Singapore

Lee Hsien Yang says ministerial committee did not discuss considerations with him

The younger son of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew yesterday called into question Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean's account of discussions they had about options for his late father's house at 38, Oxley Road.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang said in a Facebook post that the ministerial committee tasked to consider the options did not disclose its considerations to him.

He also said all his discussions with DPM Teo on "options for the house occurred long before the formation of the committee and only with him in his personal capacity".

His response yesterday morning to a statement DPM Teo made the previous night is the latest development in the dispute between the three Lee siblings over the fate of the house.

A statement by DPM Teo on Tuesday night had said that both he and Mr Lee Hsien Yang had spoken of "a range of viable intermediate options" for the house.

One of them was the building of a memorial park on the site.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang, in his response, said DPM Teo's statement implies that the committee had disclosed to him and his sister the options it was considering in earlier exchanges.

It did not, he said, and added: "Their letters largely focused on parroting LHL's (Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's) attacks on our father's will."

The ongoing dispute began on June 14, when Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, posted a six-page statement on Facebook alleging that their older brother, PM Lee, had abused his power and wanted to preserve the Oxley Road house for political gain.

In his Tuesday statement, DPM Teo also said the ministerial committee was not bent on preventing the demolition of the house, as Mr Lee Hsien Yang may believe. He reiterated that the committee was set up to study and set out "the range of possible options for the house".

Cabinet will decide on which option to take only when Dr Lee no longer lives there, he said.

DPM Teo also said he had verbally told Mr Lee Hsien Yang his personal views on some of the options, such as demolishing the house but keeping the basement dining room with a heritage centre attached.

He added that "he did not support options on the extreme ends of the range - preserving the house as it is, or demolishing the house to redevelop it for new private residences".

"My objective was to let him know that the Government was not bent on retaining the house as he seems to believe, but that we are calmly and objectively examining a range of options," said DPM Teo.

Lee Hsien YangTeo Chee Heanoxley road