Lee Hsien Yang condemns Singapore Govt’s persecution of his family over promise to LKY

Lee Hsien Yang condemns Singapore Govt’s persecution of his family over promise to LKY

On Tuesday evening, Mr. Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) expressed his disappointment with the state of affairs in Singapore and how he and his family have been attacked by the government led by his older brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (LHL), in a Facebook post.

LHY wrote, “I am heartbroken that my own country has made me a fugitive for standing up for my father’s promise, Lee Kuan Yew.”

This follows a recent spate of attacks against LHY by the Singapore machinery, including the government and media, after Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr Teo Chee Hean, announced in a parliamentary reply that the Police are investigating LHY and his wife, Mrs Lee Suet Fern (LSF), for potential offences of giving false evidence in judicial proceedings.

LHY wrote, “Yet another attack has just been launched, re-litigating the same issues that were raised by Lee Hsien Loong after probate of Lee Kuan Yew’s will, at the ministerial committee in 2016/2017, in Parliament in 2017, and in disciplinary proceedings in 2019/2020. I have now been condemned in Parliament and the press without due process.”

He questioned how there could be fair and proper investigations or a fair trial in what is clearly a politically-motivated prosecution.

LHY pointed out that LHL has been opposing the request by their father, LKY, to demolish the house at 38 Oxley Road since his passing in 2015.

“As a result, my sister Wei Ling publicly called Hsien Loong out as ‘the dishonorable son,'” wrote LHY.

The costs of speaking up to protect promises to LKY

LHY was convinced by his sister, whom he described as forthright, principled, and courageous, to stand up for their parents. He discussed the dispute over his father’s house, which his brother had opposed demolishing.

He emphasized that they have always accepted that the Singapore government has the power to preserve their father’s house but reject the continued pretence that he had changed his mind.

“If Lee Hsien Loong and his government wish to preserve our father’s home, then they should do so acknowledging that they preserve it against Lee Kuan Yew’s earnest wishes,” LHY wrote.

LHY accused LHL and his team of seeking to undermine their father’s last will on the issue of the demolition of their father’s house.

LKY’s last will was proven in court in 2015, with the support of LHL and his lawyer, Lucien Wong, who is currently the Attorney General who decides who to prosecute and who to not in Singapore, such as the six former Keppel executives involved in a bribery scandal in Brazil who were issued stern warnings.

Even in LSF ‘s case, as LHY pointed out, the court described LKY as “content” with his last will.

“Lee Kuan Yew could have changed it at any time between 2013 and 2015 if indeed he changed his mind,” wrote LHY and noted that their father’s wishes were made clear in public speeches, in his book “Hard Truths,” and in a video recorded before his death.

LHY expressed disappointment with Singapore’s system of checks and balances, stating that he and his sister had initially believed in the rule of law in 2017 when they came out with their public statement but had since learned otherwise.

He accused LHL of misusing state resources to pursue his private agenda and called for leaders who put the country’s needs ahead of their own interests.

The post also revealed the personal toll this dispute has taken on LHY and his family. He mentioned his sister Wei Ling’s serious illness and the campaign of harassment and surveillance they have faced.

“Wei Ling never married, and it fell on my shoulders to look after her after our father passed away in 2015. In 2019, she was diagnosed with a serious illness. I was so glad that just before COVID-19 in 2020, I was able to take her to Machu Picchu, a place she had always wanted to visit. She is now extremely unwell, and it pains me beyond words that I am unlikely ever to be able to see my sister face to face again,” he wrote.

LHY also revealed that he and his family have been subjected to a campaign of harassment, surveillance, and smear campaigns. He expressed his lack of confidence in the system, stating that after what he had been through, he had no faith in the Singaporean government and its system of checks and balances.

Furthermore, LHY ‘s son, Li Shengwu, 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 due to the actions initiated by the Attorney General’s Chambers.

Additionally, LSF 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 acknowledged that he did not fully foresee the costs that speaking up would impose on his wife and children, but he believed it was necessary to keep a promise to his father.

“We spoke up to keep a promise to our father,” he wrote. “No mere material calculation could outweigh the risk to our reputations and our place in society.”

In a final note, LHY expressed his gratitude to his family and supporters who have stood by him and thanked them for their unwavering support. He shared that the silver lining to all these events is that he is a different person now and is much more aware of the lives and struggles of fellow Singaporeans.

Renewed attacks on LHY in light of impending Presidential Election

Many have speculated that the renewed attacks from the PAP establishment may be a result of the fears that LHY would stand in the upcoming Presidential Election.

LHY, a former Chief Executive Officer of Singtel and Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, is a possible contender for the upcoming Presidential Election with his professional qualifications.

In an earlier phone interview with Bloomberg News, LHY revealed his intentions to run for the presidency, saying that “a lot of people have come to me. They really want me to run. It’s something I would consider.”

His sister-in-law, Ho Ching, former Temasek CEO, has also been rumoured to be keen on contesting.

However, the ongoing investigation may affect his candidacy. “What the chances are that I will return to Singapore in the foreseeable future,” said LHY to Bloomberg.

LHY did not reveal his current location and said he was unsure of the chances of returning to Singapore in the foreseeable future due to the ongoing investigation.

He said that there is a view that, depending on who the ruling party floats, “if I were to run, they would be in serious trouble and could lose.”

The election, which was previously a walkover in 2017 due to the raised qualification criteria and reserved election for the Malay minority, must be held by September this year.

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