What happened on Dec 16 and 17 that made Lee Hsien Loong question Lee Kuan Yew’s final will
Here, we are going to make this real easy to digest.
This article will deal with the inclusion of the demolition clause and the events of the final will.
The demolition clause is basically this.
“I further declare that it is my wish, and the wish of my late wife, KWA GEOK CHOO, that our house at 38 Oxley Road, Singapore 238629 (“the House”) be demolished immediately after my death or, if my daughter, Wei Ling, would prefer to continue living in the original house, immediately after she moves out of the House.
I would ask each of my children to ensure our wishes with respect to the demolition of the House be carried out. If our children are unable to demolish the House as a result of any changes in the law, rules or regulations binding them, it is my wish that the House never be opened to others except my children, their families and descendants.
My view on this has been made public before and remains unchanged. My statement of wishes in this paragraph 7 may be publicly disclosed notwithstanding that the rest of my Will is private.”
This is similar to what Lee Hsien Yang said:
Moving onto the will
There are 7 versions of Lee Kuan Yew’s will.
1 to 5 had the demolition clause.
5 and 6 had no demolition clause.
In the final will, the demolition clause was put back in again.
Why does PM Lee Hsien Loong find it suspicious?
Lee found the addition of the demolition clause a bit suspect.
In fact, it was number 7 on his list of 9 serious questions written in his lawyer’s rebuttal.
(7) Did Mr Lee give specific instructions to re-insert the Demolition Clause in the Last Will, and if so, to whom?
So, why exactly did he find the clause suspicious?
He seems to question the handling of the final will, specifically, who was in charge of having Lee Kuan Yew sign it.
The first 6 wills had been all prepared by Kwa Kim Li, according to the PM Lee’s account of the events, Kwa Kim Li could not be contacted for the final will.
The 6th version of the will would see Lee Wei Ling getting an increased share of the Oxley Road house, but let’s keep the focus on the final will.
The final will was first set off by this email on Dec 16, 2013, from Lee Hsien Yang’s wife,and lawyer, Lee Suet Fern.
“Dear Pa Pa
This was the original agreed Will which ensures that all 3 children receive equal shares, taking into account the relative valuations (as at the date of demise) of the properties each receives.
Grateful if you could please engross.”
According to PM, this would influence Lee kuan Yew into reverting the percentages of the will back to equilibrium.
23 minutes after this email was sent, Lee Hsien Yang replied to his wife’s email, apparently removing managing partner of Lee and Lee law firm, Kwa Kim Li as an addressee.
Here’s the email.
I couldn’t get in touch with Kim Li. I believe she is away. I don’t think it is wise to wait till she is back. I think all you need is a witness to sign the will. Fern can get one of her partners to come round with an engrossed copy of the will to execute and witness. They can coordinate it with Lin Hoe for a convenient time.”
PM Lee relayed in his lawyer’s letter that Kwa Kim Li told him she had not received any emails from Lee Suet Fern.
Lee Kuan Yew agreed to sign the newly drafted will under the supervision of 2 of Lee Suet Fern’s colleagues, Bernard Lui and Elizabeth Kong.
According to PM, neither he nor Lee Wei Ling was copied into this email correspondence with Lee Kuan Yew during these two days.
Which explains why 3 of his 9 grievances were based on the events of the two days.
More to come.