“What in the world did I stand to gain out of my supposed elaborate deception?” asked Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) in a Facebook post on Wednesday evening.
Mr LHY, who is the brother of the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (LHL) wrote that Mr LHL and the Attorney General, Lucien Wong had alleged that he engineered, with Mrs Lee Suet Fern (LSF), his wife’s help, his father’s final will “final will which gave his children equal shares in order to get a larger share of his Estate”.
LHY and LHL are children of late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (LKY).
“In the course of the Disciplinary Tribunal, undisputed evidence was presented that LKY decided to revert to equal shares after discussions with his lawyer KKL, rebutting this.” wrote Mr LHY.
The Disciplinary Tribunal that Mr LHY is referring to, was brought about last year when Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) referred Mrs LSF to the Law Society for a possible professional misconduct case.
The AGC stated that Mrs LSF had prepared the last will of Mr LKY and had arranged for Mr LHY to execute it despite her husband being one beneficiaries. The last will resulted in Mr LHY’s share in the late Mr Lee’s estate being increased.
AGC’s complaint followed the debate held in Parliament in 2017 in which Mr LHL denied allegations put forth by Mr LHY and his sister, Dr Lee Weiling (LWL) in a public statement.
The Disciplinary Tribunal’s findings released last Friday, made damning remarks upon Mr LHY.
One of which states, “Having procured the last will through these improper means, [they] then fabricated a series of lies and inaccuracies, to perpetuate the falsehoods that Ms Kwa Kim Li had been involved in the last will, and hide their own role in getting [Mr LKY] to sign the last will and their wrongdoings,”
The DT in its conclusion wrote, “Mr LHY’s conduct was equally deceitful. He lied to the public, he lied to the MC, and he lied to us. He tried to hide how he and his wife had misled his own father, Mr Lee, on the Last Will. He had no qualms about making up evidence as he went along. We found him to be cynical about telling the truth.”
However, it is to note that the Law Society did not subpoena Ms Kwa for the hearing because of the matters arising from section 32(1)(b)(iv) of the Evidence Act.
Mr LHY refutes the claims by stating that he and his wife played no part in his decision to revert to equal shares. Noting that Mr LHL benefitted equally from this change and the final will got his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling’s right to live at Oxley Road reinstated — “something that she wanted badly”.
He further went on to state that his father and sister, along with himself were led to believe that the house had been gazetted and could therefore not be demolished.
“In 2013, LKY came to a view that the house would be “degazetted” and therefore discussed degazetting with his lawyer, KKL. If it were degazetted, his unwavering wish for the house to be demolished might be realisable. This wish, as everyone knows, mattered greatly to him and my mother.” wrote Mr LHY.
He also noted that no one complained after the signing of the will before LKY died, stating that the probate of the Will was obtained in 2015 on the urging of Mr LHL and his then-personal lawyer, Lucien Wong.
What did Lee Hsien Yang benefit from changes in will
The sixth will of Mr LKY had split the portion of the estate to 3:2:2 with Dr LWL being given three parts and the other two with two parts. The seventh and last will states that all three will receive equal parts of the estate.
While Mr LHY would have gotten more from the change, Mr LHL would also have gotten more as well.
Also Dr LWL who is supposed to be at the losing end of the change, wrote back last year that it was a lie to say that Mr LHY “somehow swindled our father to get more in his final will.”
She wrote that the allocation of equal shares was always their parent’s intention and agreement between them and with the children.
In 2015, Mr LHY bought over the 38 Oxley Road property from Mr LHL at market value. Before this, Mr LHL had offered to transfer the house to Dr Lee for a nominal sum of S$1.
As to why there was a change in arrangement, Mr LHL responded to Mr Low Thia Khiang’s question over what transpired during the Parliament sittings held in 2017 over the allegations made by his two siblings.
Mr LHL said, “So I (told my I siblings that I) will sell you the house if you undertake to stop these allegations. They said, in that case, you, Lee Hsien Loong, undertake to help us get the house knocked down. And support us in getting the house knocked (down). I said, I cannot do that … There was an impasse.”
Even after he “became troubled” by how Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s Last Will was drafted, Mr Lee said he held back from raising the issues with his siblings as he “still hoped for an amicable settlement”. But Dr LWL and Mr LHY issued an “ultimatum” to “accept their terms” by 1 September 2015, which also happened to be Nomination Day, said Mr LHL.
Lee Suet Fern’s response to the DT’s report
Mr LHY in a Facebook post on Sunday, shared Mrs Lee’s comments regarding the tribunal’s report.
Mrs LSF’s comments were: “I disagree with the Disciplinary Tribunal’s report and will fight this strongly when it is heard in open court.”
“Any member of the public can obtain the entire record of the closed-door proceedings of the Tribunal from the Law Society. I urge the public to look at these and come to their own independent conclusions,” she added.
Mrs Lee’s case will now be referred to the Court of Three Judges, which is Singapore’s apex disciplinary body in dealing with lawyers’ misconduct.
The lawyer may face a fine, or be suspended or disbarred from her profession.