On Thursday evening (2 March), Lee Hsien Yang (LHY), the brother of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (LHL), took to Facebook to accuse the Singaporean authorities of continuing to persecute his family.
This came after Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr Teo Chee Hean, revealed in a written parliamentary reply that LHY and his wife, Lee Suet Fern, were under investigation for allegedly giving false evidence in judicial proceedings.
LHY and his family have been embroiled in a long-standing dispute over the fate of the 38 Oxley property following the passing of their father, Lee Kuan Yew, in 2015.
In a statement made in June 2017, LHY and his sister, Lee Wei Ling, said that they did not trust Hsien Loong and feared the use of “organs of the state” against them and their family. This statement led to LHL calling for a parliamentary session to clear himself of their allegations.
LHY also noted the case of his son, Li Shengwu, who was prosecuted by the authorities in July/August 2017 for “scandalising” the judiciary over a private Facebook post. After a three-year court case, Shengwu was convicted.
TOC previously reported that the grounds for the prosecution were questionable as the private Facebook post was shared with the local media and publicised as a result of the AGC’s action.
Additionally, LHY pointed to the case of his wife, Lee Suet Fern, who was suspended from legal practice for 15 months by the Court of Three Judges in 2020 after it agreed with the Disciplinary Tribunal’s finding that she had engaged in grossly improper professional conduct.
Mrs Lee denied the allegations, saying that the case was based on a private will and that there was no basis for the prosecution.
LHY, a former CEO of Singtel and Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, is a possible contender for the upcoming Presidential Election, along with his sister-in-law, Ho Ching, former Temasek CEO.
Despite the overwhelming high qualification criteria for a private candidate, LHY qualifies as a candidate with his various commercial appointments. The election—which was a walkover due to the raised qualification criteria and reserved election for Malay minority—must be held by September this year.
‘Rule of law’ for thee but not for me
Li Shengwu also chimed into the matter with a tweet, saying, “Many families have vindictive relatives. My relatives just happen to control a small authoritarian government.”
He wrote, “Just today, LHL’s government has revealed in parliamentary questions that the police want my parents to come in for ‘questioning’. In Singapore, the authorities can hold you indefinitely, under inhumane conditions, without timely access to a lawyer.”
Li noted, “When a hostile authoritarian government says they want to ‘question’ you, it is clear what that means. For the prime minister of Singapore, it’s ‘rule of law’ for thee but not for me.”
Many families have vindictive relatives. My relatives just happen to control a small authoritarian government. 🇸🇬 🧵
— Shengwu Li (@ShengwuLi) March 2, 2023
Details of investigations revealed by Teo Chee Hean in response to unrelated question
Mr Teo’s comments about LHY and LSF were in response to a written parliamentary question by MP Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim on 2 March about an e-book titled “The Battle Over Lee Kuan Yew’s Last Will,” authored by Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh.
In his written reply, Mr Teo criticised the book for ignoring established facts and findings and revealed that the police were investigating LHY and Mrs Lee for potential offenses of giving false evidence in judicial proceedings.
Mr Teo called on LHY and his wife to participate in the investigation and to take the opportunity to clear their names. He also criticised the e-book’s author, saying that the book’s claims are “calculated to mislead”.
According to Mr Teo, the police have stated that the investigation will be completed with or without their participation.
Earlier in Parliament this month, Minister Indranee Rajah told Members of Parliament that government agencies, such as the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) do not name their suspects as to avoid prejudicing that individual’s right to due process and also, avoid any presumption of guilt in the absence of any formal findings.
This was in relation to questions filed by MPs over the reluctance to name the six former senior executives of Keppel Offshore & Marine who were being investigated for corruption offenses in bribery acts in Brazil.