Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY), younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that the unapproved removal of their father, late Lee Kuan Yew (LKY)’s documents by PM Lee’s wife, Ms Ho Ching constitutes theft and intermeddling.
LHY earlier 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 Intensive Care Unit (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).
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.
However, in response to Channel News Asia’s queries on LHY’s Facebook post, the NHB clarified that the items 2 to 5 were received on 6 April instead of 6 Feb.
“For items numbered 2 to 5, the items were received on Apr 6, 2015 instead of Feb 6, 2015 as indicated. This was a clerical error. NHB has a receipt for the items on loan from PMO dated Apr 6, 2015,” an NHB spokesperson said to CNA. “All the items were loaned to NHB after the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away, to be displayed at the In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew exhibition held at the National Museum of Singapore.”
In response to NHB’s clarification, LHY retort by saying that this revelation makes it even more troubling. “By LKY’s will, the estate’s residual items, such as personal documents, fall under the absolute discretion of the executors Wei Ling and myself. Unapproved removal of these items, even by a beneficiary, constitutes both theft and intermeddling. Ho Ching is not an executor or a beneficiary to our father’s estate. We also still do not understand how she is a proper contact representative for the PMO.” wrote LHY.
While there has been defence on Ms Ho by media and online commenters that she was not around in Singapore during the alleged date where the documents were taken, but what has not been contested is that NHB signed off Ms Ho as the contact person for the PMO. Ms Ho is officially known as Mr Lee’s wife and CEO of Temasek Holdings, and not employed by PMO as a civil servant.