Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) has just dropped a huge bombshell on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by presenting documentary evidence on his Facebook page, alleging that his wife, Ho Ching had obtained papers of late Lee Kuan Yew when he was admitted to the hospital under the name of Prime Minister Office.
LHY wrote on his Facebook page that Ms Ho helped herself to a number of LKY’s papers after Mr Lee was admitted gravely ill into the ICU on 5 February 2015.
“These she handed to the NHB (ostensibly on loan) under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office. She had no business doing this when LKY was in ICU and it is deeply troubling that someone can represent the PMO despite holding no official position.” wrote LHY.
The photo shared by LHY shows a list of personal effects of late LKY and the source of items to National Heritage Board (NHB) is listed to be Ms Ho, who represents the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). However, Ms Ho is officially known as Mr Lee’s wife and CEO of Temasek Holdings, and not employed by PMO as a civil servant.
The items are listed to have been donated to NHB on 6 Feb 2015, a day after LKY was hospitalised and on 27 March 2015, a few days after the death of LKY on 23 March 2015.
In an updated post, LHY wrote in response to CNA’s post stating that Ms Ho was out of Singapore on the alleged date which the documents were taken, “CNA has kindly pointed out to us that Ho Ching may have been on an official trip on 6 Feb. In that case, since this official NHB document lists Ho Ching as the PMO point of contact, can she please identify the subordinate she instructed to take our father’s belongings?”
Those who have been following the on-going Lee family saga would be familiar with the accusations made by the children of late Lee Kuan Yew, Dr Lee Weiling (LWL) and Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) upon their elder brother with allegations of him abusing his powers and position as PM for personal agenda.
Both of them issued a joint statement on 14 June delivering harsh criticisms of PM Lee, saying that they are disturbed by the character, conduct, motives and leadership of their brother, Lee Hsien Loong, and the role of his wife, Ho Ching.
Since the beginning, the accusations and defence have been largely been based solely on accounts from both siblings and PM Lee’s entourage.
However from the start of the week, LHY posted a series of documents which backed his side of the story.
On Monday, he posted a letter from PM Lee’s lawyer showing that Mr Lucien Wong, who is PM Lee’s personal lawyer and the current Attorney General, had informed him that his client, PM Lee had received a copy of the Deed of Gift which was earlier denied by him and his sister, LWL on 12 June 2015.
According to LHY, it was a matter of just a few hours before Mr Wong wrote to inform them, “Our client has since received a copy of the Deed of Gift dated 8 June 2015 from NHB.”
The letter was marked with captions explaining what were the assets and clauses mentioned by Mr Wong in his letter.
LHY wrote in the post, “Did LHL acquire the Deed of Gift in his public capacity, or his private capacity? If in his public capacity, to use this in his personal legal disputes is a clear abuse of authority. If in his private capacity, how can other private citizens go about acquiring confidential deeds of gift from the NHB?”
Just today, LHY updated with another post, writing that his family had already knew the answer of whether PM Lee acquired the Deed of Gift in his public capacity or in his private capacity when he asked the question three days ago.
His post shares a screenshot of a letter that is allegedly sent by the Attorney General’s Chambers on 25 June 2015 to LHY stating that it is not surprising nor improper that PM Lee would receive a copy of the Deed of Gift given that the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth has oversight over National Heritage Board and accountable to the Prime Minister’s Office.
LHY added a caption below the screenshot, asking when other ministers receive confidential documents in their official capacities, are they also allowed to use these documents to fight personal legal battles with their family.
Implications of LHY’s evidence
For the benefit of those who don’t understand what LHY’s documentary evidence is all about, here are the implications.
- Ms Ho acted on behalf of Prime Minister’s Office to collect the documents while late Lee Kuan Yew was hospitalised. It is unsure who gave her the orders to do so, and even if she had such orders, she is not a civil servant.
- LHY’s letter from Mr Lucien Wong and AGC raises the question of whether PM Lee used his position as Prime Minister to obtain confidential documents for personal use. It is shown in Mr Wong’s letter that the intention of obtaining the Deed of Gift is not for official purposes but for personal affairs.
LHY’s latest allegation is outright troubling, as there is hardly any explanation why Ms Ho could have acted on behalf of PMO in official capacity to obtain the assets of LKY while he was unconscious.
Given that Mr Wong, who is the AG is also PM Lee’s personal lawyer, would he call for an official investigation on the matter given the seriousness of the allegation? It is doubtful that this matter could be and should be addressed in Parliament.
Parliament not the right venue to address serious allegations against PM Lee
On the matter of PM Lee’s impending statement at Parliament this coming 3 July, the Parliament is no place to address this “private dispute” as it is no longer just a matter of what late Lee Kuan Yew wants to do with his estate, but what the Prime Minister has been alleged to have done with the powers vested in him.
It is highly doubtful that any outcome can be achieved from an one sided presentation of the matter by the PM without the presence of his siblings. One will expect PM Lee to address the “baseless allegations” against him with full confidence without any fear of litigation, given that he is well-protected by Parliamentary privilege.
Since when the Ministers answered questions from the oppositions in a straight “Yes” or “No” answer? PM Lee and the other ministers can simply stand up and brush away questions by the oppositions just like they always did with baseless accusations and threats of lawsuits, whether it was the case of PAP operating the shell company, AIM which purchased the town council management system, appointment of Lucien Wong as Attorney General (who has been revealed as PM Lee’s personal lawyer) despite he is beyond the age of retirement, the advice given by AGC to have the upcoming Presidential Election as a reserved election for Malays and many more.
Even if the opposition MPs were to ask pertinent questions on the matter, the Speaker of Parliament can simply skip their follow up questions for clarification due to “lack of time” as past instances clearly prove that it is highly possible.
The only way how the troubling accusations can be addressed is through an independent Commission of Inquiry to have the parties involved questioned in court, to have the different accounts presented and not in a Parliament setting with the accused being asked by individuals who have no idea of what is going on between the Lee family and access to evidence from both parties.