SPEECH BY ER DR LEE BEE WAH, MP FOR NEE SOON GRC, AT THE SPECIAL SITTING ON 38 OXLEY ROAD HOUSE IN PARLIAMENT ON 3 JULY 2017
First of all, I wish to thank the Prime Minister for his courageous and open approach to this matter by calling for the House to debate the issues raised. I note that the dispute has been covered in the international press, including the unproven allegations about PM and our system. The whole affair has tarnished the reputation of our government as clean and altruistic. That is precisely the reputation that the late MM Lee spent his whole life building. If he was alive, he would be deeply hurt by the quarreling of his children in public.
Many of my residents have been discussing about this issue. Many wonder why the siblings took such private issues to the public. Many residents have asked many questions. Today, on behalf of my residents, I would like to ask the following questions:
(1) National Heritage Board
Let me begin by raising questions about the National Heritage Board exhibition. This exhibition received items from the executors of the estate, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling, under two unusual conditions. One was that the executors of the estate could buy back all the items at $1 as long as 38 Oxley Road was not demolished. Second was that part of the demolition clause from the late MM Lee’s Will – (a) that the part that expressed the wish for immediate demolition of the house after Dr Lee Wei Ling moves out of it, should be prominently displayed. Then (b) that the part of the Will outlining what was to be done if the house could not be demolished was to be omitted from the exhibition.
Morgan Lewis helped draft the deed. Suet Fern was asking NHB to accept the terms which were bad for the NHB and misleading the public. Is this acceptable conduct for Morgan Lewis? And for Suet Fern, a lawyer and a board member of NHB? Can Minister Lawrrence Wong please explain.
Many asked what is the quarrel all about? What is the core of this matter? What is the problem with the will? Who drafted the will?
Hsien Yang says it was drafted by Kim Li. But Kim Li denies.
We don’t even know who drafted the will? Was it Suet Fern? If so, why not just come out and admit it? What is he afraid of? Why does he try and deny that his wife drafted it, when emails seem clear?
So, now, what is it to do with Government? What is Government supposed to do? Can anyone enlighten us?
Also, in view of MM Lee’s latest Will is with the demolition clause, how much weight will MM Lee’s wishes bear on the decisions to be made by the Oxley House Ministerial Committee?
What has the committee done that Hsien Yang claimed that he was “pushed into a corner”?
In yesterday’s Straits Times, Hsien Yang said that he wouldn’t want to preserve the house nor would he want to build a condominium because it would not be in accordance with MM Lee’s values. Doesn’t that sounds a lot like what DPM Teo said – that he would not support the two extremes of total preservation and letting the public in, and building private residences on the other hand.
So, what is the dispute? Why are we quarrelling about this?
Madam Speaker, allow me to continue in Chinese.