THE bitter family dispute plaguing Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appears to be drawing to a close as his younger siblings have agreed to settle the matter in private.
According to the Straits Times, Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling said they have accepted the prime minister’s call to resolve the matter privately and cease making posts online against him.
“We look forward to talking without the involvement of lawyers or government agencies,” the siblings said in a seven-page document shared on their Facebook accounts.
“We do not wish to see Singapore embroiled in a never-ending public argument. For now, we will cease presenting further evidence on social media, provided that we and our father’s wish are not attacked or misrepresented.”
Over the last three weeks, the heirs of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore‘s long-serving first prime minister, have been feuding over whether their old family home should be demolished or turned into a heritage site by the government.
Prior to his death in March 2015, Kuan Yew had publicly stated he wanted the family home near the city-state’s iconic Orchard Road shopping district to be demolished as opposed to being turned into a memorial.
Both siblings have accused the prime minister of abusing his power by asking a committee to look at options other than demolition of the house.
The accusations had prompted prime minister Lee to call for a special parliamentary seating to refute the allegations, which he vehemently denied.
According to the younger siblings, the late prime minister opposed creating a monument out of the house but PM Hsien Loong insisted that his father had been open to preserving parts of it, owing to the its heritage as it was a meeting place for the People’s Action Party in its infancy.
Hsien Yang and Dr Wei Ling said they have not spoken to their brother since since April 12, 2015, the day the late PM’s will was read, according to Straits Times.
They said Parliament was not the right place to resolve the issue because it was not impartial, as PAP’s parliamentarians were answerable to the PM.
“We love Singapore, and want only that it prospers, under a government that has integrity and respects the rule of law. We would not have brought this dispute into the public eye, if there was a neutral and unbiased venue to resolve our differences in private,” the siblings said.
The two also made an apology for making the matter public, which some people say had tarnished the country’s image.
“We are private citizens with no political ambitions. We have no unfiltered access to mainstream media, and are not savvy with social media. We have made a lot of mistakes along the way; please forgive us.”
“We seek only to honour our father Lee Kuan Yew’s demolition wish.”