SINGAPORE - Was Mr Lee Kuan Yew independently advised about the contents of his last will?
This question is of legal significance and also raises moral questions, Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten) told Parliament on Tuesday (July 4) during the debate on abuse of power over Mr Lee Kuan Yew's house on 38, Oxley Road.
"If there has been any misconduct in relation to the drafting of the will, then it is no longer a private matter," said Mr Lim, reiterating Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah's statement on Monday (July 3) that under Singapore's laws, the lawyer drafting a will is required to be independent.
Mr Lim said that he hoped the matter will be "treated with proper seriousness by the authorities".
"No one should be above the law, regardless of whether the person is the Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew's children or anyone related to the family. The challenge by Mr Lee Hsien Yang is that PM Lee is abusing his authority to ask (the) Cabinet to preserve 38, Oxley Road against the wishes of (Mr Lee Kuan Yew). This means the Government has an obligation to better understand what were MM Lee's wishes."
Mr Lim added that if Mr Lee Kuan Yew had in March 2012 authorised his architects to submit development applications for 38, Oxley Road, the demolition clause that was inserted in the last will seems to contradict Mr Lee Kuan Yew's position.
In a statement a fortnight ago, PM Lee publicly raised concerns over the circumstances in which his father's final will was made. He asked what role his sister-in-law Lim Suet Fern and her law firm played, and whether they had a conflict of interest, as the final will gave her husband Hsien Yang an extra share of the family home. The sixth will had given Dr Lee Wei Ling an extra share but the last will reverted to the original equal division among the three siblings.
Ms Indranee had noted on Monday (July 3) that the late Mr Lee had consistently taken independent legal advice for his lawsuits and his first six wills. The issue was not whether the late Mr Lee knew what he was signing, but "whether he received independent advice as the law uncompromisingly requires", she said.
But it is not for the committee to decide whose claim on how the will was drafted is valid, as it is simply trying to understand Mr Lee's wishes on the house, she said.