "There are enough troubles in the world. Far from adding oil to fires, I would prefer we try to solve and resolve problems, among friends, within families and between neighbours."
Without referring to the disagreement in the family, she added: "We grieve in different ways, and should leave space for each of us to come to terms with our loss. Grieving is especially hard when tears come at unexpected moments.
"I respect and deeply appreciate the many heartfelt commemorations, and understand those who prefer a more stoic approach. Hopefully, the passage of time will help heal. Many thanks too for all the kind wishes, sound advice and generous thoughts."