From a scintillating revelation of e-mail exchanges between Dr Lee Wei Ling, daughter of the late Lee Kuan Yew and Ivan Frenandaz, an editor from the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), it does seem that Dr Lee had less than pleasant things to say about not only SPH, but her own brother, PM Lee Hsien Loong, too.
Dr Lee first revealed the e-mail exchanges between SPH and her in a Facebook post at about 1pm on 4 April in what can be constituted as an attempt to rebut the latest post written by Ivan on The Straits Times. (read here)
Ivan defended his decision to remove the parts of Dr Lee’s submission in his post as an editor of her writings, saying that her ideas had to be honed and her language, tightened. He also argued that Dr Lee was guilty of plagiarism.
Following those insinuations, Dr Lee shocked netizens by exposing all of the email exchanges on between the two with regards to her submission on the ‘hero-worship of LKY’ in its entirety and SPH’s subsequent refusal to print it.
The post which contained the e-mail exchanges was removed about 3 hours after it was posted.
The portion that raised the most eyebrows was where Dr Lee revealed that she and PM Lee differed in principles.
She accused Lee Hsien Loong of abusing his power to build a dynasty. She also asserted that SPH of being controlled by the interests of the ‘powers that be*’ She even went as far as to call him ‘a dishonorable son’ and insisted that she would not allow her father’s name to be sullied by him.
The e-mail containing the said accusations can be viewed below.
Here are screenshots of the post before it was taken down.
Prior to the expose, Ivan wrote, in his post in Straits Times, that “Later that day, without any notice, she went ahead to post that version of the article online, thereby bringing an end to any further discussion on the editing of the column.”
However, from the published exchange, it can be seen that Dr Lee had, arguably, made her intentions to publish her thoughts through blogging clear to Ivan. Ivan, in turn, had also said that she was free to withdraw the edited version of her submission and publish the original piece on her own.
However, the SPH Editor claimed that he was caught off guard by Dr Lee’s publication of her Facebook post as he did not think that blogging would equate to a post on Facebook.
The e-mail thread was then concluded with the full text of the post that eventually was posted on Dr Lee’s facebook which can be viewed at this link
Soon after Dr Lee’s post was taken down, PM Lee issued a response to rubbish her insinuations. Judging from the siblings’ mode of communication, it is safe to conclude that communication between them has, to a considerable extent, broken down.
He brushed aside Dr Lee’s claim of him ‘building a dynasty’, saying that it makes ” even less sense” than the claim of him gaining political mileage from the alleged cult-worship of the late Prime Minister. Instead, Lee emphasized on the importance of meritocracy as one of the core tenets of the Singapore society.
He also revealed that the decision to give the ‘ground-up initiatives’ the green light was a decision that was made at Cabinet level and not on a personal whim.
.*The powers that be is a phrase that refers to those individuals or groups who collectively hold authority over a particular domain