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ASEAN/East Asia

Friday, 16 June 2017 | MYT 12:19 PM

Stamford Law Corporation did not draft Lee Kuan Yew's final will: Lee Hsien Yang

Lee Hsien Yang leaving the Supreme Court on April 10, 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE.

Lee Hsien Yang leaving the Supreme Court on April 10, 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE.

SINGAPORE: Stamford Law Corporation did not draft Lee Kuan Yew's final will, Lee Hsien Yang has said in the ongoing public dispute about the Lee family home at 38 Oxley Road.

His latest post on Facebook at 7.32am on Friday said: "Loong claims, 'my siblings had not responded to the Committee's questions about how the last will was prepared and the role that Lee Suet Fern and lawyers from her legal firm played in preparing the last will.'

"This is a lie. We replied on 28 Feb, 'The Final Will was not drafted by Stamford Law Corporation or Ng Joo Khin and LHL's claimed recollection to that effect is clearly erroneous.' LHL's secret committee ignored it. Besides, we thought this was a 'private family matter'?"

'LHL' refers to Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong who, on Thursday night, released a detailed summary of the long-running dispute with his siblings which raised questions on the way his father Lee Kuan Yew's last will was made.

PM Lee said in the statement that Lee Suet Fern volunteered that Lee Kuan Yew had asked her to prepare the last will, but she got a lawyer from her law firm Stamford Law Corporation to do so instead as she did not want to get personally involved. The firm is now known as Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC.

PM Lee also said that the lawyer was Ng Joo Khin, who was also present when the last will was read on April 12, 2015.

The document differed markedly from its previous version, in that it gave equal shares of their father's estate to all three of his children.

This was a reversal of a decision that the late Lee had made in his second-last will, in which Dr Lee Wei Ling, his only daughter, was given an extra share of the estate.

The other key difference was the inclusion of a clause stating that the late Lee wanted his house at 38 Oxley Road demolished after his death.

There is no evidence Mr Lee Kuan Yew even knew the demolition clause was re-inserted into the last will, PM Lee said. He also expressed concern about Lee Suet Fern's involvement in the preparation and signing of the last will, when her husband stood to gain from the removal of Dr Lee's extra share in the last will.

A few hours before Lee Hsien Yang's post, his eldest son Li Shengwu said that it would be bad for Singapore if a third generation from the Lee family entered politics.

"Twelve hours ago I gave the following statement to AFP: 'Not only do I intend never to go into politics, I believe that it would be bad for Singapore if any third-generation Lee went into politics. The country must be bigger than one family.'," he said in a post at 3.44am on Friday.

Li, a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, was touching on the matter of political succession that was raised in a statement released by his father Lee Hsien Yang and his aunt Dr Lee Wei Ling on Wednesday.

The document, posted on Facebook, said that their eldest brother Lee Hsien Loong harboured political ambitions for his son Li Hongyi.

Lee Hsien Loong denied their allegations, and called the claim that he had political ambitions for his son "absurd".

In a brief Facebook post on Thursday, Li Hongyi, 30, said: "For what it is worth, I really have no interest in politics." – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

 

 

Related stories:

PM Lee Hsien Loong details 'deeply troubling' way Lee Kuan Yew's will was made

PM Lee Hsien Loong sets out timeline of events in the making of and execution of Lee Kuan Yew's will

Singapore PM Lee questions the role of brother, wife in making of father's final will

Lee Hsien Yang: Singapore PM Lee lied in Parliament or to committee

Lee Wei Ling disputes PM Lee Hsien Loong’s account of her reaction to changes to her father’s will

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