Singapore

Family feud one-sided, no animosity towards siblings: PM Lee

The public Lee family feud over the fate of their 38 Oxley Road home is one-sided, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, adding that neither he nor his wife Ho Ching hold any animosity towards his siblings.

It also emerged during day one of PM Lee's defamation suit against The Online Citizen (TOC) editor Terry Xu yesterday that his siblings - Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling - would not be testifying in court.

Asked by Mr Xu's lawyer Lim Tean if there was a sour relationship between Ms Ho and his siblings, PM Lee said: "I think the animosity is evident on one side, from my siblings... Neither I nor my wife really want this to continue, or to hold anything against them."

The feud, he stressed, was on his siblings' part. "I do not understand what it's about," said PM Lee. "I have detached myself from the cause of the feud. I no longer own 38 Oxley Road, I have sold it to my brother. I have recused myself from the Government's handling of the case completely and I have nothing to do with any decision the Government makes on 38 Oxley Road.

"Therefore there's really nothing I can do or not do to influence the matter... We don't understand this continuing animosity and repeated statements, publicly (through) Facebook posts... I have not criticised them publicly other than what I put out in my ministerial statements.

"And I hope against hope that one day, matters may be repaired."

Mr Lim also asked if it was correct that PM Lee had asked his wife how quickly he could move into 38 Oxley Road, a day before Mr Lee Kuan Yew died, when the family was gathered at the home.

PM Lee said he thought that was untrue. "I cannot remember the conversation, but I do not believe I would have said such a thing. But the counsel, if I may point out, could have subpoenaed people who could confirm that statement... namely my siblings. He has not done so."

In October last year, Mr Xu applied to bring PM Lee's siblings into the suit as third parties, with the intention of having them bear damages if he was found to have defamed PM Lee. He said the TOC article merely quoted directly from public comments made by Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang, and that they would have knowledge of particulars relating to the truth of the allegations.

Yesterday, Mr Lim said Mr Xu would discontinue any third-party involvement and proceedings, thus ruling out the possibility of the siblings testifying in court.

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