LI Shengwu, the eldest son of Lee Hsien Yang, and his aunt, Dr Lee Wei Ling, expressed surprise today that Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is looking into a Facebook post by Li criticising the republic’s court system.
On Saturday, Li, a Harvard academic, posted a link to a Wall Street Journal article on the 38 Oxley Road dispute involving his father, Wei Ling and his uncle, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
He described the article as a “good” summary, and likened the public disagreements over his late grandfather’s house as a “political crisis”.
In the same post, Li added a second link to a New York Times commentary alleging media censorship in Singapore, published in April 03, 2010 and wrote: “Keep in mind, of course, that the Singapore Government is very litigious and has a pliant court system. This constrains what the international media can usually report.”
In a public Facebook post today, Li said he was “somewhat surprised” that his previous post had triggered a response.
He clarified that the post in question was set to be seen by “friends only” and not deleted as reported.
“I’m surprised that the Singapore government is so petty. Would they also like to trawl my private Facebook feed for seditious vacation photos?” Li said.
Wei Ling also expressed surprise at the “negative reaction” from the AGC over “a private post”.
“Is there a government servant whose duty is to follow the Facebook activity of all people related to (Lee) Hsien Yang and I, including our private musings.
“Also, what Shengwu posted is a common topic amongst Singaporeans who are well-informed. Is this not an example of ‘Big Brother government’. Perhaps it is a case of ‘if the hat fits, take it’,” she said.
This is not the first time that Li has commented on the family dispute over the Oxley Road house.
Last month, he said on Facebook that over the last few years, his immediate family had become increasingly worried over what he alleged as a lack of checks on abuse of power.
In a subsequent post, he said he did not intend to go into politics, adding: “I believe that it would be bad for Singapore if any third-generation Lee went into politics. The country must be bigger than one family.”
The Lee family dispute settled down two weeks ago, after Hsien Yang and Wei Ling said they welcomed their brother’s offer to manage their disagreement privately. This followed a two-day parliamentary debate on the matter.
Hsien Loong had said in parliament that right from the start, he had wanted to manage the issue privately and not escalate it and be forced to take legal action.
Shortly after, his siblings published a joint statement on Facebook and said they would “cease presenting further evidence on social media” for the time being, provided that they and their father’s wishes were “not attacked or misrepresented”.