FamiLEE saga: The past three days.

Jun 16, 2017 01.37PM |

by Suhaile Md and Johannes Tjendro

Scroll past the interactive timeline for an old school list.

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June 14, about 2:10am – “We do not trust Hsien Loong”

Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling publish their damning joint statement on their respective Facebook pages. PM Lee is unfilial, self-serving, and “has deliberately misrepresented Lee Kuan Yew’s clear intentions” to demolish the family house on Oxley Road for PM Lee’s personal political agenda, said his siblings. Added the younger Lees: “We do not trust Hsien Loong as a brother or as a leader. We have lost confidence in him.”

The statement also painted PM Lee’s wife, Ms Ho Ching, as a power hungry matriarch who had too much influence on civil servants.

Read more here.

June 14, 2:20am – Third generation Lee weighs in

Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s son, Mr Li Shengwu, shares the joint statement on his Facebook page. Said Mr Li: “[My] immediate family has become increasingly worried about the lack of checks on abuse of power.” He is the only third generation member of the Lee family to comment publicly so far.

Read more here.

June 14, about 9:40am – The Prime Minister responds

“Ho Ching and I deny these allegations”, said PM Lee on Facebook. He added: “I am very disappointed that my siblings have chosen to issue a statement publicising private family matters…. As my siblings know, I am presently overseas on leave with my family. I will consider this matter further after I return this weekend.”

Ms Ho Ching maintains radio silence, only resharing PM Lee’s post a few hours later. See his Facebook post here.

What does it all mean so far? Well, it’s more than just a famiLEE affair. Read our article here.

June 14, around 2:10pm – Hsien Yang: “This is not where I can continue to live”

Mr Lee Hsien Yang and wife Mrs Lee Suet Fern said that they were “preparing to leave” but did not say when or where they were heading, reported The Straits Times (ST). Added Mr Lee: “This is my home. I wouldn’t do this unless I really felt there is a serious issue. And I’ve felt this is not where I can continue to live, the way I’ve been living in the last two years.”

Read the ST article here.

June 14, 5:20pm – The Mysterious Ministerial Committee

Cabinet Secretary Tan Kee Yong sheds light on the internal Ministerial Committee set up by the Cabinet to look into Oxley Road house. The existence of the committee had first came to light about 15 hours earlier in the joint statement by the Lee siblings.

Mr Tan’s official response, by way of a press statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, is that the purpose of the Committee was to list out the various courses of action that could be taken with regard to the house to “help a future Government when a decision needs to be taken about the house’’. Mr Tan added that PM Lee had recused himself and is not involved in the Committee.

Read the Cabinet Secretary’s statement here.

June 14, 11:10pm – Hsien Yang: “Feels almost like an Orwellian nightmare”

In response, said Mr Lee Hsien Yang in a TODAY interview: “Why is there even a Cabinet committee when PM Lee [Hsien Loong] had announced in Parliament that so long as [younger sister] Wei Ling is living there, nothing needs to be done? Why when the Government says the government of the day will decide when Lee Wei Ling is no longer [living there] … is the Government of today convening this Cabinet committee?”

He declined to comment on any firm plans but later when asked about the next step, Mr Lee said he wants to move on and “wake up from what feels almost like an Orwellian nightmare”.

June 15, around 12:20am – Wei Ling rubbishes Cabinet Secretary’s comments

“Private family matters don’t involve setting up secret committees of ministers to get your way. There is no way that this committee was set up without LHL’s [Lee Hsien Loong’s] tacit consent and approval.” Said Dr Lee in a Facebook post. She was responding to the Cabinet Secretary’s statement that PM Lee had recused himself from the Committee.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his son Mr Li Shengwu both shared her Facebook post soon after.

June 15, around 1:20am – Wei Ling: “Hsien Loong and Ho Ching are finally showing their true colours.”

An hour after her short comment on the Ministerial committee, Dr Lee said that because PM Lee could not do with the family house as he wished, he had punished his brother Mr Lee Hsien Yang by making him pay 150 per cent of the market value of the Oxley road house when it was sold to him. In punishing Mr Lee, PM Lee and Ms Ho Ching are “showing their true colours”. Dr Lee added: “The most important point I want to put across is if PM can misuse his official power to abuse his siblings who can fight back, what else can he do to ordinary citizens.” Dr Lee said she was on holiday in Scotland.

Read her full post here.

June 15, 7am – Hsien Yang: “What did he [Lee Kuan Yew] want?”

It’s clear Mr Lee Kuan Yew wanted the house demolished if Dr Lee Wei Ling moved out or passed on, said Mr Lee Hsien Yang in an interview with Yahoo news . It was stated so in the late Mr Lee’s Will, which had been officially certified in court in 2015. Said Mr Lee Hsien Yang: “If Hsien Loong had any doubts [about the will], that was the time to come out and say, ‘Hey, there are some questions here, please, let’s address them in court’. He never raised them… And yet now, he goes to the cabinet committee and says ‘Oh, my father wasn’t quite so unwavering in his wish'”.

June 15, 12pm – Some questions that need to be answered

By now the Cabinet Secretary has said something, so have the PM and the two Lee siblings in response. But questions remain and there’s still more that should be revealed. Read our article to put things in context.

With everything going on, two other points might have been missed in the FamiLEE saga: Minister Lawrence Wong and Attorney General Lucien Wong. Read more here.

The FamiLEE saga also hit headlines around the world. Read our headline round up here.

And how have Singaporeans been reacting? Have a look for yourself.

June 15, around 3:10pm – Another third generation Lee weighs in

“For what it is worth, I really have no interest in politics.” said Mr Li Hongyi in a Facebook post. He is the firstborn of PM Lee and Ms Ho Ching. Dr Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang claimed that the PM and his wife were setting the stage to make their son the future Prime Minister.

Ms Ho Ching “liked” Mr Li’s post.

June 15, around 4:10pm – Hsien Yang casts doubt on LHL’s integrity

Mr Lee Hsien Yang published a photo on Facebook comparing what PM Lee’s said in public with what he allegedly said in private.

Dr Lee and Mr Li Shengwu shared the post soon after.

June 15, around 9:20pm – PM Lee responds

PM Lee addressed the accusations by his siblings on his representations to the Ministerial Committee and publishes a summary of his Statutory Declarations on Lee Kuan Yew’s Will.

June 15 around 9:30pm – Hsien Yang: Hsien Loong’s speech in parliament contradicts his Statutory Declaration

Mr Lee Hsien Yang replied that “Stamford Law attended to the attestation of the Will at Lee Kuan Yew’s explicit request.” He added that probate was granted in Oct 2015. He also accused PM Lee about giving contradictory statements to parliament and to the “secret committee”.

He then shared a photo of the will with Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s initial right under the Demolition Clause, to prove that the late Mr Lee would have known about the Clause.

Dr Lee and Mr Li Shengwu shared both posts soon after.

June 15, around 10:20pm – Wei Ling: Hsien Loong and Ho Ching dishonest for selective use of quotes

Dr Lee accused PM Lee for being “mischievious and dishonest to selectively use quotes from me out of context to suggest that Hsien Yang and his wife were trying to cheat me in our father’s final Will.”

Mr Lee Hsien Yang shares her post not long after.

June 15, around 10:30pm – Wei Ling had a fall-out with Pa: email screenshots revealed

Dr Lee posted 3 screenshots of private correspondences involving Lee Kuan Yew, Lee Suet Fern, and K Shanmugam, amongst others. She deleted them about 15 minutes after.

More than an hour later, the emails were reposted in a compiled PDF format; not on her personal Facebook profile, but rather on a public page titled “Dr Lee Wei Ling”. Lee Hsien Yang shared this post not long after.

June 16, around 3:40am – Li Shengwu: “The country must be bigger than one family.”

Mr Hsien Yang’s son, Mr Li Shengwu said in a Facebook post: “Today we are going to learn… whether [as I hope] the ruling party is still full of men and women of quality and strong character.”

Dr Lee shared this post.

June 16, around 7:30am – Hsien Yang: “Secret committee ignored” our reply

Mr Lee Hsien Yang fired the first shot in the morning in reply to PM Lee’s claims.

Dr Lee and Mr Li Shengwu shared this post.

June 16, around 1:10pm – Demolition Clause – Hsien Yang’s version

Mr Lee Hsien Yang claimed that the Demolition Clause “was drafted at LKY’s direction, and put into language by Lee Suet Fern his daughter in law and when he was satisfied he asked [Kwa] Kim Li to insert it into his will”.

He added: “On LKY’s express instructions in writing, two lawyers from Stamford Law were called upon to witness his signing of the will. The Estate of LKY [Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee] instructed Stamford Law to extract probate. Ng Joo Khin’s role in that was to read the will to the beneficiaries.”

Dr Lee shared his post soon after.

Updated June 18: The famiLEE affair has been brewing for a while now. Read our articles on the issue:

  1. FamiLEE saga: 10 things from the academic paper “When I’m dead, demolish it” (Jun 18)
  2. FamiLEE saga: Who’s involved (Jun 17)
  3. FamiLEE saga: Is a grant of probate really final? (Jun 17)
  4. FamiLEE saga: Somebody should just sue (Jun 17)
  5. FamiLEE saga: PM Lee’s version of events (Jun 16) 
  6. FamiLEE saga: Let a third party tell all (Jun 16)
  7. FamiLEE saga: The past three days (Jun 16)
  8. FamiLEE saga: How Lee Suet Fern got LWL her inheritance, according to leaked emails (Jun 15)
  9. FamiLEE saga: Singaporeans react with confusion, humour and CSI skills (Jun 15)
  10. FamiLEE saga: From 38 Oxley Road to 1 Parliament Place, not just a family affair (Jun 15)
  11. FamiLEE saga: Headlines around the world (Jun 15)
  12. FamiLEE saga: Now about that mysterious ministerial committee (Jun 15)
  13. Not just a famiLEE affair (Jun 14)
  14. Third generation Lee weighs in (Jun 14)
  15. “We do not trust Hsien Loong as a brother or as a leader. We have lost confidence in him.” (Jun 14)

Featured image by Sean Chong.

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