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Dispute with Lee Hsien Loong more than a family affair, says sister


Dr Lee said that she and Mr Lee Hsien Yang (right) would not have issued a public statement if the dispute with their brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, over their late father's house "were merely a family affair". – The Straits Times/ANN

Dr Lee said that she and Mr Lee Hsien Yang (right) would not have issued a public statement if the dispute with their brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, over their late father's house "were merely a family affair". – The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE: Dr Lee Wei Ling on Thursday said she and Lee Hsien Yang would not have issued a public statement if the dispute with their brother, Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, over their late father's house "were merely a family affair".

In a Facebook post, Dr Lee said the main message of their six-page statement released on Wednesday was not that the siblings feared what PM Lee would do to them.

Rather, she alleged that PM Lee's "misuse (of) his official power" against his siblings in relation to the house at 38, Oxley Road suggests he could do the same to ordinary citizens. She added that their lawyer edited this message out of the statement.

In the statement, the two siblings said they had lost confidence in PM Lee, adding that they feared the use of state organs against them.

Replying in a statement, PM Lee denied the allegations levelled by his siblings and said he was disappointed and saddened by their public airing of private family matters.

In her Facebook post on Thursday, Dr Lee said she is in Scotland on holiday.

Commenting on media coverage of the dispute, she wrote: "The article that appeared in the Singapore press gave PM's version of the story. Our letter was carefully vetted by our lawyers and obviously not in my own voice."

She also reiterated that the decision on the fate of the Oxley Road house lies with her parents.

"My father had told us, his children, repeatedly, that being family property, there is no need to donate to charity if Oxley were sold," she said.

In their statement on Wednesday, the two siblings had revealed that the house was bequeathed to PM Lee after the late Lee Kuan Yew died on March 23, 2015 at the age of 91. PM Lee later sold the house to Lee Hsien Yang.

A joint statement issued by all three siblings in December 2015 announced that PM Lee and Lee Hsien Yang each agreed to donate half the value of the Oxley Road house to eight charities, in honour of their father.

Dr Lee claimed in her Facebook post that PM Lee had stipulated the donation as a condition for selling the house to Lee Hsien Yang.

In an earlier post on Thursday morning, she responded to a statement by Cabinet Secretary Tan Kee Yong which said PM Lee has not been involved in Cabinet's discussions concerning a ministerial committee set up to consider options for the Oxley Road house.

Disputing it, she said there is "no way" the ministerial committee was set up without PM Lee's "tacit consent and approval". – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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