Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong made a second Facebook post on Saturday night, June 17, with regards to the Lee family saga.
Goh came out to support Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean’s statement and the ministerial committee that is studying the future status of 38 Oxley Road.
According to Goh’s statement:
1) DPM Teo had apparently told him last year that there were already options being considered for 38 Oxley Road.
2) Goh had advised DPM Teo that a) LKY’s wishes should be respected, but b) replacing it with a commercial or private estate would be disrespectful of Oxley House’s heritage, which is our heritage.
3) He had conveyed the supposed “careful thinking” of the ministerial committee to Lee Hsien Yang, but Lee Hsien Yang felt this contributed to the delay in the decision to demolish the house.
4) Goh reiterated that the family should try to stay together as the “differences” are not worth tearing up family bonds and the legacy of their father.
5) We as Singaporeans can urge them to settle this privately.
In case you missed it, Goh had posted a previous statement on Facebook prior to this, emphasising that Singaporeans are bigger than a petty family dispute.
In this previous statement, he said the dispute ought not to be something that tears the Lee family apart.
Given the way things have escalated, however, point number 5 might be a pretty tall order for now until further action is taken.
Here’s the full statement.
I have read DPM Teo Chee Hean’s statement explaining the setting up of the ministerial committee to study the future status of 38 Oxley Road. Sometime last year, he had shared with me the range of options he was exploring. I advised him to respect Lee Kuan Yew’s wish but agreed that it would be disrespectful of our own heritage to just demolish the house for it to be replaced by a commercial building or another private residence.
I support the careful way in which DPM and the Government is handling the issue as public interests are involved. He is right to explore options beyond the binary demolish-preserve decision. I conveyed his thinking to Lee Hsien Yang last year but the latter remained unhappy over the delay and uncertainty in demolishing the house.
It is not worth tearing up family bonds built over a lifetime over these differences, however serious they are. This is not the family legacy which their father would have wanted to leave behind. Singaporeans can urge them to settle their dispute amicably in private or through closed–door arbitration. —gct
Top image via MParader’s Facebook Page.