Lawrence Wong clarifies conflict of interest issue
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who was Minister for Culture, Community and Youth in 2015 when there was an SG50 exhibition by the National Heritage Board (NHB) showcasing artefacts belonging to founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, clarified the conflict of interest issue with regard to Mrs Lee Suet Fern, in Parliament yesterday.
Here are the points:
MRS LEE SUET FERN'S ROLE
The NHB initially thought that Mrs Lee Suet Fern, wife of Mr Lee Hsien Yang and an NHB board member, would be a "useful intermediary" to raise the board's concerns with the executors when she reached out to offer her assistance.
When legal issues surrounding the donation arose, the chairman of NHB approached Mrs Lee to recuse herself on June 12, 2015.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong asked why Mrs Lee's relationship with the executors of the estate was not flagged as a possible conflict of interest when she helped with the negotiations.
Mr Wong admitted that with hindsight, some roles need to be "better clarified" and NHB has strengthened its own processes internally to ensure that conflict rules are observed.