Time to get back to work, Hsien Loong tells S’pore


  • ASEAN+
  • Wednesday, 05 Jul 2017

SINGAPORE: After a two-day debate on allegations of misuse of power, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this had cleared the air over such charges.

He urged the country to move forward and “get back to work”.

As he wrapped up the debate yesterday, Hsien Loong pointed out that throughout the debate, facts and explanations have been put on record.

Singaporeans have been given a full account of how the Government works and what it has done in the case of the Oxley Road house, and allegations have been aired and rebutted.

“People can see that there has been no abuse of power, by me or my Government,” said Hsien Loong.

His siblings Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling have in the past weeks charged that Hsien Loong had misused his power on the matter of their father’s house at 38, Oxley Road by, among other things, forming a “secret” ministerial committee.

They have accused the committee of acting on Hsien Loong’s bidding to obstruct their father’s wish that the house be demolished.

Yesterday, Hsien Loong said he hoped the two-day debate had cleared the air and would calm things down, even as he added: “It would be unrealistic to hope that the matter is now completely put to rest.

“I do not know what further statements or allegations my siblings may make. But with the benefit of the statements and debate, Singaporeans are now in a better position to judge the facts, and see this issue in perspective.

“We can all get back to what we should be focused on, and not be distracted from our national priorities and responsibilities.”

He also thanked members, including Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and nominated MP Chia Yong Yong, for their wishes for reconciliation within the family.

On this, he said: “I, too, would like to think this is possible. It will be a difficult and a long road, but I hope that one day, there will be rapprochement.”

Things took an emotional turn when he recalled the sombre week of mourning that followed Lee Kuan Yew’s death in 2015.

Voice wavering, Hsien Loong recalled how the most difficult moment for him came as he was reading the eulogy at the state funeral service.

He had then recounted how, when he was about 13, the late Kuan Yew had told him: “If anything happens to me, please take care of your mother, and your younger sister and brother.”

“Little did I expect that after my parents died, these tensions would erupt, with such grievous consequences ... so I hope one day, these passions will subside and we can begin to reconcile.

“At the very least, I hope that my siblings will not visit their resentments and grievances with one generation upon the next generation.

“And further, that they do not transmit their enmities and feuds to our children.”

Hsien Loong once again expressed sadness over the public feud, adding that he regrets that in addressing public accusations against him as prime minister, he has had to raise private family matters in Parliament. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network


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