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The Ministerial Comittee on 38 Oxley Road is not making a decision on the house but preparing plans of various options for a future government to refer to, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in Parliament on Monday.
"There is a misconception that (the) government is making a decision now," said Mr Teo. "The Ministerial Committee does not decide. It is merely preparing drawer plans of various options and their implications, so that a future government can refer to them and make a considered and informed decision when the time comes to decide on the matter."
He added: "The Ministerial Committee has made clear to Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling that neither the Ministerial Committee nor Cabinet will be making any decision. There is no decision required so long as Dr Lee continues staying in the house. However, if Dr Lee chooses to leave earlier, say within a few months, then Cabinet will have to decide and it would be useful to have studied the different options."
In his speech, Mr Teo also touched on why the ministerial committee was formed, what the committee is working on and its next steps. He highlighted that there was significant public interest in relation to considering options for founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's house. However, the government has also said that it will pay attention to respecting Mr Lee's wishes for his house.
"These considerations are in addition to the due processes that take place for all buildings and structures with heritage and historical value."
On June 1, 2016, at a Cabinet meeting which Mr Teo chaired, Cabinet approved the proposal by Minister for National Development to set up a Ministerial Committee to draw up the range of possible options for 38 Oxley Road.
Prior to this, work on the issue had been carried out at staff level with interagency consultations as needed, with matters being surfaced by relevant ministers to Mr Teo or Cabinet - without PM Lee - when necessary, Mr Teo said.
As chair of the committee, Mr Teo included the relevant Cabinet ministers: Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu for heritage, Minister for Law K Shanmugam for land issues and Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong for urban planning.
"This committee is like numerous other committees that Cabinet may set up from time to time to study specific issues, for instance on smart nation and digital government, population, national research and on climate change, which I chair. They are all part of the normal working process of Cabinet, or indeed the Board of any large organisation. We would rarely need to announce the formation of such committees, as they often relate to internal working processes and co-ordination within government."
For more stories on the Lee family feud, go to bt.sg/leefeud.