If you took the effort to plough through the full six-page statement uploaded to Google drive by the two younger children of the late Lee Kuan Yew that exploded onto the internet on Wednesday morning, you might have noticed mention of a ministerial committee.
This committee was set up by Singapore’s Cabinet to consider the options (as well as their implications) regarding the house standing on 38 Oxley Road, the residence of the late founding Prime Minister.
And this committee is managed by the Cabinet Office, which provides secretariat and administrative support to the Cabinet.
And that office is headed by Singapore’s Cabinet Secretary, a man named Tan Kee Yong.
Naturally, because it came up in the lengthy statement by the younger Lee siblings, which among many other things, alleged that their older brother was meddling in it, Tan felt the need to speak up.
And respond he did, in a statement we received on Wednesday afternoon.
Questions pending responses from the younger Lees
In it, Tan said Lee Wei Ling (LWL) and Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) have yet to get back to the committee on some questions it has about how the last will of the late PM Lee was prepared, as well as the role that Lee Suet Fern, a corporate lawyer who also happens to be the wife of Hsien Yang, and lawyers from her legal firm played in preparing the Last Will.
He also went into how it was set up, adding that the committee will look into matters including the historical and heritage significance of the house, as well as to consider the late Lee’s thinking and wishes in relation to his home.
Tan also said in the statement that PM Lee Hsien Loong’s views were sought in his personal capacity, given his position as the late Lee’s eldest son and his interest as a beneficiary of the estate. Again, he reiterated, that PM Lee recused himself from all government decisions concerning the house.
In case you’re just joining us, here’s a TL;DR of what’s been going down today:
Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang released a joint public statement at around 2am Wednesday Singapore time, upending the traditional way family disputes are settled, especially for Chinese famiLees (ahem).
The six-page document contained <ahref=”http: mothership.sg=”” 2017=”” 06=”” lee-hsien-yang-wants-to-leave-singapore-publishes-open-letter-with-sister-to-criticize-pm=”” “=”” target=”_blank” style=”padding: 0px; margin: 0px;”>serious allegations of abuse of power and details of family grievances, against PM Lee — their elder brother — and his wife Ho Ching.
LHY also took the chance to say in their collective statement that he is planning to leave Singapore because he “fear(s) the use of the organs of state” against him and his wife Lim Suet Fern. No evidence was provided to back this rather significant allegation, though, we’ll have to note.
PM Lee, who is currently on overseas leave, responded later Wednesday morning, stating that he will consider this matter further after his return this weekend.
He expressed his disappointment with his siblings for publicising private family matters and hurting their father’s legacy. Both his wife and him deny the allegations, he added, especially the “absurd claim” that he has political ambitions for their son, Li Hongyi.
Now you’re all caught up, here is the statement by the Cabinet Secretary in full:
STATEMENT BY CABINET SECRETARY MR TAN KEE YONG ON THE STATEMENT
BY MR LEE HSIEN YANG AND DR LEE WEI LING
I refer to the statement issued by Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang earlier today, and specifically the references to an internal Ministerial Committee that was set up by Cabinet.
2. The Committee was set up to consider the options for 38 Oxley Road (the “House”), and the implications of those options. These included looking into various aspects, including the historical and heritage significance of the House, as well as to consider Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s thinking and wishes in relation
to the House.
3. The Prime Minister has not been involved in Cabinet’s discussions concerning this Committee. As he had previously stated, he has recused himself from all Government decisions concerning the House.
4. As part of its work, the Committee sought the views of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s children, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang, to ask if they wished to say anything about Mr Lee’s thinking in respect of the House, beyond what has already been stated in public. Mr Lee Hsien Loong’s views were sought in his personal capacity, given his position as Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s eldest son and his interest as a beneficiary of the estate.
5. The Committee has made clear to Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang (in response to a query from them) that the Government has no intention of doing anything with the House as long as Dr Lee Wei Ling continues to reside there. The Committee will be listing out the different options with regard to the House and the implications. This will help a future Government when a decision needs to be taken about the House.
6. Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang have also referred to questions that have been asked about Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s last will (the “Last Will”). In the course of its work, the Committee received representations from Mr Lee Hsien Loong on various facts and circumstances in relation to how Mr Lee’s Last Will was prepared. The Committee has asked Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang some further questions about how the Last Will was prepared, and the role that Mrs Lee Suet Fern and lawyers from her legal firm played in preparing the Last Will. The Committee has also invited Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang to put their response by way of Statutory Declaration, as Mr Lee Hsien Loong had done. Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang have not responded to-date, and have indicated that if they respond at all, they will only be able to reply at the earliest by the end of June.