Being arguable the most prominent family in Singapore, people are generally hungry for news about the Lees. Whether it’s the Prime Minister himself or members of his immediate and extended family, news about the Lee family often makes it into mainstream media – be it news of their family spat of the late Lee Kuan Yew’s will to something as quaint as an announcement of PM Lee’s sister in Law Lee Suet Fern winning an international quilting.
However, it appears as though one branch of the Prime Minister’s family is appearing less and less in mainstream media.
We’re referring to Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his immediate clan.
When Mr Lee’s second son, Li Huanwu got married to his partner, Mr Heng Yirui in South Africe just two months ago in May, mainstream news outlets neglected to report on it.
Neither Channel NewsAsia nor TODAY or Straits Times published any articles about the joyful occasion or that Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s immediate family attended the ceremony.
The most recent event that CNA, ST, TODAY Singapore Press Holding’s Chinese papers seem to have passed up on is the presence of Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife at TOC’s own fundraiser on 6 July which was well attended by prominent party leaders and social activists. None of the three big mainstream media articles apparently thought it was worth writing about that the Prime Minister’s brother attended this TOC fundraiser?
Perhaps the most telling moment is the coverage or lack thereof on Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s family’s attendance at this year’s Pink Dot rally just last month. Mr Lee was there with his wife, son and son-in-law to show his support to the LGBTQ community. Notably, Straits Times did at first mention the Lees’ presence at the rally all clad in pink, but the article was later edited to remove any mention of them. And it’s not that ST moved it to a different articles, ST simply erased any mention of the family being at Pink Dot. There was also no mention of Mr Lee and his family at Pink Dot by Channel NewsAsia or TODAY.
Isn’t that peculiar. It begs the question, is there some sort of mainstream media blackout on Mr Lee Hsien Yang? Have these media outlets been instructed to forgo coverage of anything relating to the Prime Minister’s brother? Have they been told to censor any and all news around Mr Lee and his family?