PM Lee had threatened to gazette 38 Oxley Road house, says Lee Wei Ling

Dr Lee (pictured), along with her brother Mr Lee Hsien Yang, are tangled with their elder brother PM Lee in a dispute over their father's Oxley Road house.
Dr Lee (pictured), along with her brother Mr Lee Hsien Yang, are tangled with their elder brother PM Lee in a dispute over their father's Oxley Road house. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had "threatened angrily" to gazette 38 Oxley Road as a national monument after the death of his father Mr Lee Kuan Yew, his sister Dr Lee Wei Ling claimed.

In a Facebook post on Saturday (July 1), Dr Lee said this happened after Mr Lee Kuan Yew's will was read to the family, and PM Lee's actions "greatly disturbed" her.

"He was willing to go against Papa's wishes as soon as Papa was gone. He is a dishonourable son," she wrote.

Dr Lee, along with her brother Mr Lee Hsien Yang, are tangled with their elder brother PM Lee in a dispute over their father's Oxley Road house. Both Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang want to demolish the house, an act that would be in accordance with their father's wishes, they say.

They also claim that PM Lee wants to preserve the house for political gain.

Gazetting the house as a national monument would ensure its preservation, and prevent its demolition.

Dr Lee also took issue with what she called PM Lee and his wife Ho Ching's attempt to build a "Lee family cult".

She said that when Madam Ho took a sabbatical in 2015 from her position as chief executive of Temasek Holdings, she had spent her days at the Oxley Road house, "getting the photographer from Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) to photograph and catalog items which she would pack into plastic boxes to send to storage, and her attempts to recreate the way Oxley looked decades ago".

"She had no business doing this at all," said Dr Lee.

In response to media queries, an MCI spokesman said on Saturday: "MCI photographers continued to support Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew after he stepped down from the Cabinet. This is in line with MCI's policy of supporting former Prime Ministers and Presidents after they leave office."

"After Mr Lee's passing, MCI photographers were deployed to take photos of various personal and official items belonging to Mr Lee at 38 Oxley Road. This was done for the purposes of national archival and documentation. Similar photographic recordings were done during Mr Lee's lifetime of his study at home and of the basement dining room."

Dr Lee also said Madam Ho had wrongfully taken and handed over items from the Oxley Road house to the National Heritage Board (NHB) for a Lee Kuan Yew memorial exhibition, which the NHB at first accepted without protest.

Yet later, the NHB was subsequently told by the Prime Minister's Office to refuse the exhibition - as both Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang had required the part of their father's will expressing his desire for the house to be destroyed, to also be displayed at the exhibition, Dr Lee claimed.

"Hsien Loong and Ho Ching angered me very early on. Both were not straight and were taking advantage of the fact that no one would dare criticise them for acting improperly," said Dr Lee.