Lee Hsien Yang: Serious concerns with PM Lee’s attempt to cover and whitewash himself in Parliament on 3 July

Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) voices concerns over Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s upcoming Parliamentary session on 3 July to address the allegations made by LHY and his sister, Dr Lee Weiling (LWL) have been making for the past two weeks and that the two have no confidence that a fair, transparent or complete account of events will be told in Parliament.

In his Facebook post on Thursday, LHY wrote, “We have serious concerns with Lee Hsien Loong’s attempt to cover-up and whitewash himself in Parliament on 3 July 2017. We have begun to show evidence of his misuse of his position and influence to drive his personal agenda. This is yet another example.”

LHY and his sister, Dr Lee Weiling (LWL) have been accusing their elder brother, PM Lee of abusing his powers and position as Prime Minister 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 and the role of his wife, Ho Ching. The three are children of late founding Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away on 23 March 2015 and his property at 38 Oxley Road is the centre of the allegations and dispute.

PM Lee has earlier made a public statement on 19 June to apologise for the dispute between him and his siblings. Apart from apologising for the matter, he said that he will make a ministerial statement to refute the allegations made against him and will subject himself to questioning by the Members of Parliament on 3 July with party whip lifted for his party.

LHY notes in his Facebook post that the impending Parliamentary session is a forum that again places his brother before his subordinates and the lack of evidence that would be available in the Parliament session. He also highlights the many instances of Ministers providing cover for PM Lee prior to the 3 July “questioning”.

“They lack both sufficient background and evidence of the numerous instances of abuse and conflicts of interest, many yet to be raised. Even before the session, many of them appear to have felt obliged to give him cover. Many MPs will fear career repercussions if they speak out against their superior. Historically, few PAP MPs have dared to dissent even when the party whip was lifted.” wrote LHY. Which is true, and for those MPs who dared to dissent are given the cold treatment, such as Dr Tan Cheng Bock, former MP of Ayer Rajah SMC, who voiced against the Non-constituency Member of Parliament Scheme when the party whip was lifted. 

LHY notes that there will be no opportunity or adequate time for evidence to be properly drawn together, placed before Parliament, and considered by the Members of Parliament.  He also highlights that there will not be any opportunity for an examining body to properly probe explanations or excuses that are presented.

“A Parliamentary session is not the correct forum for investigations of this nature.” wrote LHY and states that they have no confidence that a fair, transparent or complete account of events will be told at the Parliamentary session with only PM Lee’s side of the story being aired. Pointing that there is no promise of truthfulness in PM Lee’s Parliamentary statement due to the parliamentary privilege, LHY notes that it could also be an opportunity for PM Lee to continue to mislead or insinuate under the privilege.

Under the Parliament (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Act, no Member shall be liable to any civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages by reason of any matter or thing which he may have brought before Parliament or a committee by petition, bill, resolution, motion, or otherwise or may have said in Parliament or in committee.

“We believe that key issues such as his abuse of power will be simply swept under the carpet. The accused controls both process and outcome in this forum.”

So far, many politicians and journalists have voiced their opinions, stating that the Parliament is not an appropriate forum to address the allegations put forth by the two siblings as they will not be allowed to present their side of the story in Parliament and the seriousness of the matter warrants a committee of inquiry to have the matter thoroughly scrutinised. The seriousness of the matter has even warranted the Public Service Division to carry out a poll to determine the damage on the trust of public institution.

Over the past few days, several Ministers have voiced out to “clarify” the matter that LHY and LWL have brought up and seemingly limiting the discussion on the will of 38 Oxley Road instead of addressing the allegations of misuse of powers.

The typical modus of operation to deflect heat such in the case of AIM, Nassim Jade saga and other hot topics, is to have the PAP MPs take up bulk of the time in their speeches, insert some redundant questions that seem harmless, have the Minister to reply to the questions along with questions from the opposition Members of Parliament, so as to make their questions seem confrontational and then have the Minister attack the rational for asking such questions and challenge them to file a court complain if they are not convinced. The Speaker will then come in at the appropriate point and say end of question time and move on to the next point of the agenda. With how things are developing, it is very unlikely the matter can be resolved with just a statement from the PM on the coming 3 July.