Singapore

Lee Suet Fern vows to fight misconduct ruling over Lee Kuan Yew's will

Daughter-in-law of Lee Kuan Yew was found guilty of misconduct over his will

Lawyer Lee Suet Fern has hit back at a ruling by a tribunal that found her guilty of misconduct in the handling of late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's will.

"I disagree with the disciplinary tribunal's report and will fight this strongly when it is heard in open court," she said yesterday.

She added that any member of the public can get the entire record of the closed-door proceedings of the tribunal from the Law Society.

"I urge the public to look at these and come to their own independent conclusions," she said.

Her comments were posted on the Facebook page of her husband, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, who is the late Mr Lee's son and current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's younger brother.

She added that she was "deeply grateful" for her lawyers, former Attorney-General Walter Woon, Senior Counsel Kenneth Tan and Providence Law, for an "outstanding and impressive defence".

The Straits Times reported yesterday that the tribunal had found Mrs Lee, 61, guilty of grossly improper professional conduct in how she handled the late Mr Lee's will. He died on March 23, 2015, at the age of 91.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang had declined to comment when contacted by ST on Saturday night.

Yesterday, his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, called the tribunal's report a "travesty", adding it was an attempt to "rewrite history".

"My father knew full well what he was doing. He was clear in his decision for the will," she said in a Facebook post.

In January last year, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) complained to the Law Society about possible professional misconduct involving Mrs Lee.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon then appointed a two-man tribunal, comprising Senior Counsel Sarjit Singh Gill and lawyer Leon Yee Kee Shian, to hear the case.

Both the Law Society, which prosecuted the case, and Mrs Lee's lawyers made their respective arguments.

The ensuing 206-page report from the tribunal described Mrs Lee as a "deceitful witness, who tailored her evidence to portray herself as an innocent victim who had been maligned".

'EVASIVE'

Calling this a "facade", the tribunal said "she lied or became evasive whenever she thought it was to her benefit to lie or evade". It also noted that Mr Lee Hsien Yang had said that the last will was drafted by his father's usual lawyer Ms Kwa Kim Li. She has denied it.

It also said Mr Lee Hsien Yang's conduct was "equally deceitful".

"He tried to hide how he and his wife had misled his own father, Mr Lee, on the last will. He had no qualms about making up evidence as he went along. We found him to be cynical about telling the truth."

The tribunal said the facts exposed an "unsavoury tale" of how the couple persuaded the late Mr Lee to sign a new will without his usual lawyer, Ms Kwa, to advise him.

The matter will be referred to the Court of Three Judges, the highest disciplinary body to deal with lawyers' misconduct.

If found guilty, Mrs Lee could be fined, suspended or disbarred as a lawyer.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his sister have clashed with their older brother over whether their late father's house at 38 Oxley Road should be preserved or demolished.

FOR MORE, READ THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME