In her latest Facebook post posted on late Wednesday afternoon, Dr Lee Weiling charged that Late Lee Kuan Yew was misled by her brother, Lee Hsien Loong (LHL) into thinking that his 38 Oxley Road property had been gazetted by the Singapore government, causing him to change his will to bestow the house to LHL.
According to Dr Lee, LKY was led by LHL to believe that Oxley Road had been “gazetted” by the government. She wrote, “This was the background to Loong’s insistence that Papa should change his will to give Oxley Road to Loong alone.”
She goes on to refer to an email on 6 Sept 2012, that is said to be written by LKY to his lawyer, Ms Kwa Kim Li of Lee & Lee, saying “Although it has been gazetted as a Heritage house it is still mine as owner.”
LKY is also said to have written in the same email, “But the house is still mine and I can in my will give Ling the right to stay on in the house.”
Dr Lee claimed that LHL eventually persuaded LKY that since Oxley had been “gazetted”, it was futile to keep LKY’s direction to demolish Oxley in his will.
In an earlier post by Mr Lee Hsien Yang in 2018, he said his late father wanted demolition “unwaveringly”, because he did not want his home made into a shrine. “His legacy is Singapore itself and not his old house”.
He added that Mr Lee Kuan Yew was forced to consider options other than demolition, as “(PM Lee) insisted that the gazetting of 38, Oxley Road was ‘inevitable’.”
He cited an e-mail the late Mr Lee sent to his children on Oct 3, 2011, which said: “Loong as PM has indicated that he will declare it a heritage site”.
On the renovation plans submitted to the URA in 2012, Mr Lee Hsien Yang wrote: “Our father reluctantly went along only because he believed the government already intended to thwart his hopes.”
However, according to Dr Lee, LKY began to doubt the truth that Oxley had been “gazetted” in late 2013.
She claims that LKY discussed with Ms Kwa the possibility of a “degazetting” of 38 Oxley Road after he died.
LKY is said to have been concerned that the government would reverse course after his death so as to benefit LHL, who made Ms Kwa recap what was in his Will in force at the time (dated 2 Nov 2012).
In his statutory declaration to a Ministerial Committee formed in 2017, LHL questioned the role Mrs Lee Suet Fern, Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s lawyer wife, played in the preparation of the last will which her husband had interest in. He also asserted that Dr Lee had been suspicious as to whether the change in shares was really LKY’s decision or one that was instigated by Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife. Dr Lee has denied such claims by LHL.
Dr Lee notes that contrary to what LHL has alleged about the final will (dated 17 Dec 2013), LKY knew full well the contents of his prior will when he signed it.
According to Dr Lee, LKY had discussions with Ms Kwa to make changes to his 2012 will and parts of the discussions and LKY’s instructions were recorded in several emails between the two.
Dr Lee wrote that her father had come to a view that the government would reverse course on the “gazetting” of 38 Oxley Road after his death benefitting LHL as a result.
“This was what I believe led Pa to decide to revert to reinstate the provision to demolish the house, which had always been his unwavering wish, and also to grant me the right to live in the house as long as I wished.” wrote Dr Lee.
Earlier in April this year, Dr Lee wrote about how media reports have continued to repeat LHL’s “false and dishonourable allegations” that her brother, Lee Hsien Yang had somehow swindled their father to get more in his final will. The media reports made were in relation to allegations made by Attorney General’s Chamber against LHY’s wife to the Law Society.
Back in 2017, the two siblings, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee had accused their brother of abusing his position on their dispute over the demolition of the old property at 38 Oxley Road which led to the Prime Minister to convene a debate in Parliament where he self-declared himself as being innocent of all the allegations put forth against him. LHL had rejected calls to sue his two siblings for defamation as it would “further besmirch” their parents’ names, and drag out the process for years, creating further “distraction and distress” to Singaporeans.