The ongoing spat in the most famous Lee household in Singapore has barely lasted a day, but a lot has already been revealed.
As Singaporeans struggle to keep up with the copious amounts of news reports and updates, one of the pieces of information that has been most telling but also most likely missed is this revelation: Lee Hsien Yang and his elder brother Lee Hsien Loong are speaking to each other through their lawyers.
This is according to a news report by Reuters on June 14, 2017, which quoted Lee Hsien Yang.
Over the course of one day, since Wednesday, June 14, Lee Hsien Yang has made use of some harsh words to describe what he has been feeling. This ranged from feeling “unwelcomed” to “threatened” to “persecuted” in Singapore — sentiments that have made him give up on Singapore to move abroad.
Reuters reported it had tried to independently verify the accusations, but were unable to. Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling were also unable to provide specific evidence of action by the Singapore government against them.
However, one thing was clear: Lee Hsien Yang said he was on the receiving end of messages that made him feel out of place, but it was not from his elder brother directly.
Here’s why, as reported by Reuters, quoting Lee Hsien Yang:
“There are many ways that messages get sent to people to make them feel unwelcome and I have received many messages. Not from my brother because we communicate via lawyers,” he said in an interview.
“I would not do this if I did not feel threatened,” he said, adding that he is not an impetuous anti-establishment figure out to attack the Singapore government or his brother.
The siblings said they believed the prime minister and his wife “harbor political ambitions for their son, Li Hongyi.”
Further clarification about the specific threats Lee Hsien Yang faced were attempted by Today, when they interviewed him face-to-face outside his Caldecott Close home on Wednesday evening.
However, it was not entirely clear what he meant even then, as he said his persecution stems from the ministerial committee being set up.
This is so as it appears to Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling that the ministerial committee was put together to reverse the decision to demolish Lee Kuan Yew’s 38 Oxley Road house. This is despite the late Lee Kuan Yew’s will stating he wanted the house demolished eventually.
On the fears of the use of organs of state you mentioned, could you tell us more about that fear?
LHY: The cabinet has just put out a note and talked about some of the things. What is the cabinet committee doing on 38 Oxley Road notwithstanding our settlement with Loong? 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?
The committee had said you indicated that the earliest you would respond would be by the end of June?
LHY: We have had mountains of correspondence over almost a year but the Committee continues to raise the same questions. They have nothing to do with the subject of the Committee which is being used to make trouble. You asked for an example of persecution and here is a prime one.
You said you and your sister have been persecuted. Can you be more specific?
LHY: The Committee is one very specific example.
Top photos via crunchbase & Wikimedia