The tale of seven wills

The tale of seven wills

by Teo Soh Lung

The prime minister and his deputy spent two days in parliament attempting to ascertain the intention of Lee Kuan Yew with regard to his house at 38 Oxley Road.

The prime minister submitted three statutory declarations to the ministerial committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. A summary was made public by the prime minister soon after the issue of the joint statement of his younger siblings.

The summary did not rebut the allegations of abuse of power by the siblings. It was all about the seven wills made by Lee Kuan Yew, six of which are totally irrelevant and should never have been made public. They added confusion to the serious allegations of the siblings.

We learn from the various public statements that the last and 7th will was registered in the Wills Registry and probate was duly granted within a year of the death of Lee Kuan Yew in 2015.

To me that was the end of the matter. The prime minister had failed to challenge the will which means that he has accepted its due execution.

Every will revokes the previous will, unless the lawyer is careless enough not to insert the crucial revocation clause. The six wills made before the 7th would clearly have all been revoked and the originals destroyed.

What then is the purpose of the prime minister obtaining copies of the six wills from Lee Kuan Yew’s lawyer whether in his public or private capacity?

Further, a lawyer has to protect the confidentiality of matters entrusted to him by his client, in this case Lee Kuan Yew who is dead. This duty continues even after death. Was there a breach of professional ethics which may entail disciplinary sanctions? Will the Law Society of Singapore investigate the matter?

The two day parliamentary session have not resolved the most crucial allegation that the prime minister had abused his power. We no longer have a JB Jeyaretnam in parliament. And so I doubt if anyone will have the courage to investigate and ask more questions. The words of Goh Chok Tong: “Tang Liang Hong is not my brother” ring loud and clear.

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