We've never asked Govt to let us demolish 38 Oxley Road house now: Lee Hsien Yang

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In a Facebook post, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said that he and Dr Lee Wei Ling had suggested that the house be demolished after Dr Lee’s departure and a memorial garden be built in his place but their brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, rejected the offer.

38 Oxley Road. (Photo: Howard Law)

SINGAPORE: Responding to comments by Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said on Tuesday (Jun 27) that he and his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, had never asked the Government to allow them to demolish founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s family home now. 

In a post on Monday, Ms Indranee listed four possible options for the house at 38 Oxley Road – demolition, preservation, conservation and compulsory acquisition – and questioned why Mr Lee Hsien Yang wanted “immediate commitment” on demolition since Dr Lee is still living in the house.

“The Government has publicly stated that it will respect those wishes and does not intend to do anything until Dr Lee leaves,” she wrote, pointing out that letting the property stand, for now, does not go against the wishes of the late Mr Lee. 

In response, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said: “We have never asked the Government to allow us to demolish the house now, only after Wei Ling’s departure.”

He also questioned again why the “secret committee” on the house was formed in 2016.

The youngest son of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said beyond the committee’s opening letters, it was “focused primarily on parroting (Prime Minister) Lee Hsien Loong’s attacks on our father’s will”.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang also claimed that an earlier proposal by him and Dr Lee, the executors of their father’s estate, had been rejected by their brother PM Lee.

“Long before the committee was formed, we offered to (Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean) that the house be demolished after Wei Ling’s departure, and a memorial garden be built in its place. DPM Teo was reluctant and did not pursue the discussion further. Lee Hsien Loong also rejected this offer,” he said.

“SMS Indranee is pretending that the secret committee had an open discussion with Lee Kuan Yew’s Estate about options for the house. Nothing could be further from the truth. The committee refused to state either the options it was considering or its final deliverable.” 

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