Prime Minister to refute siblings' claims in Parliament
He apologises to Singaporeans for harm caused by dispute over their late father's house
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make a ministerial statement at the next Parliament sitting on July 3 to refute the charges made against him by his siblings over the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's house in Oxley Road.
Speaking in a recorded video released yesterday evening, he said the People's Action Party whip would be lifted and urged all MPs to "examine the issue thoroughly".
"Much as I would like to move on and end a most unhappy experience for Singaporeans, these baseless accusations against the Government cannot be left unanswered. They must be and will be dealt with openly and refuted," he added.
PM Lee, who returned from holiday on Saturday, apologised to Singaporeans and said he deeply regretted that the private dispute had affected the country's reputation and its people's confidence in the Government.
"As your Prime Minister, I apologise to you for this. And as the eldest of the siblings, it grieves me to think of the anguish that this would have caused our parents if they were still alive.
"I want to assure all Singaporeans that this matter will not distract me and my Cabinet colleagues from our responsibility to govern Singapore and to deal with more important national issues, including the pressing economic and security challenges we face," he said.
Last Wednesday, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling said their brother, PM Lee, had obstructed them in carrying out the late Mr Lee's wish - which was stated in his will - of having 38, Oxley Road demolished after his death.
I want to assure all Singaporeans that this matter will not distract me and my Cabinet colleagues from our responsibility to govern Singapore...Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
The next day, PM Lee released a 41-point document, which detailed the events that caused him to have serious concerns over how the last will of the late Mr Lee was made.
Yesterday, he said he had done everything possible to avoid this state of affairs.
"My father left the property at 38, Oxley Road to me as part of my equal share of his estate, but my siblings were not happy about this," he said.
He added that he had offered to transfer 38, Oxley Road to Dr Lee for a nominal $1 before eventually selling the house to Mr Lee Hsien Yang at a fair market valuation and donating all proceeds to charity.
"I had hoped that this would satisfy them.
"There should be no reason for any further quarrel since I no longer own the house and I do not take part in any government decisions on the house," he said.
In December 2015, PM Lee had said in a joint statement with his two siblings that he hoped the Government would allow the late Mr Lee's wish to be honoured, adding that he would recuse himself from government decisions on the house.
"However, my siblings have decided to go out and make serious allegations publicly.
"For example, they say that I am using my position as Prime Minister to influence the ministerial committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.
"These allegations go beyond private and personal matters, and extend to the conduct of my office and the integrity of the Government," he said.
He added that he and his Cabinet are "determined to repair the damage that has been done to Singapore".
"As public servants, my ministers and I will always protect the integrity of our institutions and uphold the strict standards separating private affairs from our public duties," he said.