He had transformed Singapore into one of Asia’s wealthiest countries. Now, three years after his demise, a fresh row erupted over the future of a century-old bungalow he had once lived in. In his will, Singapore founding leader and the country’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew wanted the house torn down in the hope that it would stop the emergence of a personality cult. His children, including current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, are however divided over the issue.
Lee Hsien Loong’s siblings alleged that he has been blocking the house’s demolition to further his own political ambitions base on their father’s legacy. A ministerial committee set up to decide on the matter has now released its report. The committee, in its report, laid down three options: preserve the bungalow as a national monument, demolish the former residence for redevelopment, or preserve the most historic portion of the house and tear down the rest.
Lee Kuan Yew’s remaining children said the committee’s recommendations go against their father’s wishes.
“(Lee Kuan Yew) made absolutely clear what he wanted done with the house. He and Mama had long decided they wanted it demolished after they were gone,” the prime minister’s sister Lee Wei Ling wrote on Facebook.
The premier’s brother Lee Hsien Yang said in a separate post that Lee Kuan Yew “wanted demolition unwaveringly.” He added that “the committee’s statement does not accurately represent Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes.”
The prime minister, who had recused himself from government decisions about the house, said in a Facebook post yesterday that he accepted the committee’s decision.
He denied all allegations by siblings in a public broadcast at the height of the feud last year, while parliament held a special two-day debate on the controversy.
With AFP inputs