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Dispute not just a family affair, says Lee Wei Ling

'No way' the panel to debate options on Oxley house was set up without PM's approval

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In her Facebook post, Dr Lee stressed that the decision on the fate of the house at 38 Oxley Road (above) lay with her parents.

Singapore

LEE Wei Ling on Thursday said she and her brother Lee Hsien Yang would not have issued a public statement if the dispute with their brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, over their late father's house "were merely a family affair".

In a Facebook post, she said the main message of their six-page statement released on Wednesday was not that the siblings feared what PM Lee would do to them.

Rather, she alleged that if the PM could "misuse his official power to abuse his siblings who can fight back, what else can he do to ordinary citizens". She added that their lawyer had edited this message out of the statement.

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In Wednesday's statement, the two siblings said they had lost confidence in PM Lee, and that they feared the use of state organs against them.

Replying in a statement, PM Lee denied the allegations levelled by his siblings and said he was disappointed and saddened by their public airing of private family matters.

In her Facebook post on Thursday, Dr Lee said she was in Scotland on holiday.

Commenting on media coverage of the dispute, she wrote: " The article that appeared in the Singapore press gave PM's version of the story. Our letter was carefully vetted by our lawyers and obviously not in my own voice."

She also reiterated that the decision on the fate of the Oxley Road house lay with her parents."My Father had told us, his children, repeatedly, that being family property, there is no need to donate to charity if Oxley were sold," she said.

In their statement on Wednesday, the two siblings had revealed that the house was bequeathed to PM Lee after the elder statesman's death on March 23, 2015 at the age of 91. PM Lee later sold the house to Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

A joint statement issued by all three siblings in December 2015 announced that PM Lee and Mr Lee Hsien Yang each agreed to donate half the value of the Oxley Road house to eight charities, in honour of their father.

Dr Lee claimed in her Facebook post that PM Lee had stipulated the donation as a condition for selling the house to Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

In an earlier post on Thursday morning, she responded to a statement by Cabinet Secretary Tan Kee Yong, which had said that PM Lee had not been involved in Cabinet's discussions concerning a ministerial committee set up to consider options for the Oxley Road house.

Disputing that, she said there is "no way" the ministerial committee was set up without PM Lee's "tacit consent and approval". STRAITS TIMES ONLINE

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