Singapore

Oxley Road saga: Workers' Party chief says case is distracting and damaging Singapore

Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang told Parliament the Oxley Road dispute was not a "Korean drama show" and should be settled in court.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, facing such serious allegations by his younger siblings, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling, needed to address them in a proper manner, he said.

"As the PM once said himself, such matters cannot be just 'you say, I say', it is the hallmark of the PAP (People's Action Party) government in the past to get to the bottom of such matter(s) via the court," Mr Low added.

Not doing so could give the impression the Government was "afraid of what the Lee siblings will say or reveal".

WP assistant secretary-general Pritam Singh said another option is for Parliament to convene a special select committee to look into the allegations.

Doubting that a parliamentary debate would lay the matter to rest, he added: "It is the allegations of abuse of power that must be decisively addressed, or else an odour will linger.

"The longer this sad episode drags on, Singapore's reputation will be cast in serious doubt."

Mr Low said the WP's "simple and broad position" on the saga was how it affected Singapore.

"This saga is distracting the Government, distracting Singaporeans and distracting the international audience and damaging the Singapore brand," he said.

He suggested the acrimony between PM Lee and his siblings has much deeper roots than just the fate of the house because they seemed willing to risk the national interest by bringing a private matter into the public domain.

Stressing that a "bright red line" needed to be drawn as it had been crossed too many times, he criticised the Government and the younger Lee siblings for engaging in what he termed a "Facebook brawl".

Responding to the WP comments, Senior Minister of State for Education and Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary asserted that Parliament is the right place to address the dispute, not only because the discussions are transparent but also because it doesn't preclude other routes.

Dr Janil noted that while a special select committee could gather more evidence, it is empowered by Parliament.

If the issue had gone to court, it would have dragged on further and nothing else could have been resolved since the first allegations were made two weeks ago.

Dr Janil also told MPs to ensure that "we are not elected by the people and throwing the problem back to the people, that we have to solve and make decisions and analyse the facts on their behalf and hold ourselves accountable to them."

oxley roadSylvia Limlow thia khiang