Two years ago, when Kwa Kim Li, who is the managing partner of the Lee & Lee law firm as well as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s cousin, told Straits Times (ST) that she didn’t prepare the last will of the late Lee Kuan Yew, ST was quick to publish a news report informing the public about it (‘Lawyer Kwa Kim Li says she did not prepare Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s last will‘, 17 Jun 2017) along with Channel News Asia.
“Ms Kwa, who is currently overseas, told The Straits Times: ‘I did not prepare the last will’,” ST reported. “Her statement contradicts an earlier one made by Mr Lee Hsien Yang, who is her cousin and the younger son of the late Mr Lee.”
This ST report came after PM Lee said that his father’s final will was made in “very troubling circumstances”. PM Lee raised the question of whether there was a conflict of interest when Mrs Lee Suet Fern – Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s wife – helped prepare the final will since her husband stood to gain from the removal of his sister Lee Wei Ling’s extra share of the estate in the will.
But Hsien Yang countered that his wife’s firm did not draft any of their father’s wills at all. “The will was drafted by Kwa Kim Li of Lee & Lee,” he said, referring to the sequence of events surrounding the final will. He added that the will’s seventh paragraph, in which the late Mr Lee stated that he wanted his house to be demolished after his death, “was drafted at LKY’s (Lee Kuan Yew’s) direction”.
It was “put into language by Lee Suet Fern, his daughter-in-law, and when he was satisfied, he asked Kim Li to insert it into his will”, explained Hsien Yang. In other words, Hsien Yang was saying Ms Kwa was the lawyer responsible for the last will of her client, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
But with Ms Kwa’s public statement 2 years ago, she is alleging that Hsien Yang’s statement is false and that she has nothing to do with her uncle’s last will.
Lee Wei Ling accuses Kwa Kim Li of “lying”
Yesterday (30 Apr), PM Lee’s sister, Lee Wei Ling, wrote on her Facebook page accusing Ms Kwa of “lying” about the latter’s supposed non-involvement in her father’s last will in 2013. The news was picked up by online sites as well as Yahoo News (‘Lee Wei Ling accuses lawyer Kwa Kim Li of lying about non-involvement in father’s 2013 will‘, 30 Apr 2019). So far, ST has kept mum not reporting anything about the latest twist to the late Mr Lee’s last will saga.
“Kwa Kim Li (KKL) of Lee & Lee has denied involvement in the events that led to this 2013 will… KKL has been lying. She has also breached her duties to her client, my father,” said Wei Ling. “Lee & Lee have always been lawyers for my father’s personal matters including all his wills, powers of attorney, and Advance Medical Directives including his affirmation in August 2014 of his AMD.”
As evidence of Kwa’s alleged involvement, Wei Ling also attached a photo of an e-mail supposedly sent by Ms Kwa to the late Mr Lee on 12 December 2013. In it, Ms Kwa appears to tell Mr Lee – whom she addresses as “Uncle Harry” – that she will be preparing a “codicil”, to reflect their discussed amendments to his will. She allegedly wrote, “I will prepare the codicil for you (Mr Lee) to sign this week, or when you are ready.” A codicil is actually an addition or supplement that explains, modifies, or revokes a will or part of one.
In her Facebook post, Wei Ling added that she has “more” evidence of the correspondence between Ms Kwa and her late father. She said, “From late November 2013 all the way till Friday 13 December 2013, my father had had discussions and exchanged e-mails with KKL of Lee & Lee on what he wanted in his will… The will my father signed on Tuesday 17 December 2013 reflected these prior discussions with his lawyer KKL.”
Wei Ling also accused her “dishonourable” brother, PM Lee, of repeatedly alleging that their sister-in-law Lee Suet Fern had “prepared and somehow got our father to sign a will in December 2013”.
New online falsehoods law to be enacted
PM Lee’s government is now in the midst of preparing a new law to counter “online falsehoods” ahead of the Singapore’s next general election.
In fact, PM Lee has said that the proposed law will hold online platforms accountable and empower the Government to issue correction orders. “Or in serious cases, take-down orders when online platforms publish false statements of facts,” he said.
Such a law would apply to all online platforms, including those owned by mainstream media as well as giant internet portals like Facebook or Yahoo.
As can be seen in the latest exchange in the ongoing last will saga of late Mr Lee, ST and CNA published news reports saying Ms Kwa wasn’t involved in the late Mr Lee’s last will and did not follow up with what Dr Lee just revealed in her posting, while Yahoo and social media outlets have published information from Dr Lee saying otherwise. Who is right?
If the online falsehoods law is enacted, which online platform will PM Lee’s government tell to take down its “online falsehoods” with regard to the late Mr Lee’s last will?
What do you think?