Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam has penned an open letter to Dr Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang – the Lee siblings who are currently engaged in a tussle with Big Bro PM Lee Hsien Loong over their father LKY’s 38 Oxley Road house.
The feud has spawned allegations by Dr Lee and Lee Hsien Yang regarding PM Lee’s alleged abuse of power and nepotism.
PM Lee has denied the allegations and in a statutory declaration alleged that suspicious circumstances surround LKY’s final will as a result of the actions of Lee Hsien Yang and his wife, Lee Suet Fern.
PM Lee apparently wants the 38 Oxley Road house to be preserved, while his siblings are demanding that it be torn down to fulfill LKY’s wishes as stated in his final will.
Meanwhile, Mr Jeyaretnam wants to know whether taxpayers will be made to foot the bill for the house should PM Lee get his way.
This is Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s open letter, reproduced in full:
“Dear Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang, I’m writing this in my personal capacity as a concerned Singaporean citizen and taxpayer. I fully understand that neither of you wish to be associated with or aligned with the Opposition.
Thank you for making public the details of the Government’s plans for your late father’s house. I am addressing these questions to you as you have shown a great deal of transparency in bringing the matter to the attention of the public. I don’t think your brother would provide us with any answers.
As plans are to turn your home into a state resource it is quite rightly a public matter. I’m sorry that it’s also a distressingly private one.
I apologise if you have explained this earlier but I have a few questions pertaining to the process should your brother’s wishes prevail. In my experience they always do. I do realise that you are still vigorously opposing that outcome.
1. Would the state pay full market value to your family and acquire the freehold or a leasehold on the building and land?
2. Or is your brother arguing that your father gifted the house to the state and therefore there is no compensation to be paid? Or is your brother arguing that he alone has inherited the house and that he alone should decide its fate. The grounds upon which the will is being disuputed are still not clear.
3. If compensation is paid to either of you or your sibling will this be funded by the Singaporean taxpayer and will you make the amount of compensation public knowledge continuing the transparency you’ve displayed so far.
4. Would you be willing to donate part or all of the proceeds of your compensation to charity?
5. What are the plans for the costs of turning the home into a museum? Again will the taxpayer be footing that bill? Who will pay for the future running costs? Who will manage it and what would happen to any profit on ticket sales?”