Lee Hsien Yang says PM Lee Hsien Loong still not addressing their father's wish to demolish 38 Oxley Road

A view of 38 Oxley Road, the house at the centre of the dispute between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings, on June 16, 2017.
A view of 38 Oxley Road, the house at the centre of the dispute between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings, on June 16, 2017. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - In his first response a day after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's statement on the dispute over their father's Oxley Road property, Mr Lee Hsien Yang chose to focus on whether the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was unwavering in his wish to demolish the house.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (June 20) morning, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said: "We asked a simple question, that he (PM Lee) has refused to answer for a week: Was our father, Lee Kuan Yew, unwavering in his demolition wish? Yes or no?"

In a later post, he also clarified that he and his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, have not interacted with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in his capacity as the chair of a ministerial committee considering options for the house.

This follows a statement issued by DPM Teo last Saturday, when he revealed the committee's members and its scope of work.

DPM Teo had said he has shared some of the options being studied for the house with the Lee siblings.

On Tuesday, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said he and Dr Lee had met with DPM Teo on numerous occasions "apart from and well before the formation of the committee".

"During those discussions we had explored a wide range of options as well as concerns we had regarding Lee Hsien Loong and his family. DPM was always careful to preface his remarks that any views he expressed were personal views," he said.

He added that National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who sits on the committee and first informed the siblings of it, has not given any indication of the range of options under consideration either.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang also refuted PM Lee's assertion that he and Dr Lee were unhappy that 38, Oxley Road was bequeathed to their older brother as part of his equal share of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's estate.

"Wei Ling and I never had any objection to LHL receiving an equal share of the estate. We object to LHL's flip-flopping about Lee Kuan Yew's demolition wish," he added.

PM Lee has previously said that as a son, he wants the house demolished to honour his father's wishes. He has recused himself on from all government decisions concerning the house.

He did not immediately address other points PM Lee made in the statement he issued on Monday, his first day back at work from a vacation.

In that statement and an accompanying video, PM Lee had apologised to the nation for the harm caused by the protracted and publicly-aired dispute with his siblings.

He will make a ministerial statement to refute the "baseless accusations" his siblings made last week against the Government, when Parliament sits on July 3.

PM Lee said the "serious allegations", first aired in a six-page statement by his siblings last week, went beyond private and personal matters, extending to the conduct of his office and the integrity of the Government.

"Much as I would like to move on, and end a most unhappy experience for Singaporeans, these baseless accusations against the Government cannot be left unanswered. They must be and will be dealt with openly and refuted," he said.

In his statement, PM Lee also revealed he had "done everything possible to avoid this state of affairs" and had tried to deal with his siblings' unhappiness privately.

Having failed with an offer to transfer the house to Dr Lee Wei Ling for a nominal $1, PM Lee then sold his house to Mr Lee Hsien Yang at a "fair market valuation" and donated the proceeds to charity.

He added: "I had hoped that this would satisfy them. There should be no reason for any further quarrel, since I no longer own the house and I do not take part in any Government decisions on the house."