PM Lee dragged Government into personal dispute, says Lee Hsien Yang

PM Lee Hsien Loong and his brother Lee Hsien Yang are now embroiled in a very public feud. — AFP pic composites
PM Lee Hsien Loong and his brother Lee Hsien Yang are now embroiled in a very public feud. — AFP pic composites

SINGAPORE — Alleging that his elder brother Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was the one who “dragged the Government into a personal dispute”, Lee Hsien Yang said today that he and his sister Dr Lee Wei Ling had not intended to criticise the Government by making public their accusations of PM Lee.

“Our private family dispute would have remained a private family dispute, if PM Lee had not used government agencies and a secret ministerial committee to force his way. Sadly, it is Lee Hsien Loong who has dragged the government into a personal dispute,” said Lee Hsien Yang via a Facebook post.

He was responding to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong’s remarks in Parliament on Tuesday, where he questioned the younger Lee siblings’ motivations for making public allegations about their elder brother. Goh had said: “Are they whistleblowing in a noble effort to save Singapore, or waging a personal vendetta without any care for the damage done to Singapore?”

Lee Hsien Yang stressed that he and Dr Lee had “made clear from the beginning” that they were not criticising the Government. He said: “What we have said is that we are disturbed by the character, conduct, motives and leadership of our brother, Lee Hsien Loong. Since Lee Kuan Yew’s passing, we have felt threatened by LHL’s misuse of his position and influence over the Singapore government and its agencies to drive his personal agenda.”

Dr Lee and Lee Hsien Yang said in a six-page statement posted on Facebook in the wee hours of June 14 that they felt “threatened” in their attempt to carry out their late father Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes, and alleged that PM Lee was misusing his authority to prevent the demolition of the founding Prime Minister’s house at 38 Oxley Road. Both sides have also clashed over the setting up of the ministerial committee weighing options for the house. Dr Lee and Lee Hsien Yang also accused PM Lee and his wife Ho Ching of harbouring political ambitions for their son.

During the parliamentary debate which spanned almost 11 hours across two days, none of the Members of Parliament who spoke substantiated any allegations of abuse of power hurled against PM Lee by his siblings. In contrast, the Government has been shown to have “acted properly and with due process”, PM Lee said as he wrapped up the debate on Tuesday.  He added that facts and explanations have been put on the record, and Singaporeans have been given “a full account of how the Government works, and what the Government has done, in the case of 38 Oxley Road”.

However, despite Parliament finding no evidence of abuse of power by PM Lee, Mr Lee Hsien Yang reiterated that “the PM and his wife should not be above the law”.  

“The PM should abide by the same high standards that are expected of even junior civil servants. To show evidence that he has failed to meet these standards, is not to attack the Singapore system, but to preserve it,” he said. Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy, he said, is “more than bricks and mortar”. “He made sure that all government officials acted with justice and integrity. He accepted nothing less than incorruptibility, especially for the very top. Singapore can yet live up to his legacy,” added Mr Lee Hsien Yang. — TODAY

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