Singapore

Wife's firm didn't draft LKY's last will: Lee Hsien Yang

Lee Hsien Yang rebuts parts of PM Lee's statutory declaration

Former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's last will was drafted by his own lawyer, said Mr Lee Hsien Yang in a Facebook post yesterday.

He said lawyers from his wife's firm did not draft the will.

He was responding to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's statutory declaration on whether there was a conflict of interest when Mrs Lee Suet Fern helped to prepare the will and sent lawyers from her firm, Stamford Law Corporation (now Morgan Lewis Stamford), to assist in getting the will signed.

"Stamford Law did not draft any will for LKY. The will was drafted by Kwa Kim Li of Lee & Lee," said Mr Lee Hsien Yang in the post.

Ms Kwa was the lawyer that drafted the late Mr Lee's previous six wills.

"Paragraph 7 of the will was drafted at LKY's direction, and put into language by Lee Suet Fern his daughter-in-law and when he was satisfied he asked Kim Li to insert it into his will.

"On LKY's express instructions in writing, two lawyers from Stamford Law were called upon to witness his signing of the will."

He did not explain how this clause, drafted earlier for previous versions of the will but subsequently deleted, came to be reinstated in the final will.

His account was at odds with that given by PM Lee in his statutory declaration made to a ministerial committee.

PM Lee has questioned why the clause was in the final will when it was not in the fifth and sixth will.

He also said he had "grave concerns" over the way in which the final will came to be made and the role played by Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife.

He detailed the e-mail exchanges they had with Mr Lee on the evening of 16 December, 2013, and wondered at the haste with which they had moved to get changes made to the will, rather than wait for these to be done by Ms Kwa, who had worked on the earlier wills.

He pointed to the possible conflict of interest of Mrs Lee's involvement in this process, when her husband stood to gain from the changes made.

PM Lee and his younger siblings, Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang, are in dispute over the demolition of their father's house at 38, Oxley Road.

A LIE

Mr Lee Hsien Yang rebutted PM Lee's statement that he and Dr Lee had not responded to requests from the ministerial committee studying options for the Oxley Road property to answer questions on how the will was prepared and Mrs Lee's role in it.

"This is a lie. We replied on 28 Feb, 'The Final Will was not drafted by Stamford Law Corporation or Mr Ng Joo Khin and LHL's claimed recollection to that effect is clearly erroneous,'" he said, adding that the committee had ignored it.

"Besides, we thought this was a 'private family matter?'"

He insisted that the committee was "entirely uninterested in exploring options for the house, instead focusing solely on challenging the validity of the demolition clause in LKY's will".

Separately, Dr Lee released copies of e-mail exchanges to rebut PM Lee's statement that she did not trust Mrs Lee and that she wondered if Mr Lee Hsien Yang had "pulled a fast one" relating to the change in the siblings' shares in the last will.

"As further evidence, I am sharing these e-mails establishing that LHL's allegations are false," Dr Lee said in the post, which had a link to copies of the e-mails.

In the e-correspondence, Mrs Lee tells Dr Lee to be patient as she tries to persuade the late Mr Lee to change the will to give Dr Lee a fairer share of the estate.

"He is sounding more resigned this afternoon. Please do not upset him. We might yet get him to be sensible. At least let me try," Mrs Lee writes in one e-mail.

tnp@sph.com.sg

Lee Hsien LoongLee Kuan YewProperty