Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY), son of late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and brother to the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, voiced his support for the newly formed Progress Singapore Party headed by former People’s Action Party Member of Parliament, Dr Tan Cheng Bock in a Facebook post and backs Dr Tan’s criticism of the ruling party by stating that it has “lost its way”.
LHY posted on his Facebook page on Sunday evening, “I wholeheartedly support the principles and values of the Progress Singapore Party.”
Earlier this year, LHY congratulated Dr Tan’s party for its successful registration and affirmed the character of Dr Tan as someone who places the interests of the people first.
He wrote, “Today, Cheng Bock will groom future Parliamentarians who will serve our country and people before party or self. This is good for the future of Singapore. Cheng Bock is the leader Singapore deserves.”
LHY also wrote on his post on Sunday that the PAP today is no longer the political party of his father, LKY and that it has lost its way.
“Today’s PAP is no longer the PAP of my father. It has lost its way.” – LHY
This supports what Dr Tan has said during the Friday press conference that he has not changed but the ruling party has. Dr Tan shared that “the processes of good governance” in Singapore going “astray” was the catalyst behind the establishment of his party.
Dr Tan criticised the lack of transparency by the current government on how it appoints important positions, such as how individuals such as the Prime Minister’s wife, Ho Ching is being appointed as the CEO of Temasek and a wife of a PAP Senior Minister of State being appointed as auditor-general.
In June 2017, LHY and his sister, Dr Lee Weiling issued a joint statement as the children of late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew that is highly critical about their brother, Lee Hsien Loong.
The statement alleged the current Prime Minister of abusing his power and how the two are being threatened by the current government as a result of refusing to abide to PM Lee’s desire to retain the Oxley road estate despite LKY’s wish to demolish the house after his passing. PM Lee was forced to “clear his name” in Parliament over the allegations by declaring himself as innocent without any third-party investigations into the matter.
In that statement, the two wrote, “The values of Lee Kuan Yew are being eroded by his own son. Our father placed our country and his people first, not his personal popularity or private agendas. We are very sad that we have been pushed to this. We feel hugely uncomfortable and closely monitored in our own country. We do not trust Hsien Loong as a brother or as a leader. We have lost confidence in him.”
Is Mr Lee Hsien Yang going to join Dr Tan’s party?
What is missing from LHY’s Sunday post is whether he is going to join Dr Tan’s party.
This has been the question of many Singaporeans looking for a change in the political scene, especially since the Oxley Road saga where public confidence in the PAP adminstration was greatly shaken.
LHY, who has been in the private sector for his career, had said in the past that he has no interest in partaking politics. He said in an interview with Economic Times back in 2006 after leaving SingTel, “I’ve said many times before that I do not think politics is something I am suited for. I have no great interest to pursue a career in politics,” he added.
But since the joint statement in 2017, LHY has been seen publicly frequently with politicians particularly with Dr Tan’s party in visits to hawker centres, and backing activists in legal fees and costs, sparking hopes that he may get himself involved in the upcoming General Election.
In response to a question of whether LHY is joining PSP, Dr Tan said on Friday that while the two of them are “good friends”, LHY would have to join the party on the party’s terms if he desires to do so.
“I must say if he wants to join me, he is free to but he must adhere to my PSP terms, because many people would have thought he was coming to join me for his personal agenda.
“He must make it clear. I’m very clear and he knows if he joins, he must join on my terms,” added Dr Tan.