Protest on allegations of abuse of power over 38 Oxley Road attracts some 400 people

Organiser Gilbert Goh speaks to attendees at Hong Lim park on July 15, 2017.
Organiser Gilbert Goh speaks to attendees at Hong Lim park on July 15, 2017. ST PHOTO: JOANNA SEOW

SINGAPORE - About 400 people gathered at Hong Lim Park on Saturday evening (July 15) at a protest over allegations of abuse of power by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

A light drizzle did not deter onlookers during the three-hour event organised by career counsellor Gilbert Goh, a Reform Party candidate in the 2015 general election.

The allegations had been made by PM Lee's younger siblings Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling last month (June) in a feud that erupted on social media. The younger Mr Lee and Dr Lee said, among other things, that their brother had misused his position to prevent the demolition of their father's house at 38, Oxley Road.

PM Lee and several ministers have rebutted the allegations, including at a two-day debate in Parliament on the issue, where PM Lee noted that no evidence to back those claims was surfaced.

For now, the younger siblings and PM Lee have agreed to try and iron out their differences in private.

On Saturday, Mr Goh and eight other speakers used a small stage with a backdrop reading "Singapore belongs to Singaporeans and not to the FamiLee".

Some called for a committee of inquiry into the accusations against PM Lee.

Psychiatrist Ang Yong Guan, a former Singaporeans First candidate, said people wanted to see closure on the issue, which he said was lacking despite it being debated in Parliament. He also called for greater transparency and greater accountability in governance.

Private educator Sivakumaran Chellappa asked the ministerial committee considering options for the 38, Oxley Road house to consider whether conserving it would result in "a highly political icon, something to be tapped on when a mandate needs to be gotten from the people".

Other speakers were researcher Danny Ng, former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian, recent graduate Jan Chan, former secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party Lim Tean, former Reform Party candidate and business owner Osman Sulaiman and financial adviser Leong Sze Hian.