Reporting on the Lee Family Feud: The Difference between State Media and Global Press

Okay if you haven’t heard about the latest twist in the Lee Family feud, you’re probably on holiday in Helsinki or Batam, or living under a damn big rock lah.

Either way, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang, the embittered siblings of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have said, and repeated their stance over the past 2 days that their elder bro can’t be trusted.

They released a 6-page statement, and several Facebook posts about this matter, accusing Elder Bro Lee of abusing his power in government and making them feel threatened to the point where they feel the need to escape Singapore.

Oh yes, and the small issue of cronyism (alleged) whereby Elder Bro’s wife Ho Ching had powers beyond her purview, and his personal lawyer Lucien Wong being made Attorney-General.

Ah yes, and then there’ daddy Lee Kuan Yew’s house, which the younger Lee siblings say he wanted to tear down, got played out by Ah Loong, and then specifically instructed in his will that 38 Oxley Road be smashed to the ground.

All of this, Ah Loong has denied.

All that aside, this is what you would have known if you read state media:


But, from the US to Europe, to Asia, to Oceanis (Auz and NZ) every other news outlet seemed to caught the essential news point – which is this family feud extends to more than just an old house in the heart of Singapore.

In other words, they were focusing on something totally different from what state media would have you believe is the gist of the Lee siblings’ outburst.

If you looked beyond our shores (and our state media), this is what you would know:

Oh yeah, and don’t forget us (because we’re the most non-partisan of non-partisans except when it comes to Tiger beer.)


Little wonder then that Lee Wei Ling said her foreign friends thought it was just a family dispute over a house.

She’s said that it’s more than that, and that Singaporeans should observe the ongoing sibling battle to know what they’re in for as “ordinary citizens”.

Even Hsien Yang’s son, Li Shengwu (the “Li” instead of “Lee” being a matter of not wanting to ride on the reputation of the late LKY) said that essentially, you can’t trust state media.

So really, what and who can you trust?



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