SINGAPORE: Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of Singapore’s prime minister, said on Saturday his father had expressly instructed the drafting of a last will directing the demolition of the family’s iconic home, the latest salvo in a public feud between the city-state’s leader and his two younger siblings.
The comments by Lee Hsien Yang, made on his Facebook account, followed those made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday that there were “serious questions” and “deeply troubling circumstances” over how the final will of their father, Lee Kuan Yew, was drawn up.
The prime minister’s office was not immediately available for comment on Saturday.
The feud between the children of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister, over the future of the family home erupted publicly this week in a flurry of accusations and denials through press releases and Facebook postings, which also touched on Lee Hsien Loong’s leadership.
Both Lee Hsien Yang and his sister Lee Wei Ling say they had lost confidence in their older brother as a leader and feared that state power would be used against them in their dispute with him.
The prime minister has denied these allegations, and said he was very disappointed that they have chosen to publicize private family matters.
In his last will, part of which was released by Lee Hsien Yang on Thursday, Lee Kuan Yew, who ruled Singapore for three decades, said he wanted his house, a humbly furnished home near the bustling Orchard shopping district, to be demolished.
Lee Hsien Loong questioned in a six-page timeline whether Lee Kuan Yew knew a clause about the demolition, which was removed in the fifth and sixth versions of the will, was re-instated in the seventh and final will, saying there was no evidence that he did.
The prime minister said he had recused himself from all government decisions regarding the house, and in his personal capacity, would also like to see Lee Kuan Yew’s wish honored.
His brother Lee Hsien Yang said on Saturday Lee Kuan Yew’s final will was engrossed on the basis of Lee Kuan Yew’s “express instruction” to revert to his first will, attaching to the statement what appeared to be an email message from Lee Kuan Yew that states his plan to sign it before a solicitor.
“Lee Kuan Yew’s final will was simply Lee Kuan Yew’s first will of 20 Aug 2011 re-executed on his instruction,” Lee Hsien Yang said on his Facebook account.