ESM Goh: Lees want to bring down PM
The Oxley Road saga is just a fig leaf for the deep cracks within the Lee family, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong told Parliament yesterday.
The younger Lee siblings' real agenda is to bring Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong down "regardless of the huge collateral damage suffered by the Government and Singaporeans", he added.
ESM Goh was among more than 30 MPs who spoke during the second day of the debate.
He said: "It is now no more a cynical parlour game. If the Lee siblings choose to squander the good name and legacy of Lee Kuan Yew, and tear their relationship apart, it is tragic but a private family affair.
"But if in the process of their self-destruction, they destroy Singapore too, that is a public affair."
There should be a conclusion to the debate - to clear PM Lee of the allegations or to censure him.
While urging Workers' Party MPs and Nominated MPs to clearly state their stand on the allegations, ESM Goh vouched for PM Lee's integrity.
"I have known and worked closely with him for more than 30 years. I brought him into politics in 1984, and I should add, it was not at Lee Kuan Yew's behest," he said.
But if reason fails, ESM Goh asked for the Lee siblings to "stop trying to drag each other down and move on".
He said: "Stop your family quarrel, sort out any misunderstandings and reconcile, and if that is not immediately possible, at least stop making things worse.
"Keep the quarrel private and seek mediation or arbitration to resolve your differences. No one doubts your deep filial piety."
ESM Goh's wish for reconciliation was shared by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and other MPs.
PM Lee thanked them for their well wishes but acknowledged that it will be a "difficult and a long road".
He said he had not expected his relationship with his siblings to take a turn for the worse.
When Singapore was going through a tumultuous period while still part of Malaysia and the late Mr Lee was in danger, he had told his eldest son, who was at the time 13, to take care of the family should anything happen to him.
Said PM Lee: "Fortunately, nothing happened to my father then. He brought up the family and I thought we had a happy family, and he lived a long and full life.
"Little did I expect that after my parents died, these tensions would erupt with such grievous consequences, and after so many years, I would be unable to fulfil the role which my father had hoped I would," said the PM, visibly emotional.
"So I hope one day these passions will subside, and we can begin to reconcile.
"At the very least, I hope that my siblings will not visit their resentments and grievances with one generation upon the next generation and further, that they do not transmit their enmities and feuds to our children."