Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has publicised through his lawyers a statutory declaration he submitted to a ministerial committee set up to consider options for the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s house at 38 Oxley Road.
In it, PM Lee posed nine “serious questions” on how the last will of his father was prepared.
As a guide, here’s a glossary of the abbreviations to the names of the people mentioned:
Kwa Kim Li (KKL), the original lawyer who wrote the first six drafts of LKY’s will
Dr Lee Wei Ling (LWL), LKY’s daughter
Lee Hsien Yang (LHY), LKY’s younger son
Lee Suet Fern (LSF), Lee Hsien Yang’s wife, a lawyer
Wong Lin Hoe (WLH), LKY’s Private Secretary
Bernard Lui (BL), colleague of Lee Suet Fern, also a lawyer
Elizabeth Kong (EK), colleague of Lee Suet Fern, also a lawyer
Ho Ching (HC), Lee Hsien Loong’s wife
Ng Joo Khin (NJK), another colleague of Lee Suet Fern, also a lawyer
The questions are:
1. Why did Lee Suet Fern say, at the reading of the Last Will on 12 April 2015, that she had not wanted to be involved in the preparation of the Last Will and that she had asked Ng Joo Khin (one of the two lawyers from her law firm) to handle the matter, when she had been was intimately involved in the events surrounding and leading up to the Last Will?
2. What was Lee Suet Fern’s role in the preparation and signing of the Last Will?
This is because the first six wills by Lee Kuan Yew were prepared by Ms Kwa Kim Li.
3. What, if any, knowledge did Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Suet Fern have of the First to Sixth Wills?
4. Whether and to what extent were the earlier wills discussed with Mr Lee Kuan Yew in the lead-up to the signing of the Last Will and when the Last Will was signed, and who had those discussions?
5. Were the provisions of the Last Will explained to Mr Lee, and if so, who explained them to him?
6. Who gave instructions to Ng Joo Khin in relation to the Last Will, and what were those instructions? Did NJK, who is said by Lee Suet Fern to have prepared the Last Will, ever meet or speak to Mr Lee to take instructions or to get the Last Will signed?
7. Did Mr Lee Kuan Yew give specific instructions to re-insert the Demolition Clause in the Last Will, and if so, to whom?
The Demolition Clause had in fact been removed by Mr Lee Kuan Yew from his immediately prior two wills (the Fifth and Sixth Wills).
8. Was there a conflict of interest on the part of Lee Suet Fern, her fellow lawyers and her firm?
This is because all the lawyers involved were from Lee Suet Fern’s Stamford Law Corporation as it then was; now Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC).
9. What transpired during the brief time that Bernard Lui (fellow lawyer of Lee Suet Feng) and Elizabeth Kong were with Mr Lee? Did Lee Suet Fern tell Bernard Lui; and Elizabeth Kong to ensure that Mr Lee received independent legal advice before asking him to sign the Last Will?
This is because the two lawyers took only 15 minutes to witness Mr Lee signing the will.
They arrived at 38 Oxley Road at 11.05 am on 17 December 2013 and left at 11.20 am.
This was shown in the time for logging into and out from the property.
In other words, the time taken to execute the Last Will would have been even less.
In conclusion, PM Lee said that “there are serious doubts about whether Mr Lee was properly and independently advised on the contents of the Last Will before he signed it”.
Top photo collage adapted via Today, Wikimedia Commons and Getty Images