PM Lee’s siblings are finding fault with the 38 Oxley Road report – here’s what they’re saying

A view of the exterior of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s residence at 38 Oxley Road.
The Straits Times

In the wake of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s acceptance of the Ministerial Committee’s report on the 38 Oxley Road property, his siblings have taken to social media to declare their open disagreement.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang, the younger son of Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Apr 3) about his father’s fervent desire to have the house demolished.

He wrote: “He wanted demolition unwaveringly, and stated his wish repeatedly in private and in public.”

“He wanted demolition, not only out of a desire for privacy, but because he believed it would be better for Singapore’s future.”

In addition, Mr Lee claimed that his brother had insisted that the gazetting of 38 Oxley Road was “inevitable” and the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was forced to consider options other than demolition in light of this.

The gazetting of the property was one out of three options offered in the Committee’s report on determining the fate of the house.

Mr Lee also alleged the Committee’s interpretation of the demolition clause in Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s last will was misleading.

“In context, it is clear that our father was not endorsing alternatives to demolition, but was forced to consider them because of Loong’s and Ho Ching’s insistence that the government would not respect our father’s dying wish,” he wrote.

He also claimed that his father reluctantly complied only because he believed the government “already intended to thwart his hopes” after PM Lee’s wife Ho Ching submitted renovation plans to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in March 2012.

Concluding his post, Mr Lee said probate was granted for Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s will in October 2015 so it is “the full, final, and legally binding statement of his wishes for the house”.

“Combined with Lee Kuan Yew’s numerous and unwavering public statements on the matter, there is more than enough documentary evidence for a future government to understand – and hopefully grant – our father’s last wish.”

His sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, shared these sentiments, making reference to her father and mother’s wish to have the property demolished in a Facebook post on the same day.

The post included a scathing comment directed at PM Lee.

“It would require unbelievable lack of intelligence or determined denial to not understand what Pa & Ma so unambiguously wanted,” she wrote.

According to the Ministerial Committee, Mr Lee and Dr Lee’s comments have since been lodged with the Cabinet Secretary for a future government’s reference, reported Channel News Asia.