SINGAPOREAN Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he was “deeply saddened” by his sister’s claim that he “abused” his power to “establish a dynasty.” He added that her allegations were “completely untrue.”
The siblings were feuding over the one-year anniversary of the death of their father, the city state’s founding leader, Lee Kuan Yew, who remains a revered figure.
In a Facebook post Sunday, the prime minister’s sister, Dr. Lee Wei Ling, said the government was trying to use the occasion of her father’s one-year death anniversary to “hero-worship” him, according to Channel News Asia, a government-supported television station and news website.
The media outlet said Dr. Lee suggested that her brother, the prime minister, was “abusing his power” by conducting elaborate anniversary events, and trying to establish a political “dynasty.”
Channel News Asia said the post was taken down from Facebook later Sunday. But then Lee fired back at his sister in his own Facebook post a few hours later. Denying he wished to set up a dynasty, he emphasized that “meritocracy is a fundamental value of our society.”
I am deeply saddened by my sister Dr Lee Wei Ling’s claim that I have abused my power to commemorate the one-year…
Dr. Lee, who writes a regular column for the Straits Times, previously accused the paper of muzzling her and censoring her views on the matter. The paper had declined to publish her article, citing concerns about plagiarism.
Frustrated at what she saw as censorship, Dr. Lee published her email correspondence with Straits Times associate editor Ivan Fernandez. In one of the e-mails, she wrote, “If the power that be wants to establish a dynasty, LKY’s daughter will not allow LKY’s name to be sullied by a dishonorable son.” LKY refers to her late father, Lee Kuan Yew.
The Straits Times denied censoring Dr. Lee’s column, calling it instead “a matter of upholding standards”. In a lengthy piece, Fernandez detailed what he alleged were instances of plagiarism in Dr. Lee’s submission to the paper.
Responding to the allegations of plagiarism, Dr. Lee said, “I simply forgot to acknowledge the source for information regarding Mao and Churchill.”
Additional reporting by the Associated Press