Ministerial committee on 38 Oxley Road 'fundamentally flawed', says Lee Hsien Yang

Mr Lee Hsien Yang leaving the Supreme Court on April 10, 2017. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The tit-for-tat responses continued on Saturday (June 17) in the feud involving the children of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Shortly after Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean issued a statement spelling out the composition and responsibilities of the ministerial committee studying options for Mr Lee's house at 38 Oxley Road, Mr Lee Hsien Yang responded with a Facebook post saying the committee is "fundamentally flawed".

"DPM Teo has finally revealed the composition of the shadowy committee members. This was information that Wei Ling and I had asked for repeatedly from the outset for almost a year, and been denied," he said.

It is clear that a committee of one's subordinates, should not be sitting arbitrating an issue related to their boss, he added. "That is why the Committee is fundamentally flawed. As the subordinates of the PM, how can they possibly be in a position to deal in this private disagreement? This is the wrong forum," said the younger Lee sibling.

He said that they - he and his sister - had expressed specific concerns on the possible membership of Law Minister Mr K Shanmugam and his conflict of interest having advised Mr Lee Kuan Yew and both of them on options to help achieve Mr Lee's wishes, and the drafting of the "demolition wish". "This represents a clear conflict of interest" said Mr Lee Hsien Yang. When this was raised in writing, he said they were "brushed off" by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

According to Mr Lee's post, Mr Wong had said: "Nothing you have stated precludes any member of the Cabinet from taking part in the Committee's work or its deliberations, with the exception of the Prime Minister."

Mr Lee Hsien Yang said that the refusal to identify the members of the committee, and to confirm Mr Shanmugam's recusal was particularly troubling.

"He is an experienced Senior Counsel and Minister for Law who should well understand the problem of conflicts of interests. Only now do we find out that he is indeed a member of this committee" said Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

His sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, also posted on Facebook to say: "Shanmugam was extensively consulted and advised my father over lunch."

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