In his Chinese New Year message today (24 Jan), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told everyone that strong families make for a strong nation.

He said, “Our families are the most important people in our lives. They are the first ones whom we share good news with.”

“When times are hard, we turn for comfort and support to our parents, spouses, siblings, and later our children. Even if our extended families do not all live together, most of us still keep close ties with uncles and aunts, cousins and nephews, and of course grandparents and grandchildren,” he added.

“Strong families make for a strong nation. Singapore should be a society where families are celebrated and supported, especially young families starting out.”

He went on to say that the government has initiated many recent initiatives with the aim of supporting young families starting out.

“In Singapore, as long as you work hard, you can be confident of a better life for yourselves and your children,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this year, I will miss my usual New Year’s Eve reunion dinner, as I shall be on my way home from Davos. One of the highlights of my trip is the chance to celebrate Chinese New Year with the Singaporean community in Zurich.”

Strong families make for a strong nation?

Meanwhile, it has been reported that PM Lee’s siblings would not be invited to CNY reunion dinner again this year.

Two years ago during 2018 CNY, questions were swirling as to whether he would invite his estranged siblings for the CNY reunion dinner after snubbing them the year before. At the time (Jul 2017), his brother and sister released a statement revealing that all of PM Lee’s relatives were invited to the dinner except them.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling released a joint statement saying, “First Chinese New Year reunion after our father’s death, our brother invited all relatives except us.”

By that time, the Lee family had been embroiled in a public feud over their family home at 38 Oxley Road. The family has had a tough time these past few years with disagreements turning into a war of words online as well as legal battles in Court. The ripple effect is widespread, not limited to just the siblings but their other family members as well.

Yesterday (23 Jan), Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s son Li Shengwu said on his Facebook page that he has removed his cousin Li Hongyi who is PM Lee’s son, from his Facebook friends list.

In that same post, Mr Li Shengwu noted that he has decided not to continue to participate in proceedings brought against him by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) for “scandalising the judiciary” in a private Facebook post he made relating to the Oxley saga. He said, “I will not dignify the AGC’s conduct by my participation.”

He added, “I will continue to be active on Facebook, and will continue to regard my friends-only Facebook posts as private. However, I have removed my cousin Li Hongyi from my Facebook friends list.”

Does strong families really make for a strong nation? What do you think?


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