Day 3 update: LHL & LHY fighting over who drafted LKY’s Last Will

Was it Kwa Kim Li or Lee Suet Fern?

By Belmont Lay | June 17, 2017

At the end of Day 3 of the Lee family spat, here is where things stand to keep you up to speed:

1. The big debate now between the Lee brothers is: Who drafted Lee Kuan Yew’s Last Will?

2. The two women lawyers who could have drafted the Last Will are:

– Lee Hsien Yang says it is Kwa Kim Li (above left), who is the cousin of Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling.

– Lee Hsien Loong says it is Lee Suet Fern (above right), who is the wife of Lee Hsien Yang.

3. Lee Hsien Yang has said his wife Lee Suet Fern’s law firm, Stamford Law, did not draft any will for the late Lee Kuan Yew.

4. This directly contradicts Lee Hsien Loong’s statutory declaration from June 15.

5. Lee Hsien Loong said in his statement that Lee Suet Fern told them that the late Lee Kuan Yew had asked her to prepare his Last Will.

6. But because she did not want to be personally involved, she got another lawyer from her firm to handle the preparation of the Last Will.

7. According to Lee Hsien Yang, the all-important Paragraph 7 clause that states Lee Kuan Yew’s wish for the 38 Oxley Road house to be demolished was drafted at Lee Kuan Yew’s direction.

8. It was then put into language by Lee Suet Fern.

9. Lee Hsien Yang claimed that when Lee Kuan Yew was satisfied, Lee Kuan Yew asked Kwa Kim Li to insert the clause into his will.

10. However, Kwa Kim Li has told the mainstream media in Singapore in the early morning of June 17 that she did not prepare the Last Will. This would contradict Lee Hsien Yang directly. She declined further comment.

11. Fact: Kwa Kim Li had prepared the previous six versions of the will of the late Lee Kuan Yew.

12. Fact: The Paragraph 7 clause was drafted earlier for previous versions of the will but subsequently deleted, only to appear again in the Last Will.

13. Lee Hsien Yang had so far not explained how the Paragraph 7 clause was reinstated in the Last Will. (But he does so in an early morning post on June 17. See point 15.)

14. In Lee Hsien Loong’s view, it is precisely these events in the making of Lee Kuan Yew’s Last Will that has raised grave concerns.

15. But according to Lee Hsien Yang’s latest post on June 17, 1.29am, the Last Will in 2013 was a revert to the first will from 2011, based on the instruction by Lee Kuan Yew.

However, Lee Hsien Yang also admitted that this was done “without realising that a gift over clause had been in the executed version of the 2011 will.” (The gift over clause provided that in any event any of his sons predeceased him, their share will go directly to Lee Kuan Yew’s grandchildren)

The gift over clause was pointed out by Lee Hsien Loong in the summary of his statutory declaration released publicly. He said: “This important clause was absent from the Last Will, and there is nothing which suggests that Mr Lee had given instructions for it to be removed.” (See paragraph 20 and 21)

16. Lee Kuan Yew then initialled every page of that Last Will, including just below the demolition clause.


How to think about the issues given the latest developments:

a. Is it possible that both Kwa Kim Li and Lee Suet Fern were to an extent not involved in the making of the Last Will?

b. Will Lee Hsien Yang commit to releasing a statutory declaration in the same vein as Lee Hsien Loong?

c. What does “put into language by Lee Suet Fern” even mean?

d. Why hasn’t anyone challenged the capacity of Lee Kuan Yew to be involved in the making of his own will in December 2013?

e. So far, both sides have offered alleged motives of the other party. Which motive appears more far-fetched?


Top photos via here & here

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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