Workers' Party concerned about allegations of abuse of power in Lee family dispute, files Parliamentary questions

WP chairman Sylvia Lim and Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh.
WP chairman Sylvia Lim and Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh.PHOTOS: ST FILE/THE NEW PAPER
Non-Constituency MPs Leon Perera and Daniel Goh.
Non-Constituency MPs Leon Perera and Daniel Goh.PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO
38 Oxley Road, home of the late former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
38 Oxley Road, home of the late former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party on Tuesday (June 20) voiced its concern about allegations that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has abused his power, in the party's first comments about the dispute between PM Lee and his siblings over their father's Oxley Road house.

In a Facebook post, the party shared the seven Parliamentary questions its MPs have filed to "clear the air" on the allegations levelled against PM Lee by Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

This comes a day after PM Lee said he would deliver a ministerial statement when Parliament sits on July 3 to refute their "baseless accusations", and urged MPs to scrutinise the matter.

The WP said they believe the family issues surrounding the house should be resolved privately or in Court.

"We are only concerned with the allegations of abuse of power and the harm these have caused to confidence in Singapore and our political institutions," the party said.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling had released a statement last Wednesday (June 14) accusing PM Lee of misusing his power in a bid to preserve their father's house at 38, Oxley Road, among numerous other allegations.

The questions by WP MPs cover different areas of the allegations made.

Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh asked if the Government would agree to convene a Special Select Committee of Parliament, comprising MPs from all parties with public hearings that are broadcast live, to look into the allegations of abuse of power.

This is to allow PM Lee's "accusers to present all the relevant evidence to Parliament", said Mr Singh, who is the party's assistant secretary-general.

WP chairman Sylvia Lim asked what rules are in place to ensure that ministers and senior public office-holders do not influence or take part in discussions and decisions that they have a personal or financial interest in.

Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) Leon Perera wants more information on ministerial committees that are not made public, while NCMP Daniel Goh asked Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu whether Deeds of Gifts executed with the National Heritage Board may be shared with third persons.

Mr Goh's question comes after PM Lee's siblings alleged he misused his position to obtain the Deed of Gift for items from 38, Oxley Road.

The WP MPs also wanted to know if there are mechanisms to prevent and detect situations where organs of state are used by ministers to gather information for personal purposes, to advance personal interests or punish critics; and if there are rules to prevent family members of political appointees from influencing senior civil servants on matters beyond their scope of work.

Besides Mr Goh's question, the other questions were directed at PM Lee.

Weighing in on the dispute, former presidential candidate and MP Tan Cheng Bock said Parliament is not the right place to settle family disputes.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, he said: "It is an institution to make laws and debate national issues.Family disputes should be settled in courts. In Parliament MPs have no details of the case and only hear PM telling his side of the case.Wrong platform."

Separately, the Singapore Democratic Party issued a statement calling for a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to look into PM Lee's dispute with his siblings, instead of having the matter debated in Parliament.