Dr Lee Wei Ling refuted Bilahari Kausikan’s – a retired diplomat – allegations that her brother Lee Hsien Yang has bought the 38 Oxley Road property from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for S$1 and to make a profit from the property, noting that his allegations are “baseless” and “false”.
During the Cooling-Off Day of the election (9 July), Mr Bilahari posted on Facebook noting that Mr Lee Hsien Yang “eloquently attacks” the system that he has benefited from because he was “prevented from monetising” the property – which initially bequeathed to PM Lee – by his elder brother PM Lee.
He also described Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s excuse for not contesting in the General Election (GE) – that Singapore does not need another Lee in power – was “hollow” and the move was “cowardly”.
In the comment section of Mr Bilahari’s post, a netizen asked him whether Mr Lee Hsien Yang was given the house or he bought it. Mr Bilahari then replied, “His brother (PM) inherited the house and when LHY started bitching about it, sold it to him for SGD 1 dollar”.
He further noted, “I really do not at all mind disagreement but hypocrisy raises my blood pressure, particularly in this case!”
In response to Mr Bilahari’s post, Dr Lee took to Facebook today noting that his allegations were false. She clarified that her brother Mr Lee Hsien Yang had bought the house from PM Lee at market price and donated 50 per cent of the value of the house to charity.
“Bilahari has falsely claimed that my brother Yang bought Oxley Road for $1 and that Yang is angry because he is prevented from monetising the property. Bilahari has no basis to make such a statement,” she wrote.
According to her, Mr Lee Hsien Yang bought the property as he knew that their late father Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) had granted her the right to live in the house for “as long as she wished”.
Dr Lee also cited a statement from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Heritage Board (NHB) in April 2015, which states that if a decision is made to allow for the demolition of the house, the Government will disallow the site to be redeveloped in a way that would diminish its historical significance.
“To suggest that Yang bought the house with a view to making a profit is completely baseless and false,” she added.
Meanwhile, it is a fact that PM Lee had transferred ownership of the Oxley property to Mr Lee Hsien Yang at market value in 2015 as reported by various news reports. It was also reported that both brothers then each donated half the value of the house to charity.
Soon after Dr Lee made her FB post, Mr Bilahari posted in the comment section, stating that he “stand corrected on that point and apologise for the mistake”.