Singaporean Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr Teo Chee Hean, has strongly criticized an e-book titled “The Battle Over Lee Kuan Yew’s Last Will,” authored by Mr Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh, saying that the book is “not credible” and is “calculated to mislead.”
Mr Teo, who was responding to a written parliamentary question by MP Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim (PAP-Chua Chu Kang) on Thursday (2 Mar), said that the e-book “totally ignores the facts and findings which had been established, after an objective and thorough examination of the case, by the Court of Three Judges (C3J) in November 2020 and a Disciplinary Tribunal (DT) in February 2020.”
He also stated that the book’s claims are “completely at odds with the findings and conclusions of the C3J and the DT.”
Mr Teo then went on to explain the findings of the C3J and the DT, saying that “Mrs Lee Suet Fern (LSF) and Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) misled Mr LKY in the context of the Last Will’s execution and lied under oath.”
He added that “the C3J suspended Mrs LSF from practicing as a lawyer for 15 months,” and that “the DT said that Mr LHY and Mrs LSF had presented ‘an elaborate edifice of lies…both on oath…and through their public and other statements…The Affidavits were contrived to present a false picture. Several of the lies were quite blatant.'”
Mr Teo then criticized the e-book’s author, Mr Sudhir, for ignoring the established facts and findings, saying that “Mr Thomas comes to the surprising conclusion that the judgments clear Mrs LSF and Mr LHY of ‘all suspicion of improper motives or manipulations.’ It is clear that the assertions in his book are calculated to mislead.”
Mr Teo also revealed that the police have commenced investigations into Mrs LSF and Mr LHY for potential offenses of giving false evidence in judicial proceedings.
He said that “their refusal to participate raises questions” and that “if they maintain their innocence, the investigation will give them the chance to vindicate themselves.”
Mr Teo urged Mrs LSF and Mr LHY to “participate, take the full opportunity to give their side of the story, and clear their names.”
He added that “the Police have also informed them that the necessary steps would be taken to complete the investigations in their absence.”
Mr LHY is the son of the late LKY and brother of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and their family has been embroiled in a long-standing dispute over the fate of the 38 Oxley property after LKY’s passing in 2015.
Law enforcement agencies do not name those who are being investigated
When asked by MPs why the six former senior executives of Keppel Offshore & Marine could not be named even though the information is out in public, Minister Indranee Rajah said in Parliament:
As a matter of policy, CPIB does not disclose the names of individuals, unless they are charged in court. This policy is not unique to the CPIB; law enforcement agencies in the US, UK and New Zealand have a similar approach. The principle underlying this policy is to avoid prejudicing that individual’s right to due process and also, avoid any presumption of guilt in the absence of any formal findings.
If Members feel that hereafter this practice should be changed and that law enforcement agencies should name all individuals who were investigated, even if in the end no charges are brought, then please say so. That would be a major change of policy.
But please note, if Members want to change, then it cannot be only for this case. It must be for all future cases. That is something to think carefully about. Members will recall that, about two years ago, a question was in fact raised in this House, asking about the protections available for those whose reputations are affected by media coverage of ongoing trials of certain offences and how such reports are regulated.
It is puzzling why Ms Indranee’s senior and parliamentary colleague, is taking a different approach by naming Mr and Mrs Lee in his parliamentary reply when the question was purely on the views on the book by Mr Sudhir.