Singapore

Mr Lee's wish not accurately represented in report: Hsien Yang

Lee Hsien Yang says report does not accurately represent Lee Kuan Yew's wishes

Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his sister Lee Wei Ling have taken issue with the report by the Ministerial Committee on 38, Oxley Road, saying that it does not accurately represent the wishes of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

In a statement on Facebook yesterday, the younger Mr Lee said the committee pointed to statements made by the late Mr Lee as evidence that he was prepared to accept options other than demolition of his house.

"That claim is misleading," Mr Lee Hsien Yang said.

"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 added, referring to his older brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and sister-in-law Ho Ching.

He maintained that the late Mr Lee never accepted these alternatives, and merely set out what he wanted if the Government prevented his house from being demolished.

In a separate Facebook post, Mr Lee Kuan Yew's daughter Lee Wei Ling said her father made absolutely clear what he wanted done with the house.

"He and Mama had long decided they wanted it demolished after they were gone," Dr Lee wrote.

"It would require unbelievable lack of intelligence or determined denial to not understand what Pa and Ma so unambiguously wanted. It seems to me my big brother and his committee have achieved that distinction with amazing ease."

The siblings were responding to the report released on Monday by the panel, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

The panel had set out three broad options for the house, for a future government to consider - preserve it entirely, retain only the basement dining room and demolish the rest of the property, or demolish the property entirely.

Yesterday evening, the committee said the Lee siblings' statements will be lodged with the Cabinet Secretary for a future government to refer to.

The committee also said that it had already "carefully weighed" the views expressed by the siblings, together with submissions from the parties in their personal capacities.

It reiterated that the options "are meant to help a future government make an informed and considered decision when the need arises".

It added that it relied on three key objective documents from Mr Lee Kuan Yew which "gave concrete expression to his thinking and wishes regarding the property" - his letter to the Cabinet in December 2011, redevelopment plans which he submitted to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in March 2012, and the demolition clause in his last will in December 2013.

In its report, the committee noted that Mr Lee Kuan Yew had approved detailed plans to entirely overhaul the interior living areas while retaining the external structure and basement dining room.

It stated how Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's wife, Madam Ho Ching, had sent an e-mail on Jan 2, 2012 to Mr Lee Kuan Yew and the rest of the family about the plans. A day later, Mr Lee Kuan Yew told Madam Ho Ching via e-mail: "I have confidence in your judgment. Do what gives you maximum opportunities for later use."

Property